The politics of the ObamaCare decision (repeatedly updated with dissents)

Thomas Lifson
American Thinker

It looks to me that there are some sweet lemons for conservatives in the ObamaCare decision. Before we burn the chief justice in effigy, let’s read the decision and think about the implications.

First of all, upholding ObamaCare is going to energize opposition to Obama, and the determination to elect a Congress that can repeal and replace it.  Just a day ago, the MSM was telling us it would be a plus for Obama if the act were held unconstitutional because it would take the issue off the table and weaken his opposition.

On the other hand, as Rick Moran points out, “it gives Obama a big boost;  everyone likes a winner.

I have no doubt that the same media will now proclaim it is a big victory, a change in momentum, a blow to the right. I also expect Sudden New Respect for Chief Justice Roberts. I am  not going to hold that against him…

…the CJ protected us from the expanding the reach of the Commerce Clause, and let us know that we were lied to by the Democrats. And has handed us a big election issue.

Sometimes we win by losing…

Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli, after at first calling the decision a “dark day,” thought it over some more and now sees some “silver linings.”

…it only takes 51 – not 60 – votes in the Senate to pass (or repeal) a tax bill.

Now that the court has declared this a tax, its ruling effectively prevents Congress from using similar schemes to raise taxes while trying to hide them from the American people by calling them by another name.  From our founding, the American people have been hostile to excessive taxation.  Thus, future Congresses will have to engage in such schemes at their electoral peril.

Read the entire article at American Thinker.

Related: “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”  That’s the quote from Roberts’ opinion that he extracted up front as he began the announcement of the opinion today. At Althouse, who also writes:

…What about democratic theory? Shouldn’t Congress have to reveal such a devious scheme to the people so they can react and pressure Congress about what they want and don’t want? As I said back during the oral argument:

[W]hen Congress was passing the bill, the people never understood [it as a tax]. It was utterly hidden under an incomprehensible mass of text and propaganda. There was no transparency. It rankles to think that Congress could acquire this dramatic power by a monumental political deception. But will this shake the Court out of its usual position of comfy restraint?

And here I find the place in the oral argument transcript where Justice Breyer pinned down the Solicitor General Verrilli, getting him to say “If they pay the tax penalty, they’re in compliance with the law.” Breyer said “Thank you.” That was a big “thank you,” and Verrilli responded “Thank you, Justice Breyer.” Indeed! It was on that point that the case was won. Breyer later returns to the subject, and Roberts gets involved, asking the Solicitor General whether “one of the purposes of the provision is to raise revenue,” which was the key issue under the taxing power. I said at the time:

Get it? Something needs to be specifically called a tax for the Anti-Injunction Act to apply, but when it comes to assessing Congress’s enumerated power to tax, specific textual reference to “tax” isn’t needed.

I think Justice Breyer was buying that argument.

And Roberts was too, in the end…

UpdateKrauthammer: Why Roberts did it

…Why did he do it? Because he carries two identities. Jurisprudentially, he is a constitutional conservative. Institutionally, he is chief justice and sees himself as uniquely entrusted with the custodianship of the court’s legitimacy, reputation and stature…

Read the whole thing.

Mark Levin analyzes SCOTUS’ decision Obamacare [4 audio segments]

And Chief Justice Roberts Is A Genius

…Chief Justice Roberts actually ruled the mandate, relative to the commerce clause, was unconstitutional. That’s how the Democrats got Obama-care going in the first place. This is critical. His ruling means Congress can’t compel American citizens to purchase anything. Ever. The notion is now officially and forever, unconstitutional. As it should be…

…Finally, he struck down as unconstitutional, the Obama-care idea that the federal government can bully states into complying by yanking their existing medicaid funding. Liberals, through Obama-care, basically said to the states — ‘comply with Obama-care or we will stop existing funding.’ Roberts ruled that is a no-no. If a state takes the money, fine, the Feds can tell the state how to run a program, but if the state refuses money, the federal government can’t penalize the state by yanking other funding. Therefore, a state can decline to participate in Obama-care without penalty. This is obviously a serious problem. Are we going to have 10, 12, 25 states not participating in “national” health-care? Suddenly, it’s not national, is it?…

Time for nullification?

Update 2Video: Senator Rubio discusses Obamacare on the Senate Floor

Comments are closed.