Now that the Supremes have agreed to hear the arguments for Obamacare, the biggest questions left to be answered are abundant. Will this be this administration’s day of reckoning? Or will the Supremes rule that the federal government’s authority is unlimited? This ruling will be the most controversial ruling since Roe v. Wade and Kelo v. New London.
The Supreme Court said Monday it will hear arguments next March over President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, a case that could shake the political landscape as voters are deciding if Obama deserves another term.
This decision to hear arguments in the spring sets up an election-year showdown over the White House’s main domestic policy achievement. And it allows plenty of time for a decision in late June, just over four months before Election Day.
If the Supremes rule that O’Care is unconstitutional, I’ll predict that Democrats will criticize the justices as being judicial activists who hate the average person. That’s what they did after the Citizens United ruling.
In fact, that’s what they did following Judge Vinson’s ruling in the Florida case:
The ruling out of Florida is unsurprising in one respect: the judge, a conservative Republican appointee, had already signaled his hostility to the law in hearings a few months ago. So people who follow the health care litigation have been waiting for him to issue the ruling that came down Monday.
It was anticipation over this ruling, and real concern about how the judge would likely distort longstanding case law to reach it, that led over one hundred law professors to sign a statement last week expressing their view that the ACA is constitutional. Their statement pointedly observed that the “current challenges to the constitutionality of this legislation seek to jettison nearly two centuries of settled constitutional law.”
What Democrats won’t like hearing is that Judge Vinson cited both the Constitution and the Federalist Papers in his ruling. These are the foundational writings of what is and isn’t constitutional. The U.S. Constitution states the what, the Federalist Papers explains the why.
There’s nothing activist about applying foundational principles when making this ruling. Here’s what President Obama said during his State of the Union Address following the Citizens United ruling:
“I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities.” Last week’s Supreme Court Citizen’s United decision opens the floodgates to special interests and foreign countries and companies bankrolling national campaigns. The President called for bipartisan support for legislation that will remedy the Supreme Court’s unprecedented and troubling decision.
President Obama’s statement doesn’t have anything to do with reality. It had everything to do with his hatred of this correct ruling because it levels the playing field. Democrats and President Obama love the fact that unions pump tens of millions of dollars into political campaigns for Democrats.
Here’s something else that’s noteworthy about the appeal:
The justices announced they will hear an extraordinary five-and-a-half hours of arguments from lawyers on the constitutionality of a provision at the heart of the law and three other related questions about the act. The central provision in question is the requirement that individuals buy health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty.
In the modern era, the last time the court allotted anywhere near this much time for arguments was in 2003 for consideration of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform. That case consumed four hours of argument. This argument may spread over two days, as the justices rarely hear more than two or three hours a day.
This law should be overturned because not overturning it means that the federal government’s authority is essentially unlimited. That’s unacceptable.