Prediction: The Supreme Court will strike down Obamacare’s Individual Mandate

March 27, 2012
By

In the past, I’ve looked at oral arguments and accurately predicted how the Court would rule. I’m going to do that here:

SCOTUS will strike down Obamacare’s individual mandate.

The transcript and audio of arguments are here. Looking at the transcript, a few things are obvious:

Justices Roberts, Alito, and Scalia will all rule against the mandate. You just have to look at their questions, where they asked the lawyer for the government to distinguish between the health insurance mandate and various other creative scenarios:

Roberts, on emergency services:

Well, the same, it seems to me, would be true, say, for the market in emergency services: police, fire, ambulance, roadside assistance, whatever.

You don’t know when you’re going to need it; you’re not sure that you will. But the same is true for health care. You don’t know if you’re going to need a heart transplant or if you ever will. So, there’s a market there. In some extent, we all participate in it.

So, can the government require you to buy a cell phone because that would facilitate responding when you need emergency services? You can just dial 911 no matter where you are?

Alito, on burial insurance:

Suppose that you and I walked around downtown Washington at lunch hour and we found a couple of healthy young people and we stopped them and we said: You know what you’re doing? You are financing your burial services right now because eventually you’re going to die, and somebody is going to have to pay for it, and if you don’t have burial insurance and you haven’t saved money for it, you’re going to shift the cost to somebody else.

Isn’t that a very artificial way of talking about what somebody is doing?

And if that’s true, why isn’t it equally artificial to say that somebody who is doing absolutely nothing about health care is financing health care services.

Scalia, on cars:

Mr. Verrilli, you could say that about buying a car. If people don’t buy cars, the price that those who do buy cars pay will have to be higher. So, you could say in order to bring the price down, you’re hurting these other people by not buying a car.

And it’s safe to say that Justice Thomas will rule against Obamacare.

So, as usual, it all comes down to Justice Kennedy.

The most telling fact about Kennedy is that he had many questions for the government’s lawyers, and almost none for the states. And his questions were very skeptical about the scope of the mandate.

Here are Kennedy’s questions for the government:

JUSTICE KENNEDY: Can you create commerce in order to regulate it?

[...]

JUSTICE KENNEDY: Could you help — help me with this. Assume for the moment — you may disagree. Assume for the moment that this is unprecedented, this is a step beyond what our cases have allowed, the affirmative duty to act to go into commerce. If that is so, do you not have a heavy burden of justification?

I understand that we must presume laws are constitutional, but, even so, when you are changing the relation of the individual to the government in this, what we can stipulate is, I think, a unique way, do you not have a heavy burden of justification to show authorization under the Constitution?

[...]

JUSTICE KENNEDY: Well, then your question is whether or not there are any limits on the Commerce Clause. Can you identify for us some limits on the Commerce Clause?

[...]

JUSTICE KENNEDY: But why not? If Congress — if Congress says that the interstate commerce is affected, isn’t, according to your view, that the end of the analysis.

[...]

JUSTICE KENNEDY: I’m not sure which way it cuts, if the Congress has alternate means. Let’s assume that it could use the tax power to raise revenue and to just have a national health service, single payer. How does that factor into our analysis? In one sense, it can be argued that this is what the government is doing; it ought to be honest about the power that it’s using and use the correct power.

On the other hand, it means that since the Court can do it anyway — Congress can do it anyway, we give a certain amount of latitude. I’m not sure which the way the argument goes.

[...]

JUSTICE KENNEDY: But the reason, the reason this is concerning is because it requires the individual to do an affirmative act. In the law of torts, our tradition, our law has been that you don’t have the duty to rescue someone if that person is in danger. The blind man is walking in front of a car and you do not have a duty to stop him, absent some relation between you. And there is some severe moral criticisms of that rule, but that’s generally the rule.

And here the government is saying that the Federal Government has a duty to tell the individual citizen that it must act, and that is different from what we have in previous cases, and that changes the relationship of the Federal Government to the individual in a very fundamental way.

And here are Kennedy’s (much softer) questions for the states:

JUSTICE KENNEDY: Is the government’s argument this — and maybe I won’t state it accurately. It is true that the noninsured young adult is, in fact, an actuarial reality insofar as our allocation of health services, insofar as the way health insurance companies figure risks. That person who is sitting at home in his or her living room doing nothing is an actuarial reality that can and must be measured for health service purposes; is that their argument?

[...]

JUSTICE KENNEDY: But they are in the market in the sense that they are creating a risk that the market must account for.

