1. THIS IS NOT THE END. IT IS NOT EVEN THE BEGINNING OF THE END. BUT IT IS THE END OF THE BEGINNING. Sir Winston Churchill.
In his remarks after the decision was announced, the President said
Earlier today, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act . . .. In doing so, they’ve reaffirmed a fundamental principle that here in America — in the wealthiest nation on Earth – no illness or accident should lead to any family’s financial ruin.That is nonsense and this former adjunct law professor knows that. The Court made no such social findings, nor is it constitutionally able to do so.
Today, the Supreme Court also upheld the principle that people who can afford health insurance should take the responsibility to buy health insurance.
The "principles" enunciated by the President are hardly principles--they are merely doctrines of the left wing of the American political spectrum. Rather than affirming a so-called "principle that people who can afford health insurance should take the responsibility to buy health insurance," the Court merely said that the Congress, under its Constitutional power to tax, can force people to buy something that they do not want to buy. And I can assure you that that theory will be the subject of continued litigation coming from both sides of the political spectrum.
For example, I can envision an attempt by the environmental lobby to get Congress to require people to buy "environmentally friendly" cars, and to penalize those who choose not to do so--by way of a similar "mandate," which we now joins"contribution" and "investment" in the lexicon of liberal descriptors for "tax."
All the Court did was to interpret a statute and determine whether the Congress was acting within its constitutionally enumerated powers.
2. IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHOSE OX IS BEING GORED
In the words of my 15 year old, "If everyone would just do what I want, things would be better."
For weeks, Lyin' Harry Reid and Whinin' Nancy Pelosi, and others of their ilk, have assured us that a 5-4 decision would mean that the Supreme Court was no longer the impartial arbiter of the law, and that, if it rendered a split decision, the majority opinion ought have no moral authority. Now, they are praising the Court for its 5-4 decision and suggesting that the ACA is now a done deal.
The President said
The highest Court in the land has now spoken. We will continue to implement this law. And we’ll work together to improve on it where we can. But what we won’t do — what the country can’t afford to do — is refight (sic) the political battles of two years ago, or go back to the way things were.You can bet that if the decision had gone the other way, there would have been no talk of ending the "political battles."
With today’s announcement, it’s time for us to move forward — to implement and, where necessary, improve on this law.
At least the President admits that the law is not set in concrete. There are many Americans who think that the best "improvement" to the ACA would be its total repeal, with discreet statutes enacted to accomplish those elements of the ACA that are popular with the electorate.
3. THE SUPREME COURT WORKED THE WAY IT IS SUPPOSED TO
It is fairly clear to me that when the justices went into conference, there were four (Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan) who wanted to find the law constitutional under the commerce clause. Justice Ginsburg said so.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg heralded the court’s majority opinion that left the bulk of President Barack Obama’s health care law in place. . . [but] decried as a "stunning setback" the votes of five justices that the individual mandate violates the Commerce Clause.. . . Ginsburg warned that the dismissal of the individual mandate as unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause “invites assaults on Congress” when it writes future laws.It is also fairly clear that there were four (Kennedy, Thomas, Scalia, and Alito) who took Congress at its word that it was not enacting a tax act and would--quite correctly-- find the ACA to be unconstitutional in its entirety.
And then there was the Chief.He walked into the conference facing one group that wanted to judicially re-write the Constitution and another that was unwilling to adhere to the settled principle that an act of Congress signed into law enjoys a presumption of constitutionality. Thus, by correctly identifying the ACA as a tax--no matter to what political semantics the President and the Democrat leadership in Congress resort to save their hides in November--he was able to block the liberal four from doing what they and those of their ilk have been doing for well nigh onto a century, while holding firm to genuine principle.
Ginsberg, et al., were then faced with a real dilemna. They could settle for a plurality opinion in which they found the ACA constitutional under the commerce clause and carry the day only if the Chief then concurred in part, dissented in part and concurred in the result, which would have politically gutted the ACA, or they could join with the Chief gaining a 5-4 majority, but giving him the right to write the majority opinion. I'm also betting that they did not write separate opinions because it would dilute the force of the opinion and, perhaps, because they knew that to do so might push the Chief over the top.
At any rate, the Court worked the way it is supposed to.
4. THE PRESIDENT, LYIN' HARRY AND WHININ' NANCY LOSE POLITICALLY
I was surprised at how quickly, the Democrats rushed to say that the Supreme Court was wrong! Pelosi, a career legislator, dismissed the Court's ruling that the ACA was constitutional only because the mandate was a tax by saying "“Call it what you will, it is a step forward for America’s families and you know what? Take yes for an answer,” Pelosi told reporters. “Technical terms, that’s for us here,” Pelosi said. “What it means for the American people is what it does to (sic) them.” Probably a slip of the tongue, but she has it right--it raises peoples taxes, despite what the President, Reid, and Pelosi said. As Nancy also said, "We have to pass it to see what was in it." They have, and the highest Court in the land says it includes a huge tax.
5. THE CAMPAIGN JUST GOT EVEN MORE INTERESTING
Polls show that, even after nearly four years of "education" by the President and his surrogates, a majority of Americans do not like the ACA. They like parts of it, but those stubborn Americans do not like the liberal elites telling them what they need to buy "for their own good." And, as we celebrate next Wednesday, the elites ought remember that Americans like taxes even less than that!