The Liberal Legal Bubble

Liberals can’t even imagine the opposition’s arguments to ObamaCare's individual mandate.

How could members of the Supreme Court possibly seriously consider the argument that ObamaCare’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance is unprecedented and unconstitutional? The quality of the arguments? The presence of a genuine legal debate? No, if you ask the law’s liberal cheerleaders, there can only be one answer: pure partisan politics.

Since challenges to ObamaCare first took off, liberals have been laying the groundwork for a stepped-up public campaign against the Supreme Court should any part of the law be struck down. If the Court decides against the health care overhaul, it’s clear that President Barack Obama and his defenders will make the Court a significant issue in the 2012 presidential campaign. Are liberals right to pin this week's developments on rank partisanship? In one sense there are. But the partisanship that’s at fault here is their own.

From the beginning, ObamaCare’s backers presumed that the nation’s legal institutions would be on their side—and wouldn’t require much effort to convince. Going into this week’s Supreme Court arguments over the fate of the 2010 health care overhaul, liberal analysts were supremely confident. Since the law’s passage, they’d been predicting that the law would pass constitutional muster with ease. In February 2011, Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe reassured readers of The New York Times that even conservative justices would not buy the challengers’ arguments, insisting upon the “clear case for the law’s constitutionality.” Andrew Koppelman, writing in The Yale Law Journal Online, declared the mandate’s constitutionality “obvious.”

Liberal analysts maintained their enthusiasm even after multiple losses in the lower courts. The case against the mandate is “analytically so weak that it dissolves on close inspection. There’s just no there there,” wrote former New York Times legal correspondent Linda Greenhouse a few days before the arguments began. Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick seconded Greenhouse and argued that the health law’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance “is a completely valid exercise of Congress’ Commerce Clause Power.” Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum suggested that the pro-ObamaCare side had a “slam dunk legal case.” 

But after three days of Supreme Court back and forth in which many of the justices seemed willing to entertain and perhaps even accept the basic premise of the argument against the mandate—and possibly the rest of the law as well—liberals seemed much less confident.

After this week’s arguments concluded, Jeffrey Toobin, a legal analyst for CNN and The New Yorker who had predicted that the law would easily secure Supreme Court approval, declared that “the last three days were a disaster for the Obama administration.” Some were downright distraught: Lithwick warned that Supreme Court’s skepticism that Congress might not be able to compel individuals to purchase a private product constituted a “dark vision of freedom.” An even bigger surprise was that Solicitor General Donal Verrilli, who argued the case in front of the Supreme Court, seemed unprepared for the tough questioning from the justices.

What can explain liberals’ widespread failure to anticipate the Court’s wariness of the mandate? Research conducted by University of Virginia psychologist Jonathan Haidt suggests one possible answer: Liberals just aren’t as good as conservatives and libertarians at understanding how their opponents think. Haidt helped conduct research that asked respondents to fill out questionnaires about political narratives—first responding based on their own beliefs, but then responding as if trying to mimic the beliefs of their political opponents. “The results,” he writes in the May issue of Reason, “were clear and consistent.” Moderates and conservatives were the most able to think like their liberal political opponents. “Liberals,” he reports, “were the least accurate, especially those who describe themselves as ‘very liberal.’”

Liberals, on the other hand, have a different theory. The Court is just a bunch of partisan hacks who’ve bought into the most extreme ideas of the Republican base. Lithwick has argued that despite the law’s self-evident constitutionality, the decision has “everything to do with optics, politics, and public opinion.” Harvard law professor and former Solicitor General Charles Fried, who signed an amicus brief arguing in favor of the law, huffed that “the whole thing is just a canard that’s been invented by the tea party and [anti-mandate legal architect] Randy Barnetts of the world, and I was astonished to hear it coming out of the mouths of the people on that bench.” 

The liberal position on the Court seems to be that as long as it accepts their arguments, it's an independent legal arbiter. But whenever it doesn't, it's a partisan political enforcer. The New Republic's Jonathan Cohn makes this explicit, arguing that it isn't just the health law that's on trial, but "the legitimacy of the Supreme Court."

