Thursday, June 28, 2012

Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare

In particular, they recognized that the individual mandate is not constitutional under the commerce clause (what Obama's lawyers argued), but it is constitutional under Congress' authority to tax (what Obama's lawyers denied). I can't deny the validity of that formulation.

Most Americans are upset about the individual mandate.  I will be curious to see if Republicans are smart enough to use this in the election cycle.  As Chief Justice Roberts' decision points out:

Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments.  Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them.  It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.

6 comments:

I Callahan said...

Where I'm confused is here: is the word "tax" (or a synonym) anywhere in the text of the law? If not, the Roberts and the liberal wing made up law out of thin air.

Clayton said...

An unfortunate combination of Democrats lying about it being a tax, and Roberts apparently unwilling to split hairs on this.

Minicapt said...

I anticipate a number of other traps that the Chief Justice has placed in his opinion.

Cheers

hga said...

It passes the duck test since it's collected by the IRS....

hga said...

Or maybe not; from Michael Graetz at Columbia:


Interestingly, the four dissenters did not claim that imposing such a tax on the failure to purchase health insurance would be unconstitutional. Instead they relied on the constitutional significance of Congress calling the fee a penalty, not a tax. Justice Roberts insisted that this Congressional label was not relevant in assessing the provision’s constitutionality. In a twist, however, Justice Roberts held that the congressional label was determinative in deciding whether the Anti-Injunction Act—a statute which bars lawsuits challenging taxes before the time for their collection—applied, a holding with which the four dissenters agreed. So, the Court decided that even though the provision is a tax for interpreting the Constitution, it is not a tax for interpreting the Anti-Injunction statute. Around Congress, it has often been said about taxes that “if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck.” Today, poultry just became far easier to identify than a “tax.”


HT the Instpundit.

Minicapt said...

I think that when applying the Anti- Injunction Act, retroactivity is not permitted.

Cheers