And finally, this exchange between Kennedy and the lawyer for the National Federation of Independent Businesses:

MR. CARVIN: It is clear that the failure to buy health insurance doesn’t affect anyone. Defaulting on your payments to your health care provider does. Congress chose, for whatever reason, not to regulate the harmful activity of defaulting on your health care provider. They used the 20 percent or whoever among the uninsured as a leverage to regulate the 100 percent of the uninsured.

JUSTICE KENNEDY: I agree — I agree that that’s what’s happening here.

MR. CARVIN: Okay.

JUSTICE KENNEDY: And the government tells us that’s because the insurance market is unique. And in the next case, it’ll say the next market is unique. But I think it is true that if most questions in life are matters of degree, in the insurance and health care world, both markets — stipulate two markets — the young person who is uninsured is uniquely proximately very close to affecting the rates of insurance and the costs of providing medical care in a way that is not true in other industries.
That’s my concern in the case.

Kennedy clearly enjoys being the swing vote. And he’s making the point that he’s considering all sides of the issue. But, in the end, given the number and tenor of his questions, it’s obvious (to me at least) that he’s going to rule against the mandate.

37 Responses to Prediction: The Supreme Court will strike down Obamacare’s Individual Mandate

  1. MikeN on March 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    So why are you so sure Thomas will strike down Obamacare?

    And just asking lots of questions of one side and not the other doesn’t mean you are against them either. If you look through more oral arguments and the end result you will see this.

    • Malcolm Jacob on May 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      Because Thomas is the most conservative judge in the supreme court. he votes like 83% time for conservative arguments. and the reason there are no quotes from him is because he refuses to interrupt during a court case because he believes that people cannot argue their cases if they get interrupted. Also in his past 3 cases on the issue Thomas voted that the lawmaking powers of Congress under the commerce clause should not be as openly interpreted like in decisions made in the 1940’s and 50’s.

  2. Bizman on March 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Won’t matter if Mittster is the Republican nominee. Actually might hurt him.

  3. PoliPundit on March 27, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    So why are you so sure Thomas will strike down Obamacare?

    Would you care to wager $10,000 that he won’t?

  4. ATTILA on March 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Striking down the mandate alone would be like picking one small turd from a humungus cesspool.

  5. ATTILA on March 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Obammer might very well welcome the stripping of the mandate,
    as that might lessen pressure for congressional repeal.
    There is enough other garbage still in it to bugger us all
    anyway.Porked if we do, porked if we don’t.

  6. Jim,MtnViewCA,USA on March 27, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Off topic: Uncle Obama walks. Linked here-
    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/139733/
    “A judge today ordered the OUI (Operating Under the Influence) charge against President Obama’s uncle “continued without a finding for one year.”
    What does that mean? It means that a criminal immigrant with illegally-obtained documents who ignored a federal order to leave the country will get away with almost plowing into a police car while driving drunk.
    In the town were I live (and drive) every day.
    But, Obama, 67, must surrender his license for 45 days, effective today, the judge ruled.
    Oh, goody! The driver’s license he can’t legally have, he has to give it up….for 45 days. Now that’s what I call “throwin’ the book at him!””

  7. anonymous un-RINO on March 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Yeah, the individual mandate is just a portion of this budget wrecking, liberty stealing monstrosity, and removing the mandate might even make it an even bigger budget buster.

    They’d still need to remove some of the incentives for employers to drop health insurance, just to get started on fixing this abomination. Then drop the mandatory coverage for 26 year old adults under their parents coverage. And then Medicaid should be block granted back to the states, and Medicare should be dealt with as per the Ryan plan, with health savings accounts added for everybody. Those things are just for starters.

    If the SC throws out any of ObamaCare, then it should be defunded and changed as per the above in the budget this Summer, and we should have a government shutdown as necessary to get Obambi to sign that budget. Play it right, and with the proper approach, and we can end this ObamaCare nonsense even before the election.

  8. MikeN on March 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    No, I wouldn’t wager that, but you haven’t answered the question. Why do you think it’s safe to say that he will?

  9. ATTILA on March 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Why do you think it’s safe to say that he will?

    Because he has at least 2 grey cells to rub together.

  10. unclefred on March 27, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    The government has another problem. They crafted this so that the mandate was completely necessary for the funding of Obamacare. Up until now, before various lower courts, they argued that without the mandate the entire law would collapse. In essence they attempted to put those courts in an all or nothing position. If you toss the mandate you are effectively tossing the entire law. They did not “forget” to include a severability clause, they left it out in part to reenforce this leverage.

    Now of course as it appears that the mandate might get tossed, the government spin is that the law can be saved without it and, as far as I can tell, they will not argue before the SCOTUS that the mandate is necessary to the law’s survival.