So what now? To quote Lithwick: Optics, politics, and public opinion. Neera Tanden, a former administration health adviser and the president of the influential liberal organization the Center for American Progress, previewed the broader liberal response when she told The New York Times this week that “If this court overturns the individual mandate, it will galvanize Democrats to use the courts as a campaign issue….The idea that we would have gone through Bush v. Gore, Citizens United and now this.”

Liberals never really took the legal arguments against ObamaCare seriously. But it turns out they are deeply concerned about the surrounding politics. 

Peter Suderman is a senior editor at Reason magazine.

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  • Tim||

    No longer useful idiots?

  • FundiLibertards ignore SCIENCE||

    We find animals doing things that we,
    In our arrogance,
    Used to think was "just human"

    Symphony of Science - 'The Unbroken Thread' (ft. Attenborough, Goodall, Sagan)
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOLAGYmUQV0

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    Cracker chief: Go away, white devil. You advocate genocide like the rest of your subspecies of human.

    God, if only there were never such a thing as white people.....

  • Fuck you, racist. ||

  • ||

    Well, if there were no white people, then you would still be pissing in your drinking water.

    Mmmkay?

  • JohnD||

    Yeah you fool. There would be no electricity, no oil wells, no technology. Go look at Africa to see what your world would look like.

  • ||

    ...there'd be nobody for you to leach off of, For Farm...

  • ||

    Hmmm, sounds like "for Farm...' is an undercover libby troll trying to instigate.

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    Hey, I'm just trying to point out that Jason Godesky is a genocidal white person like those indian-killers he rants about.

  • Sam Grove||

    You have a facility for linking,
    perhaps not so much for thinking.

  • AuH20||

    http://gawker.com/5897681/jon-.....iple-fight

    Yeah, Gawker is already on this. Liberals care about "reality" of healthcare in the US and how best to achieve getting sick people help. The evil and mean conservative wing just cares about stupid things like principle.

    Also, Clarence Thomas needs to recuse himself because of his wife's political activies. Kagan can stay, despite being solicitor general when it was being crafted and passed.

    Basically, the ends justify the means. Until President Santorum tries to repeal abortion of course.

    Honestly, I'm starting to think that the essential problem of the progressives is that we don't have a European parliamentary Westminister system.

  • Almanian||

    the ends justify the means

    ^^This^^ + Commerce Clause = Ironclad Arguments

    It's really that simple for the lefties. Fuck 'em with Pelosi's dick.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Some foreigners at work were talking about case and were discussing the merits of the legislation. I had to explain to them that that wasn't the issue, and should be completely irrelevant to the decision. It seems to me that people from other countries are really not used to a federal system at all.

  • ||

    Keep that in mind when you consider our open southern border.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    These guys were Indians and a Canadian.

  • Shagi Dogg||

    "So, two Indians and a Canadian are discussing Obamacare ...."

  • Auric Demonocles||

    "And so I saids to him, it doesn't matter to us, we've got Romneycare!"

  • ||

    Um, Canada is a federal state. A loose federal state, but a federal one nonetheless.

    Canadians gave up their rights on health back in the 1950s and 1960s so it's not surprising the Hoser you were speaking to struck you as if he just ate raw caribou.

  • JuiceyTron||

    Canadians love their healthcare.

  • ||

    Until they receive it, if they receive it. They really love the death panel decisions from the bureaucrats---die baby die!!

  • JT||

    India's like the most federal country in the world.

  • Juice||

    Mexico is a federal republic. They don't practice all that much federalism, but hey how much does the USA? Well, more than Mexico, but, well, whatever.

  • Federalism is Salvation||

    stupid Fibertard told me so.

    LOL

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    As opposed to the great primitivist utopia, which is salvation because stupid genocidal anarchist who can't get over being white told me so.

    LOL

  • ||

    You need some grammar and spelling lessons, Obamtard.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Keep that in mind when you consider our open southern border."

    Mexico has a a federal system, you git!

