Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

Copyright Notice

Everything that appears on this blog is the copyrighted property of somebody. Often, but not always, that somebody is me. For things that are not mine, I either have obtained permission, or claim fair use. Feel free to quote me, but attribute, please. My photos and poetry are dear to my heart, and may not be used without permission. Ditto, my other intellectual property, such as charts and graphs. I'm probably willing to share. Let's talk. Violators will be damned for all eternity to the circle of hell populated by Rosanne Barr, Mrs Miller [look her up], and trombonists who are unable play in tune. You cannot possibly imagine the agony. If you have a question, email me: jazzbumpa@gmail.com. I'll answer when I feel like it. Cheers!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

ACA Withstands SCOTUS Review

[NoteThis brief post, as of now only 2 hours old, has already endured numerous updates, (probably with more to follow) only one of which is identified as such.  The others are [mostly] links added after the fact.  Like this one: It's not just me!]

Here's an initial report.

I'm somewhere between surprised and shocked.

This court has shown no reluctance about engaging in partisan hackery. 

As I commented here on Sunday:

The Republicans have 1) a clear agenda of making Obama fail in every way possible, and 2) a clear majority on this court. Constitutionality and legal nuance are utterly beside the point. Bush v Gore and C U proved that.

They will strike down the mandate. Little else matters, since without it, the program fails.

The tortured logic of the majority opinion will be agonizingly painful for anyone with the stomach to read it.


Fortunately, I was wrong.   Chief Justice Roberts sided with the Dem appointees, while Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Kennedy dissented, of course.   

[UPDATE:  Their dissenting opinion is not only incoherent on its own, it is legally inconsistent with prior opinions issued by Kennedy and Scalia.]

I can't get past my cynicism of this court, though.  Roberts wrote the majority opinion, but passed the mandate as a tax, explicitly rejecting any commerce clause justification.  Why he would go with it at all is mysterious.   My suspicion is that somehow the regressives couldn't muster whatever it takes to strike this down.  I imagine extensive back room wrangling to see who would be the fall guy.  Either Roberts drew the short straw or he decided it was his leadership responsibility to take one for the team.

[Alternatively, he might now be thinking about redeeming his legacy - I read that somewhere this morning.  (See - I said there might be more.)]

My impression from writing put out by people who think of the Constitution as something more than a goddamned piece of paper is that the commerce clause justification was pretty clear cut.

Still, I don't think this is the end of the story.  In fact, it might be only the beginning.


squatlo said...

The talking heads on Faux News Corpse are already ranting and quoting various GOP politicians with "repeal" being the word of the day.
One plan of attack mentioned regularly on that particular channel is that because there is no criminal statute in place to carry out the fine aspect of not purchasing health insurance, people can "protest" by refusing to buy a policy or pay a fine.
Look for another "grassroots" teabagger uprising (grassroots meaning, totally generated on one conservative news network and trumpeted by Rush and Hannity and their ilk)

Jazzbumpa said...


Like I said, this is only the beginning.


nanute said...

The dust has settled a bit since the ruling. Read two interesting takes this morning. One at Lawyers, Guns and Money and one at The Daily Best, by David Frum. Speculation has it that Roberts changed his opinion very late in the process. Apparently, Scalia and the minority's opinion was so extreme, that even Roberts couldn't support it. Critics say that it was also Roberts asserting his authority as the leader of the Court and a slap at Scalia. (Well deserved, and long overdue.)

nanute said...

That was a Freudian slip. Should have read, the Daily BEAST!

Jazzbumpa said...

nanute -

I've been reading at LGM. Thanks for the Frum info. Also, Ed at G&T, has some similar thoughts.

From the way things are worded, the majority opinion was to be the dissent, and vice versa.

Scalia is nothing more than a partisan hack, and his ethics have been severely compromised, repeatedly. He should be impeached, convicted and disbarred.


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