    However the mandate is necessary to the law’s survival and the court knows this. They are also hearing the challenge by the states to the expansion of medicare, I suspect for similar reasons.

    As I understand it, and I am not a lawyer, the court can elect to sever the mandate from the rest of the law despite the lack of a severability clause, if in their judgment what’s left can function as intended without it. There are parts of the law that clearly cannot function without it. coverage for preexisting conditions for example, which they should also remove from the law if they toss the mandate, or they can simply toss the entire law.

    I doubt that the court wants to attempt to pick out the various parts of a 2100 page law that can’t stand without the mandate. So the court, if it acts as it should, faces an either or situation, just as the administration planned when the law was passed. Either toss the mandate and refuse to sever it finding the entire law unconstitutional, or allow it all to stand.

    This all falls to Kennedy. Constitutionally the correct choice is to find the entire bill unconstitutional and let the legislature start over and attempt to craft a healthcare reform bill that is reasonable. What will he do?

    There is one thing in favor of tossing it. When I was in college I studied the entire history of the SCOTUS. There is one interesting thing that has been true of the court since its inception. When there is a clear majority sentiment among the public, sooner or later the court finds a way to rule with public including reversing earlier rulings that proved deeply unpopular. Sometimes it takes decades but eventually it happens. This is also why some ruling are so twisted as the courts attempts to reverse itself without breaking precedent. In the case the law is already deeply unpopular and, while there are individual concepts in the law that have support, most opponents want to toss the entire law. The court can save itself, or a future court a great deal of pain by simply toss out the entire thing. Hopefully they will do exactly that

  11. ATTILA on March 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    . Hopefully they will do exactly that

    They will save the republic if they do, and if they do not~~~~~~WBF

  12. anonymous un-RINO on March 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    It’d be expedient if they threw out the entire thing, and started over. I’d bet that even the Obamabots want them to do exactly that.

    Several states have already passed legislation and referendums rejecting ObamaCare, so the court knows those cases will be coming through eventually. If the court leaves anything standing, they ensure their docket gets filled with those challenges.

    And then there’d be fresh challenges opened up, as the pruned ObamaCare gets decoded, and individuals and states figure out exactly how they’re getting screwed. The battle would go on for another 5 years minimum. Our economy really doesn’t need that extended ongoing uncertainty, among other reasons to dump the whole thing.

    I can understand that the court wants to say and do as little as possible, and leave the field to the legislative process, but in this case and absent the severability clause, and with public opinion where it’s at, the court has all the maneuvering room they need to dump this entire thing.

    Now it’s just a matter of whether they can pick up a few lefty judges to give the decision some additional heft. I can’t see Kagan knocking it down, as that’s exactly why she was put on the court, and didn’t recuse herself from this case. But the other 3 might be persuadable. I doubt the lefties would l leave the poor gal hanging on an 8-1 decision though, as that would clearly identify her as a mindless Obambi stooge, so the very best you could hope for would be 7-2.

  13. satted on March 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    I think this sums up the entire mess…

    JUSTICE KENNEDY: But the reason, the reason this is concerning is because it requires the individual to do an affirmative act. In the law of torts, our tradition, our law has been that you don’t have the duty to rescue someone if that person is in danger. The blind man is walking in front of a car and you do not have a duty to stop him, absent some relation between you. And there is some severe moral criticisms of that rule, but that’s generally the rule.

    And here the government is saying that the Federal Government has a duty to tell the individual citizen that it must act, and that is different from what we have in previous cases, and that changes the relationship of the Federal Government to the individual in a very fundamental way.

  14. MikeyW on March 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    - “They’d still need to remove some of the incentives for employers to drop health insurance, just to get started on fixing this abomination.” – Why should employers finance your health care? I thought you were all about freedom? Maybe not – you don’t mind being a slave to your employer. What’s wrong with untethering your health insurance to your job? And why should my tax dollars go to encouraging your employer to provide health insurance (which may not be any good, BTW) to you?

    – “Then drop the mandatory coverage for 26 year old adults under their parents coverage.” – Why? What is the problem with that?

    – “And then Medicaid should be block granted back to the states, and Medicare should be dealt with as per the Ryan plan, with health savings accounts added for everybody.” – Yes, then you end up like those two people in Arizona that were denied liver transplants and died because the state decided that it costs too much. Thought you hated death panels – maybe not. So according to your plan, whether you live or die depends on what state you live in. Wonderful. And don’t forget, Ryancare coupons don’t cover the cost of the healthcare that you’ll need – that’s how they plan on balancing the budget. You get to “shop around” for the most affordable health care that you can buy with your Ryancare coupons. So when you feel that heart attack coming on, you need to hunt thru the yellow pages to find the cheapest doctor before you die. Wonderful.