  • ||

    And a culture with much regard for the history and principles of such as Adams and Hamilton correct?
    Simon Bolivar perhaps.

    Speaking of gits, do you shave?

  • AuH20||

    The Economist's Democracy in America blog has been unable to grasp this fact, despite the fact that most of their writers are American. It must be the limey rubbing off on them.

    It also doesn't help that most people don't get the difference between states mandating auto insurance and the Feds health. Seriously, Lopez v. Virginia needs to be taught in all civics classes. General police power, bitches!

  • Badger||

    It also doesn't help that most people don't get the difference between states mandating auto insurance and the Feds health.

    Thanx public education!

  • havad gradate||

    thaks pubik edzucashun!!!!!!!

  • Amakudari||

    Well, I don't consider that the important distinction. Yes, we have a federal system, but there's more to it:

    The ability to cover damage caused to others (remembering that this is generally liability not personal coverage) by your driving is a precondition of driving. This is the kind of thing any even half-baked libertarian system of roads would also enforce.

  • Joe R.||

    The auto insurance mandate is being required by the owner of the road. I shudder to think what this means about a health insurance mandate.

  • ||

    Now that's a scary thought.

  • ||

    It seems to me that people from other countries are really not used to a federal system at all.

    Most countries overtly ignore their own constitutions (or don't have one at all)...you should not be surprised if they don't understand why we only ignore our own 90% of the time rather then 100% of the time.

  • Pelosi's Dick||

    Fuck 'em with Pelosi's dick.

    I have a name, you know. It's "Senator Reid."

  • Nancy Pelosi||

    OK, that was funny!

  • Mr. Pelosi||

    I sure don't have a dick...

  • Nancy Pelosi||

    Are you serious? Are you serious?

  • ||

    Just don't use mine on her.

  • ||

    I certainly do. My mistress likes it. She plays Red Rocket with me all the time.

    She's ugly, but hey...a hole's a hole!

  • ||

    Everything was fine until our power grid was shut off by Pelosi here.

  • Waterboy||

    needledick! needledick! needledick!!!

  • ||

    "the ends justify the means + Commerce Clause = Ironclad Arguments"

    I'm afraid it's worse than that, they don't even require the ends. It's more like "the intention justifies the means." As long as they are claiming to help the poor and the sick, the realities of their policies do not matter.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Yeah, the couple of places I saw arguing that Thomas needed to recuse but Kagan didn't blew my mind.

  • Juice||

    Well, if I haven't been lied to, Kagan is required by law to recuse.

  • mgd||

    You haven't been. 28 USC Part I, Chapter 21, Sec. 455
    (b) [Any judge, justice, or magistrate judge of the United States] shall also disqualify himself in the following circumstances:
    (2) Where he has served in governmental employment and in such capacity participated as counsel, adviser or material witness concerning the proceeding or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy;

    Pretty much exactly what Kagan was doing in the OSG.

  • mattrue||

    Nope, Juice was lied to: "Where he has served" Duh!

    No wonder why Obama keeps appointing women!

  • ||

    Can we stop calling them liberals? A "true" liberal has the ability to imagine his opposition’s arguments to what he believes in. We need to refer to them as progressives, socialists, statists, etc., but "liberal" no longer applies.

  • Matt||

    If I'm around other libertarians I will always refer to libertarians as "liberals". I don't do it around anyone else because they wouldn't know what the hell I was talking about, but when I'm in decent company I'll be damned if they co-opt that term.

  • Rokk Krin||

    I kinda like lefturds myself.

  • ||

    Very creative. Anything but liberal.

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    The problem with progressives is that they can't accept the notion that theirs is a political ideology competing in the marketplace of ideas: To do so would be to trivialize the Great Progressive Utopia.

  • ||

    "The problem with progressives is that they can't accept the notion that theirs is a political ideology competing in the marketplace of ideas."

    That's because they're opposed to the entire concept of "competing in the marketplace." Only subhuman troglodytes compete.

    Their argument on ObamaCare was always limited to "Of course, it's Constitutional." Their theory was that if they just showed up at Court, they'd win a trophy.

