Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Obligatory SCOTUS-Obamacare Descision Post

Unlike many bloggers, I won't claim enough legal knowledge to pretend to know whether the 4-1-4 decision of the Supreme Court which narrowly upheld Obama care by declaring it a permissible tax was correctly decided or not.  I don't like Obamacare, and I think it's bad policy.  That is enough to oppose it, but not to judge its constitutionality.

For intelligent commentary on this I suggest you visit Instapundit, Althouse, Patterico, the Volokh Conspiracy, to name a few.  Go to the sites and start scrolling down.

Actually, I take that first comment back; I'm pretty sure it wasn't correctly decided, since there really was no clear consensus, or even two clear opposing views from the court; somebody has to be wrong.

From my own point of view, I would have preferred a ruling that clearly killed Obamacare on the grounds that the mandate was an impermissible aggression against freedom of choice, and that the commerce clause could not be extended to regulating an economic inactivity, which is what the administration and liberals argued. Justice Roberts finding (along with 4 conservatives) that the Commerce Clause could not cover a lack of commerce, seems to be an important step in protecting us from the expansion of government through the Commerce Clause, but is it a clear enough precedent to survive the shift of a single Supreme Court justice?  I have my doubts.

His further decision (and essentially his alone) that the Obamacare mandate is an acceptable use of the taxing power of Congress (apparently taxing an economic inactivity is more legal than regulating it?) has the feeling of a contrivance. 

I would like to believe the Justice Roberts seriously believes this proposition, and that he is not presenting the argument as a convenience to get him to the point where Obamacare was upheld, but the Commerce Clause extension was denied, as many on the right have argued.  If he is that disingenuous, he is not fit to hold office.

As for theories, by many on both the right and left that having Obamacare legitimated, but declared to be tax will ultimately hurt Obama and the democrats in the 2012 election?  I'd like to believe it, but I don't have that much faith in the intelligence or predictability of my fellow man.

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