    This is better than ACA how?

  15. MikeyW on March 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    - “It’d be expedient if they threw out the entire thing, and started over. I’d bet that even the Obamabots want them to do exactly that.” – Sure – we’d like to get rid of the mandate and add a public option. But the republicans don’t want to fix the healthcare delivery system – they’ve already made that clear.

    – “Several states have already passed legislation and referendums rejecting ObamaCare, so the court knows those cases will be coming through eventually.” – After the benefits from ACA kick in, the constituents will realize what they would lose if it went away and they’ll start looking at replacing their legislators that want to kill it, and that will take care of the challenges. Republicans know this, that’s why they’re so desperate to kill ACA quickly – before the real benefits kick in. They saw this happen with SS and Medicare…

  16. MikeyW on March 27, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    - ” But the reason, the reason this is concerning is because it requires the individual to do an affirmative act. In the law of torts, our tradition, our law has been that you don’t have the duty to rescue someone if that person is in danger.” – He’s kind of wrong there. We already have laws on the books that require an affirmative act. If you waddle into the emergency room with a busted whatever, the law requires that they aid you, whether you can pay or not. They are required to “rescue” you.

  17. anonymous un-RINO on March 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    - “Why should employers finance your health care? I thought you were all about freedom?”

    I am all about freedom, troll. That’s why I don’t want you lefty nutters mandating me to buy what you want me to buy, and do what you want me to do. Me and my employer negotiate my health care benefits. You and Pelosi and Obambi aren’t involved, and that’s how I like it.

    What’s wrong with untethering your health insurance to your job?

    Nothing, troll, and perhaps we can do that, except it can’t come through the lefty bludgeon of ObamaCare, which did NOTHING about the true problem we have in this country… health care costs. In fact, it INCREASED those costs. .

    And why should my tax dollars go to encouraging your employer to provide health insurance (which may not be any good, BTW) to you?

    Um, troll, those are my and my employer’s tax dollars. They do not belong to you, much as you lefty nutters don’t understand that simple reality.

    - “Then drop the mandatory coverage for 26 year old adults under their parents coverage.” – Why? What is the problem with that?

    Um, because 26 year old adults are not dependents, troll? And the law and good public policy shouldn’t treat them as dependents, you know, as a good government policy, as opposed to a lefty nutter policy.

    “And then Medicaid should be block granted back to the states, and Medicare should be dealt with as per the Ryan plan, with health savings accounts added for everybody.” – Yes, then you end up like those two people in Arizona that were denied liver transplants and died because the state decided that it costs too much.

    We’d end up better than your Euro socialist buddies, who following like diseases have 5 year life expectancies far less than here, with the exact same diseases. You know, we keep what we got, and leave you socialist nutters to move to Europe, where you can die earlier like you want.

    Thought you hated death panels – maybe not.

    I’ll choose the coverage I want, troll. I don’t need you and Obambi and Pelosi doing it. Maybe I’ll choose the death panel, maybe I won’t.

    So according to your plan, whether you live or die depends on what state you live in.

    Perhaps, and I do have that choice, unless you and your commie comrades outlaw relocation.

    And don’t forget, Ryancare coupons don’t cover the cost of the healthcare that you’ll need – that’s how they plan on balancing the budget.

    They’ll cover as much health insurance as we want to collectively pay for, you know, as we try to balance our budget, and keep your boy Obambi from borrowing 43 cents of every dollar he spends, and bankrupting and destroying our country.

    You get to “shop around” for the most affordable health care that you can buy with your Ryancare coupons.

    Sounds good, eh? You buy the health insurance YOU want, and not what Pelosi wants. Even a dumb troll like you must see the benefit in that.

    So when you feel that heart attack coming on, you need to hunt thru the yellow pages to find the cheapest doctor before you die.

    No, troll, you buy the health insurance beforehand, and have your doctors already picked out. You know, like I do right now. I keep what I have, unlike Obambi’s lies to the contrary.

  18. anonymous un-RINO on March 27, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Sure – we’d like to get rid of the mandate and add a public option. But the republicans don’t want to fix the healthcare delivery system – they’ve already made that clear.

    And you lefty nutters have made it clear that you did NOTHING about the true problem with health care in this country… the skyrocketing costs. In fact, you’ve driven up the costs. Congratulations.