  • For Farm, for City, for State||

    Well, yeah. If it builds the Great Progressive Utopia, then why should a little thing like the Constitution stand in the way of such awesomeness?

  • ||

    It's stunning how emotionally and personally TEAM BLUE has taken this whole Obamacare thing. This is like a playoff game for them. If they lose, they're going to do the intellectual equivalent of rioting and burning cars.

  • Almanian||

    Those of a certain age may remember Mark Aguirre (who later played for the Pistons) clutching the b-ball and crying when Marquette lost in the NCAA tourney one year. I will never forget that look - "that dude is RUINED."

    That's what I picture the TEAM BLUEballs looking like if this goes down.

  • Blue Demon||

    Mark Aguirre went to DePaul not Marquette.

  • Almanian||

    Yep - my bad

  • ||

    That was the infamous Skip "Money" Dillard game. Aguirre and Terry Cummings were both on that team, considered the best in the country.

    St. Joe's gave them problems, but with 13 seconds left DePaul was up one and Skip "Money" Dillard at the line for the 1-and-1. With no 3-pointer then, two made free throws essentially wins the game.

    Skip was called "Money" because when it came to free throws he was "money in the bank."

    Skip missed the front end, and St. Joe's went down and scored as the clock was expiring to win the game. Aguirre supposedly left the stadium directly without going back to the locker room.

    While Aguirre and Cummings both went on to make a bunch of money in the NBA, Dillard went on to robbing gas stations and getting a 10 year prison sentence for his troubles. Couldn't find what happened to him after.

  • ||

    They take everything personally and emotionally. They are idiots and purposefully ignorant of the Constitution, that is why they are so surprised.

  • ||

    ^^THIS^^

  • ||

    They dislike the Constitution and consider it outmoded. Mark Steyn quoted Buzzie Ginsberg admitting this to the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo last month. “I would not look to the United States Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012,” she advised them. Instead, she recommended the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the European Convention on Human Rights.

  • JuiceyTron||

    It is outdated, unless your a white dude.

  • Mike M.||

    This is the reason why it was such a mistake to give judges a lifetime appointment. Ginsburg took an oath to defend a constitution that she has now openly admitted she doesn't even believe in. Think about it.

  • josh||

    you just demonstrated another reason why liberals make the leap so casually between the mandate and it's application to commerce.

    ginsburg didn't say she didn't believe in our constitution anymore. she said she wouldn't start there today. there's a real and clear difference between those two points.

    sometimes people make leaps without even recognizing it.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Are you calling the Democrats Vancouverites?

  • ||

    That's exactly what I was calling them.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I'm trying to figure out who should be insulted.

  • Ska||

    Hockey fans?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    So you're saying the Vancouverites...

  • Ska||

    Yeah, I've been smoking rock all afternoon. Sorry about that.

  • ||

    Your mom?

  • ||

    at least its only every 10 to 15 years for the Vancouver rioters.

  • ||

    19 for Montreal. Don't forget us!

    Hockey is serious shit up here.

    Whatever happened to DePaul anyway?

  • Savard||

    Yesterday was a small step in the right direction. We have Dr. Mulder, so we don't care about this health care shit. Now all we need is a GM who is as good as our doctor.

  • ||

    Dr. Mulder is the best thing in this organization. To think they had Kirk Muller too and let him walk!

    Honestly, the Habs have become such a joke they serve as mere entertainment for me - and not for the hockey.

    I keep hearing the names Patrick Roy and Pierre McGuire, and while I don't care too much for either, that would be an awesome duo if anything to keep Montreal a soap opera.

    Could you imagine those two egos on one team? Get the popcorn and kick back...

  • Savard||

    If Welch and the Jacket can write a book and tour together, those guys might pull it off. Even if they don't it would be so much more lively than Gauthier and the Count were.

  • ||

    Yes, they were very dynamic bunch.

    There's a possiblity the team goes from a trio who would have been perfect in any boring, silent film in Jacques Martin, Gauthier and Gainey to two big talkies in Roy and McGuire. Insert Starsky and Hutch car scene here.

