Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 5:07 AM
All of Washington is waiting with bated breath for tomorrow’s Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of Obamacare.
I predict the Court will rule 6-3 to upholdthe constitutionality of what is bound to go down in history as the most important achievement of any U.S. president since the Civil Rights bill President Lyndon Johnson signed into law in 1964.
(“Supreme Court To Rule on Landmark Healthcare Reform,” The iPINIONS Journal, November 23, 2011)
And I’m all too mindful that I am one of only a handful of lawyers/commentators in America who hold this view.
If I am right, it will be because two of the five conservatives (namely, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy) joined with the four liberals (namely, Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan) in honoring a long-settled legal precedent, which holds that congressional legislation should be ruled constitutional if it concerns the regulation of interstate commerce and addresses a compelling government interest – such as affordable healthcare.
If I am wrong, it will only be because the conservatives (namely, Justices Kennedy, Thomas, Roberts, and Alito) were all swayed by the bombastically ideological reasoning of arch-conservative Justice Scalia, which holds that judicial precedent (to say nothing of original intent) is irrelevant where legislation championed by this (uppity) president is concerned. In which case the Court will rule Obamacare unconstitutional by a partisan margin of 5-4 – a la Bush v. Gore 2000.
Incidentally, it is a long-established practice for justices to impugn and ridicule the judicial reasoning of fellow members of the Court. But it is unheard of for a justice to impugn and ridicule the political reasoning of a sitting president the way Scalia did on Monday in the Court’s ruling on the Arizona immigration law. His impudence is particularly galling given that the majority of his fellow justices actually affirmed President Obama’s reasoning in this case, and that his diatribe against the president had nothing to do with Obamacare. This is just one of many examples I can proffer to show why Scalia should be regarded as little more than a political hack in judicial garb.
In any case, if this rank politicization of the Court obtained … again, I hope Chief Justice Roberts was at least savvy enough to assign the drafting of this judicial hit piece to Justice Thomas. For this would provide the interrelated benefits of: a) insulating the Court (to some degree) from the charge of racism that would surely follow; and b) providing this Black justice the perverse pleasure of nullifying the signature accomplishment of America’s first Black president as vindication for the way Blacks effectively excommunicated him after a Republican president, George H.W. Bush, nominated him in 1991.
And you probably thought this was just about the supreme law of the land…. Ha!
Apropos of the politics involved, it is worth bearing in mind that the only reason this case ended up at the Supreme Court is that, just like undermining every initiative to improve the economy, undermining Obamacare is part of a coordinated campaign by Republicans to destroy the presidency of Barack Obama. And their reasons are as obvious as Black and White….
Specifically, listening to prominent Republicans denounce Obamacare, you’d think that it really is the centerpiece of a manchurian manifesto to turn America into a European-style socialist state (and one governed not by the constitution but by the Quran at that). But it’s an indication of how cravenly political, if not racial, their denouncements are that on the day before Obama was elected president in 2008, every one of these Republicans supported all of the major provisions in Obamacare, including the individual mandate that has become such a poison pill.
Not to mention that, hoping to ensure bipartisan support, Obama designed Obamacare based on Romneycare, the health reform program Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney championed when he was governor of Massachusetts.
That said, no matter how the court rules tomorrow, nobody will be thinking about Obamacare on Election Day this November: it’s the economy stupid.
Nevertheless, it behooves all voters to consider this: The first bill Obama signed as president was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which mandates equal pay for equal work for women in the workplace. By instructive contrast, the first bill Romney is threatening to sign, if he’s elected, is one repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), which would strip away the guaranteed healthcare this historic legislation provides for over 40 million poor and uninsured Americans.
So, who you gonna vote for?
Supreme Court To Rule…