    After the benefits from ACA kick in, the constituents will realize what they would lose if it went away and they’ll start looking at replacing their legislators that want to kill it, and that will take care of the challenges. Republicans know this, that’s why they’re so desperate to kill ACA quickly – before the real benefits kick in. They saw this happen with SS and Medicare…

    Right. It’s those stupid people. They don’t know how wonderful ObamaCare is. They hate it 2 to 1, because they’re stupid people. It’s too bad they’re not smart like you lefty nutters, troll.

    I got news for you. This is the first welfare program that’s become LESS popular with time. And it wasn’t very popular to begin with.

    Everybody knows this is a budget busting disaster, and a theft of freedom and liberty. Except you lefty nutters, that is.

  19. anonymous un-RINO on March 27, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    - ” But the reason, the reason this is concerning is because it requires the individual to do an affirmative act. In the law of torts, our tradition, our law has been that you don’t have the duty to rescue someone if that person is in danger.” – He’s kind of wrong there. We already have laws on the books that require an affirmative act. If you waddle into the emergency room with a busted whatever, the law requires that they aid you, whether you can pay or not. They are required to “rescue” you.

    Note the word “individual” in that quote, troll. It’s kind of an important usage, so I’m not surprised that a lefty nutter would have missed it.

  20. ATTILA on March 27, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    They are required to “rescue” you.
    Which is why the law should be repealed

  21. MikeyW on March 27, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    - “That’s why I don’t want you lefty nutters mandating me to buy what you want me to buy, and do what you want me to do.” – Nobody’s mandating you what to buy. In fact, you don’t have to buy anything at all. Just pay the fine and go your merry way – until you get sick.

    – ” Me and my employer negotiate my health care benefits.” – Sure, if your employer wants to. That’s what it’s like to be a slave. All ACA does is set the floor for health insurance coverage.

    – “You and Pelosi and Obambi aren’t involved, and that’s how I like it.” – Yeah we are. You want Nancy to give your employer tax incentives, and you want me to pay for it. You’re another one of those wingnut free loaders.

    – “Nothing, troll, and perhaps we can do that, except it can’t come through the lefty bludgeon of ObamaCare” – Sure it does, thru the exchanges. One of the best things about it, is now your employer can focus on his core business instead of diverting resources and time to trying to subsidize your healthcare. If he wants to.

    – “Um, troll, those are my and my employer’s tax dollars.” – Who makes up the difference in tax revenue that your employer doesn’t have to pay so that he can subsidize your healthcare? Me.

    – “Um, because 26 year old adults are not dependents, troll?” – Tell that to Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin, and their kids with disabilities. They’ll be taking care of those kids for the rest of their lives. So will a lot of parents with kids with disabilities. You make the astoundingly arrogant assumption that eveyone has the same good fortunes as yourself. We don’t.

    – “We’d end up better than your Euro socialist buddies” – Who on average have better outcomes and higher life expectancies than we do – at half the price.

    – “They’ll cover as much health insurance as we want to collectively pay for” – Which is not much according to Ryan. But hey, he has a government plan, so no worries. You on the otherhand, are at the tender mercies of your employer…

    – “and keep your boy Obambi from borrowing 43 cents of every dollar he spends, and bankrupting and destroying our country.” – Paying for tax cuts for the rich, Medicare Part D, two wars, TARP, and Stimulus 1 – all things your Republican budies voted for and passed, including your new hero Ryan. Now all of a sudden, you’re worried about bankrupting the country.

    – “You buy the health insurance YOU want, and not what Pelosi wants. Even a dumb troll like you must see the benefit in that.” – No clown, you buy the insurance that you can afford, which won’t be enough. That’s what Ryancare is all about – which is why he can’t sell it to seniors – he has to promise them no changes… Dummies like you haven’t figured it out.

    – “No, troll, you buy the health insurance beforehand, and have your doctors already picked out.” – Not with Ryancare coupons you won’t – they won’t cover the cost. You can kiss a lifetime of savings and your house goodbye. Or you can use the republican Plan B – don’t get sick and die quickly.

  22. MikeyW on March 27, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    - “NOTHING about the true problem with health care in this country… the skyrocketing costs.” – Wrong chief, the big problem is 30M uninsured Americans, and that’s fixed by ACA.

    – ” In fact, you’ve driven up the costs. Congratulations.” ACA is not fully online yet, so how can you blame it for syrocketing costs? Those price increases were programmed in before ACA was even passed – just like they were every year.