    The Trio would have been perfectly cast in a scene where they mark witches for death.

  • ||

    STFU

    Go Wings!

  • ||

    Is that what they're teaching Harvard these days?

    Yeah, the Wings are probably the best organization in pro sports for nearly 20 years now.

  • DK||

    If they lose, they're going to do the intellectual equivalent of rioting and burning cars.

    Or the Spike Lee equivalent and tweet some Justices' addresses.

  • Juice||

    Reminds me of Souter's house after the Kelo case.

  • ||

    "the intellectual equivalent of rioting and burning cars."

    Literally, too, if the Occuturds are any indication.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    That is why it is not going to be good for them politically no matter what they tell themselves. If they lose, they are going to wake up some morning and June and realize that they had a once in a lifetime 60 vote majority in the Senate and used it to pass an unconstitutional national health care law. The law they had been dreaming of for 70 years. The recriminations demoralization is going to be epic.

    I think it is a bit of wishful thinking to believe that they will be energized to go to polls in November under those circumstances.

  • AuH20||

    There will be a lot of ire directed at the Court, but if you read places like Gawker, the left lost this because "we didn't/don't fight hard enough against the evil Republicans" and "we should have begun with single payer and compromised to a public option". They ignore the fact that many Democrats wouldn't have supported single payer, for whatever reason. I suppose any Democrat that would have opposed single payer isn't a REAL Democrat.

  • Juice||

    Do they not remember 1993?

  • juris imprudent||

    Ezra Klein: that's like ancient history. I mean jeeze, I wasn't even in middle school then.

  • Robert S||

    Doubleplus good.

  • ||

    The hilarious thing is that it isn't even the law they've been dreaming of! It's a piece of shit legislation written by special interest lobbyists that does nothing to create the single-payer-system wet dream they've always wanted.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    That's the stupidest thing about all this Jacobin hand-wringing. Logically speaking, they should be SCREAMING for this thing to get killed, because it represents very little of what they actually wanted, which is "cost-shifted healthcare for all."

    But because Obama signed the fucking thing, they're circling the wagons around it. It's amazing how stunted a partisan mind can be.

  • ||

    Except that the standard procedure when government intervention fails is... more government intervention. So when Obamacare forces higher insurance premiums and otherwise fails, well, the only logical solution is single-payer, right?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    True--after all, they've never actually explained why they were completely wrong about the costs of Medicare. Why would they start with Obamacare?

  • ||

    In fact, I've recently seen "Medicare for all" proposed as the lefty "solution" to the Court striking down Obamacare. So that the country can go bankrupt even faster, I guess....

  • Alan||

    Yes. The lefties traditionally tried to at least appear to be calm, collected and reasonable in the past, but in the last few years they've really been losing it. They can't even keep up appearances any more. It certainly casts doubts on Haidt's assertion that "liberals" are less group-oriented than conservatives. One of the problems with self-reporting on research - "liberals" believe themselves to be more tolerant of the "other" than conservatives - but that certainly doesn't make it so.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I'm not convinced that it will be a solely intellectual equivalent. You can bet that there will be liberal intellectuals who outright encourage rioting in the streets because the court had the gaul to steal their health care.

  • ||

    Hasnt that piven bitch already called for such? I think you are more right than you may know. The emotions werent as high then as they will be when this is struck down, so I am guessing the true liberals will heed the call. The fun part is going to be when they figure out just how much of a minority they actually are.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Yeah, but you can count on her sticking to the faculty lounge when the shit flies.

  • Robert S||

    Or they realize we're the ones with all the guns.

  • ||

    They will encourage it, but being physical cowards, they will not actively participate. Afterwards, they will all agree that they "understand" the concerns of the protestors and promise to do something about it.

  • cynical||

    I think conservatives should make a promise: for every business Occutards burn down, we'll burn down one non-STEM university building, and see who runs out first.

  • Vercingetorix||

    Leave the Gauls out of it.

  • Len Bias||

    "If they lose, they're going to do the intellectual equivalent of rioting and burning cars."

    Agreed, except for the "intellectual equivalent" part.

  • ||

    Are you sure it will the the intellectual equivalent and not the literal equivalent? I am not so convinced.

  • Rokk Krin||

    Yep...just see whats going on with the shooting in florida.

  • ||

    Can't wait to see the Haidt piece in May.

    Bryan Caplan addressed this topic awhile back (that the left is less capable of articulating its opponents' arguments), calling it the Ideological Turing Test.

  • Peter Suderman||

    TomD,

    The May issue is actually on newsstands now. If you subscribe -- subscribe! -- you can get every issue right when newsstands do.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Or you could check out his paper without waiting for his *Reason* summary:

    http://bit.ly/GI8BKM

  • Alan||

    Thanks for the link. Haidt is doing excellent work. The results match what I have observed.

  • Almanian||

    Haidt speech!

  • CptNerd||

    You win 1 (one) Internet. Please contact ICANN to claim your prize.

  • strat||

    I'd ask for the .reason TLD.

  • Raven Nation||

    The same thing happens in academia. Although there it is magnified because people who are truly brilliant when it comes to their research specialties pretty much give themselves a lobotomy when it comes to current politics.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The same thing happens in academia. Although there it is magnified because people who are truly brilliant when it comes to their research specialties pretty much give themselves a lobotomy when it comes to current politics everything outside of their research specialties.

    fify

  • Amakudari||

    Something else I've observed among academics is that they're remarkably capable of conceding the "right" things. Whereas my, uh, let's say less book-smart friends will harbor some pretty ridiculous views and happily voice them, many of the more educated people I know are loathe to disagree with perceived consensus.

    The thing about a lot of science is that it's acceptable to disagree. Theoretical physicists debate everything under the sun (and beyond, ha) because no one gets his feelings hurt or his value as a person put in jeopardy by disagreement. But having them talk about issues with proposed solutions to global warming is like inviting them to list their least favorite ethnic groups.

  • Chischoolfan||

    Since they do a brilliant job of explaining their own. Oh wait, they don't have a point.

  • ||

    It seems to me the good intentions of Obamacare are the reasons given for why it is constitutional.

    Its not about health care at all, the issue is the use of the commerce clause, which if upheld would make the clause limitless.

    Then the digression into how can we be truly free if we are not fed, healthy and safe. Like livestock or something...

  • AuH20||

    I think that the left honestly believes everything is okay as long as it is "well-intentioned". This includes broadening abortion (because for them abortion is good) but also a hate speech ban wouldn't be bad (because it has good intentions).

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Isn't that the argument MNG was making earlier today?

  • Len Bias||

    Good intentions mean fuck all.

    People still argue Lenin was well-intentioned.

    At best good intentions just means a complete lack of foresight, which, since the Obama administration is supposed to be the most-intelligent brain trust in the history of man-kind, it has surprisingly little foresight.

  • VonManstein||

    Did anyone not read "good intentions" and think of the Simpsons episode where Flanders snapped?

    /mallomars

  • Brendan||

    They do.

    Intentions justify the means. Whenever anyone questions team blue on constitutionality, you can absolutely count on responses that talk about how:
    -popular the idea is;
    -"right" the idea is;
    -effective the idea as implemented has been

    It takes a lot of work to get them to talk about the constitution, and even then it turns into a discussion about how the country has grown to 300 million, how the constitution can be changed (yet they scoff at the concept of an amendment).

    Everything is feelings and intentions. Facts and logic don't matter. Asking basic yes or no questions about facts always leads to some redirect about the intentions/goals of the act.

    It's intellectual torture to talk to people who think this way.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Exactly. I wish I remembered who said it, but the next time a liberal tells you it's a living Constitution, challenge them to a game of living poker.

  • Brendan||

    I love it.

    When they ask why I microwave steak, tell them "It's a living cookbook".

    "Don't get so hung up on the process" (I've actually had that said to me), "It's cooked to the right temperature, and it didn't cost as much as putting it in the oven".