    – “They hate it 2 to 1, because they’re stupid people.” – The same poll shows that they hate ACA, but they overwelmingly support the individual things that it does, for example:

    The law provides tax credits to small businesses that offer health insurance to their employees. 80% approval

    The law requires health plans to provide consumers with easy-to-understand information about benefits and coverage. 79% approval

    The law will provide financial help to low- and moderate-income Americans who don’t get insurance through their jobs to help them purchase coverage.”
    71% approval

    The law allows people to appeal to an independent reviewer if they disagree with their health plan’s decision. 71% approval

    The law will expand the existing Medicaid program to cover more low-income, uninsured adults. 70% approval

    The law will prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage because of a person’s medical history. 69% approval

    The law eliminates out-of-pocket costs for many preventive services, such as blood pressure or cholesterol screenings. 69% approval

    “The law requires insurance companies that spend too little money on health care services and too much on administrative costs and profits to give their customers a rebate. 57% approval

    The law will require employers with 50 or more employees to pay a fine if they don’t offer health insurance. 54% approval

    The law will increase the Medicare payroll tax on earnings for upper-income Americans. 53% approval

    The law will require insurance plans to offer a minimum package of health insurance benefits, to be defined by the government. 51% approval

    The law will require nearly all Americans to have health insurance by 2014 or else pay a fine. 32% approval

    The only thing they don’t like is the individual mandate. And a big whopping percentage of the folks that don’t like it, don’t like it because it doesn’t go far enough.

    – “I got news for you. This is the first welfare program that’s become LESS popular with time.” – You’re history sucks. Google SS, and see how well it was received. Plus this was the only program that kicked in two years after it passed.

  23. MikeyW on March 27, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    - “They are required to “rescue” you.” – If you’re talking about hospitals, they weren’t required to until your hero Reagan passed the law requireing them to.

  24. P. Tillman on March 27, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Wow, and let me guess, they’d also vote to halt the recount in Florida in 2000 right?

    Is there really any doubt how the very political Republican/Rightwing judges will vote on this, as long as they’re as convinced as you are that this could hurt Obama.

    You see, that’s how you people roll.

  25. MikeyW on March 27, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    - “Wow, and let me guess, they’d also vote to halt the recount in Florida in 2000 right?” – Yeah, that was some interesting decision making, too. Amazing how fast wingnuts will abandon states’ rights when it gets in the way of the agenda.

    And the hits just keep on coming – corporations are people, too.

    Did Clarence Thomas even bother to wake up for lunch, today? That’d be a neat new drinking game…

  26. Evan3457 on March 27, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    The Supreme Court’s decision in Bush/Gore was correct, legally and constitutionally, whether you accept it or not.

    Amazing how fast wingnuts will abandon states’ rights when it gets in the way of the agenda.

    Federal law does not permit a state to change any portion of the rules of a federal election while said election is going on. That’s what the Florida court did (re: changing the time for recounts to be done and over; it was supposed to be done by December 12th, and couldn’t possibly be), and that’s one reason the Supreme Court overturned them. The other was a vote of 7-2 that the Florida court had violated the 14th Amendment regarding equal treatment of all ballots within the state of Florida (in that the Florida court ordered only the ballots of 3 Democrat-controlled counties to be recounted). That vote included such right-wing stalwarts at David Souter and Steven Breyer. Souter and Breyer disagreed on the remedy, but not that the recount was unconstitutional as proposed.

    You can make suppositions and case aspersions until the cows come home, but that result is the correct one under federal law and the Constitution, even if motivated by politics. That’s all that matters.

  27. MikeyW on March 28, 2012 at 2:15 am

    - “The Supreme Court’s decision in Bush/Gore was correct, legally and constitutionally, whether you accept it or not.” – Of course it was. So was Dredd Scott.

    – “That’s what the Florida court did (re: changing the time for recounts to be done and over; it was supposed to be done by December 12th, and couldn’t possibly be), and that’s one reason the Supreme Court overturned them.” – Of course, the the primary reason that Florida couldn’t complete the count in time was because of the stay ordered by the Supreme Court itself. The reason for the stay: because the Court (well, the five conservative judges) felt it woud do irreputable harm to GWB if Florida continued the count and Gore managed to end up with more votes. That’s the really crooked part of the decision – the Supreme Court made sure that Florida wouldn’t be able to complete the count in time.

    – “The other was a vote of 7-2 that the Florida court had violated the 14th Amendment regarding equal treatment of all ballots within the state of Florida (in that the Florida court ordered only the ballots of 3 Democrat-controlled counties to be recounted). ” – Which is completely legal in accordance with Florida law. So with this decison, the Supreme Court just ordered Florida to change its election rules in the middle of an election – which Federal Election Law says Florida can’t do. That’s right, the Supreme Court just ruled that Florida Election Law (and almost all the other states) is unconstitutional. Which calls into question every election we’ve ever had. Which is why the Court says this ruling can’t be used as precedent. This was just a one time thing to make sure GWB gets to be president. That was all that mattered. Welcome to the Third World.