    That last part is meant to convey that disconnect they seem to have about people's desires and motivations. We saw it a lot with the birth control pill dustup. They repeatedly talked about how it was cheaper to pay for BC pills then pregnancy. It never occurred to them that there might be other factors then simply keeping costs to a minimum.

  • Joe M||

    But after three days of Supreme Court back and forth in which many of the justices seemed willing to entertain and perhaps even accept the basic premise of the argument against the mandate

    It sure seems like there's a lot of beating around the bush on this particular point. We all knew that four of the justices would support the law no matter what, and only one of them was doing any "entertaining" of anything.

  • Jerryskids||

    About the only argument I have seen for why Obamacare should be declared Constitutional is "It's a good thing". Any attempt to guess how the Supremes would vote assumed the 4 Demos would vote for just because they were Demos and Thomas would vote against - I have no idea why - and all the analysis was trying to guess how the others would vote based on reasoning on previous rulings.

    So my question is: If they vote to uphold, what will the opinion read like? "Yeah, it's Constitutional"? I have seen very little to suggest on what basis they would uphold.

    What I fear, though, is that the SC will overturn but within the opinion give specific advice on what it would take to make the mandate pass, i.e. "We have to hold it unconstitutional the way it's written, but if you were to write it this way......".

  • heedless||

    Well we knew Thomas would vote against because of Gonzales v. Raich, and because he's a principled, bordering on monomaniacal Originalist. Or because he's a partisan hack in hock to the Koch brothers. I forget which.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    He does support drug testing, so the 4th Amendment doesn't mean that much to him.

  • ||

    That wont matter. Its hard to imagine how the statists will ever again have a super majority in both houses and the presidency at the same time.

  • FlyoverCountry||

    I do believe the statists have always (or almost always) controlled both houses and the presidency.

  • LiberalThink||

    Why won't you let us rule you? Don't you know we're you're intellectual and moral superiors?

  • ||

    "they’d been predicting that the law would pass constitutional muster with ease. "

    "Andrew Koppelman, writing in The Yale Law Journal Online, declared the mandate’s constitutionality “obvious.” "

    Yesterday some liberal moron wrote that obamacare actually increased freedom, freedom from being one medical emergency away from bankruptcy. They cannot imagine their oppositions arguments because they dont understand the concepts, like liberty, that their opposition hold dear. Liberty for them is a complete mystery. It really makes me wonder what kinds of screwed up upbringing/ personality disorders / mental deficiencies they suffer from.

    I know one that I have personally witnessed have severe attacks of panic and confusion when shown the cognitive dissonance behind liberal positions. I cant tell you all how much satisfaction I get from seeing that.

  • AuH20||

    I think that it all dates back to FDR's "freedom from" Norman Rockwell shit.

    Campus speech codes, and even hate speech laws, are okay because they free people from hearing hate/being corrupted (and thus voting for a non TEAM BLUE guy).

    Abortion=your free from having to deal with a kid.

    Universal healtchare= you're free from having to worry about paying your bill.

  • ||

    Make me Dictator for life and I will liberate you from your money, your freedom and the need to ever make a decision again in you life.

  • ||

    Unfortunately it seems a large number of liberals have decided that freedom means "freedom from responsibility." They seem to want a world where no matter how stupid and reckless you live your life there are no bad consequences that person should half to deal with. That the most that should be expected is that they fill out a government form and everything will be taken care of for them. Even the idea that some one should at the very least should feel ashamed of their actions is horrifying to them.

  • AuH20||

    I think it is that liberal have completely bought in to the noble proleteriat fallacy.

    Y'know, "There are a lot of hardworking people out there, out there in the factories, but they can barely make ends meet, because these fat cats in wall street are robbing the good, hardworking people of America, who only want to have food on the table and a good education for their kids, from getting what they deserve in this great land of opportunity!"

    This also ties into the whole "privelege" nonsense- to question the lifestyle or spending decisions of the poor shows your "privelege".

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    from getting what they deserve in this great land of opportunity

    It's pathetic that they never actually see the philosophical contradiction in these two terms.