  28. [...] Prediction: The Supreme Court will strike down Obamacare's … [...]

  29. anonymous un-RINO on March 28, 2012 at 5:19 am

    - “That’s why I don’t want you lefty nutters mandating me to buy what you want me to buy, and do what you want me to do.” – Nobody’s mandating you what to buy.

    Are you on drugs, troll? Or are you just a bald faced liar?

    - ” Me and my employer negotiate my health care benefits.” – Sure, if your employer wants to. That’s what it’s like to be a slave.

    Yes, freedom is slavery, to a lefty nutter like you. And mandates are freedom. You’re a lefty kook.

    You want Nancy to give your employer tax incentives, and you want me to pay for it.

    Again, troll, you and Nan-Nan “give” me and my employer absolutely NOTHING. Our money belongs to us. It doesn’t belong to you, you twisted freak.

    One of the best things about it, is now your employer can focus on his core business instead of diverting resources and time to trying to subsidize your healthcare.

    Again, troll, neither me or my employer need you lefty nutters deciding what is “best” for us. Nobody subsidizes either of us. Our money is our money, not yours, you socialist nutter.

    - “Um, troll, those are my and my employer’s tax dollars.” – Who makes up the difference in tax revenue that your employer doesn’t have to pay so that he can subsidize your healthcare? Me.

    No, troll, your boy Obambi borrows it off the Chicom warlords, 43 cents of every dollar of his skyrocketing spending. Mine and my employer’s money belongs to us, not you, and we don’t need you to tell us what to do with it. If you don’t think Obambi has enough cash to spend, send him some of yours. Put your own money where your mouth is, and don’t try to put OUR money where your mouth is.

    - “Um, because 26 year old adults are not dependents, troll?” – Tell that to Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin, and their kids with disabilities. They’ll be taking care of those kids for the rest of their lives.

    And we already have social security benefits for those, and don’t need ObamaCare taking care of 26 year old adults as “dependents”, troll. Of course, that’s what you lefty nutters want. Dependents. On you lefty nutters.

    - “We’d end up better than your Euro socialist buddies” – Who on average have better outcomes and higher life expectancies than we do – at half the price.

    Wrong, troll. The 5 year life expectancies for like diseases are FAR worse in Europe than here. In the UK, they just die, their death panels let them die, and that’s your boy Obambi’s paradise. Move there, if you like that so much. But you’re right, our costs are skyrocketing here, and Obambi has done absolutely nothing to ease that, and has in fact exacerbated that problem. Congratulations, you dopes. You made it worse.

    - “They’ll cover as much health insurance as we want to collectively pay for” – Which is not much according to Ryan. But hey, he has a government plan, so no worries. You on the otherhand, are at the tender mercies of your employer…

    I’m at the tender mercies of whatever I choose for myself, like all of us should be. As mentioned, the Ryan plan will pay for whatever we can afford, as opposed to whatever sum you socialist nutters want to spend, which seems to be infinite.

    - “and keep your boy Obambi from borrowing 43 cents of every dollar he spends, and bankrupting and destroying our country.” – Paying for tax cuts for the rich, Medicare Part D, two wars, TARP, and Stimulus 1 – all things your Republican budies voted for and passed, including your new hero Ryan. Now all of a sudden, you’re worried about bankrupting the country.

    My, but you’re an ignorant hypocrite, troll. Your boy Obambi signed off on the Bush Tax Cuts in December 2010, so evidently he disagrees with you. And he invented ObamaCare, which DWARFS Part D. He quadrupled our troop counts in Afghanistan, and started a fresh new war in Libya unilaterally, so evidently he loves war spending, too. He loves TARP, and expanded it massively. And he invented a trillion dollar Porkulus. Sorry, troll, but you’re calling the kettle black. Now it’s time to stop you and Obambi from borrowing 43 cents of every dollar he spends, to pay for all that spending you and he want, and have voted for, on all those things you’re blaming on somebody else.

    - “You buy the health insurance YOU want, and not what Pelosi wants. Even a dumb troll like you must see the benefit in that.” – No clown, you buy the insurance that you can afford, which won’t be enough.

    We’ll decide what is and isn’t enough, troll. We don’t need you lefty nutters deciding for us.

    – “No, troll, you buy the health insurance beforehand, and have your doctors already picked out.” – Not with Ryancare coupons you won’t – they won’t cover the cost.

    They’ll cover what we can afford to spend, troll. That’s sorta how this works, if you’re not a lefty nutter. You don’t borrow 43 cents of every dollar you spend, and rising, like you nutters want. That leads us to Greece. You’re too dumb to understand that, but that doesn’t change anything. We’re headed for Greece status, if we keep doing what you and Obambi want.

  30. anonymous un-RINO on March 28, 2012 at 5:32 am

    - “NOTHING about the true problem with health care in this country… the skyrocketing costs.” – Wrong chief, the big problem is 30M uninsured Americans, and that’s fixed by ACA.

    It’s “fixed” by unconstitutional mandates, and $3T of fresh, unsustainable debt over the next 10 years, troll? Are you really this obtuse?

    - ” In fact, you’ve driven up the costs. Congratulations.” ACA is not fully online yet, so how can you blame it for syrocketing costs? Those price increases were programmed in before ACA was even passed – just like they were every year.

    That’s not what you lefty nutters said. You said the exact opposite. Congratulations though, because you made it worse. Our prime problem, and you made it worse. Congratulations. Seriously. Congratulations to you, troll. You’re stupid, and you made our problems worse. It’s a lefty bonanza.

    - “They hate it 2 to 1, because they’re stupid people.” – The same poll shows that they hate ACA, but they overwelmingly support the individual things that it does, for example:

    For example, they want it COMPLETELY ABOLISHED BY A FACTOR OF 2 TO 1, troll. Get it, you lefty nutter? Package the whole thing up, and they want it thrown into the garbage, as opposed to keeping it. That’s the only telling statistic in this monstrosity, and that’s why you lefty nutters got whacked in November 2010, at the local, state and federal levels. Congratulations on your ObamaCare success, troll, in the only poll that matters.

    - “I got news for you. This is the first welfare program that’s become LESS popular with time.” – You’re history sucks. Google SS, and see how well it was received.

    My history is just fine, troll. There were no massive demonstrations in the streets over any other welfare program in this nation’s history, and no historical electoral blowout in the following election as we saw in November 2010. ObamaCare sucks, was massively unpopular at the beginning, and is getting even more so.

  31. anonymous un-RINO on March 28, 2012 at 5:45 am

    I’m amused that the Left is still arguing about algore and Florida. ;-)

    Take a look at that nutter these days, by the way. And he couldn’t even take his home state of Tennessee, because they knew him best. If he had, he woulda won.

    And the moron was stupid enough to ask for a recount in 3 handpicked counties, rather than statewide. Nobody with a brain would have short circuited that recount, with the clock ticking. But algore doesn’t have a brain, as we’ve come to find out.

    And the moron went full on shrieking populist in that 2000 campaign. I mean, this moron abandoned anything Clintonian, which had just won 2 presidential elections, and went full on Pelosi, before Pelosi was cool. What a moron.

    He lost because he’s a moron. Bush is no prize, and even he beat this moron.

    • David Ward on June 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      If it was such a slam dunk that the recount in 2000 should have stopped, why was the vote 5-4. Believe it or not, the vast majority of SC decisions are 9-0 or 8-1. It is the hot button issues, that get the 5-4 partisan treatment, like Bush v. Gore. It will be a disaster, either way the Obamacare decision goes, for the country if the vote is 5-4 because it will split the country even further.

      You say you are amused about the Left “still arguing about Al Gore and Florida.” Well, understand that could be you in 2020, if Obamacare is upheld, and the vote is 5-4, but the justices also state that in the ruling that this decision is for this law, and only this law. It is not to be used as precedence for any other case, like they said in Bush v. Gore.

      Obama/Romney care is a conservative concept, proposed by the conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation, and devised to allow individuals to be responsible for themselves. It was widely supported by Republicans (Dole, Newt, etc.) in 1993 and 1994. The demonization of the concept since 2009, says more about the partisan politics that exists in congress, than it does about the bill itself.

  32. MikeN on March 28, 2012 at 7:27 am

    >If you waddle into the emergency room with a busted whatever, the law requires that they aid you, whether you can pay or not. They are required to “rescue” you.

    That’s hospitals that have to do that. One way that corporations are different from people. And here the guy has already walked in the door. They are not required to rove around looking for sick people.

  33. MikeN on March 28, 2012 at 7:32 am

    >However the mandate is necessary to the law’s survival

    No, it’s not. In fact, the Admin wouldn’t mind if the court tosses just that, though they will pretend otherwise. Shutting down insurance companies is a goal. If people lose insurance coverage that increases the pressure for more people to look for ore government to help them. I suspect its what Obama wanted and wants.

  34. MikeN on March 28, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Obama’s proposed budget INCREASES the deficit for 2022 over the current business as usual projected deficit. Not only is the government borrowing lots of money, Obama’s own proposals make things even worse. He can’t blame that on Bush.

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