  • ||

    I don't think "life choices" really play that much of a part in it. It's not either/or here, as there are some people who'd waste what they had. But there are plenty of rich people out there who'd be poor if they weren't rich and vice versa. I don't think that wealth, or lack thereof, is a 100% accurate indicator of morality.

  • Alan||

    I work with the proletariat every day.

    The proletariat are lazy, narcissistic, delusional assholes.

    The ruling class is less delusional and lazy. That's why they're the ruling class.

  • ||

    My experience has been similar to yours only with the added seasoning of foul body odor to go with the laziness, narcissism and assholeishness.

  • Bruce||

    I think this is more mixed than you think. In the Washington DC area if you work with near minimum wage peeps in the private sector, whatever their politics they are more honest than many of the grad school educated fat 'crats who are the upper middle class here.

  • cynical||

    Freedom vs. Security. Both liberals and conservatives value security, though conservatives take a traditionally masculine view of security and liberals take a traditionally feminine view of same.

    Libertarians tend to either greatly value freedom over security, or to cynically view the government's offer of security for freedom as fraudulent.

  • ||

    So, what you're basically saying is that conservatives are a bunch of dicks, and liberals are all pussies.

  • ||

    "Pussies don't like dicks, because pussies get fucked by dicks. But dicks also fuck assholes: assholes that just want to shit on everything. Pussies may think they can deal with assholes their way. But the only thing that can fuck an asshole is a dick, with some balls. The problem with dicks is: they fuck too much or fuck when it isn't appropriate - and it takes a pussy to show them that. But sometimes, pussies can be so full of shit that they become assholes themselves... because pussies are an inch and half away from ass holes. I don't know much about this crazy, crazy world, but I do know this: If you don't let us fuck this asshole, we're going to have our dicks and pussies all covered in shit!"

    Team America---FUCK YEAH!

  • Joe M||

    Lithwick has argued that despite the law’s self-evident constitutionality, the decision has “everything to do with optics, politics, and public opinion.”

    Can someone parse that usage for me?

  • AuH20||

    Optics=Lithwick and the like will paint this as a partisan, Bush v. Gore level of how evil the Court is.

    Obama is going to pull an FDR hardcore. It is going to backfire for both.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    Would Obama really be stupid and desperate enough to start a constitutional crisis over this?

  • Joe Biden||

    Let me field that one: his designated second-in-command is me.

  • Alan||

    Yeah ... that was just to make sure no one (except Osama bin Laden) would try to assassinate him. Even the hardest core white supremacist will think twice about harming Obama while Biden is the alternative.

  • ||

    You really have to ask?

  • AuH20||

    If the economy is in the shitter, he's going to have to rely on a hyper divisve, hyper partisan plan, where it's the Congress and the Courts against him, but if you give him a second term he'll show 'em what for.

  • ||

    No. Absolutely not. He is a political animal. He stands much to gain from the law being overturned. he can blame evil republicans while also benefiting from diffusing the anti-obamacare hate of most independent voters.

    If the law is overturned, Obama wins the election in a landslide.

  • Juice||

    Obama was already going to win just as big as 2008.

  • ||

    You are both nuts. Dubya could beat Obama. He will not only lose, he will lose in a landslide.

  • Len Bias||

    "If the law is overturned, Obama wins the election in a landslide."

    If his signature bill gets overturned, he looks useless. If he weren't surrounded by total toadies, he could've predicted it might be overturned. Hell, HE was against the mandate in 2008. Granted, the media and other lefties will blame the GOP. The rest of the country isn't gonna buy it. He still may win, but not because it gets overturned.

  • ||

    "My signature legislation just got ruled unconstitutional. Vote for me!"

  • ¢||

    It is odd, a little fleck of really old pre-WWII art rhetoric that just floated back up. Three or four years ago, Serious People just suddenly all started saying "optics" instead of "appearance" or "imagery." It's a mating call, I think.

    YEAH DADDY NUANCE MY GRAVITAS

  • Savard||

    What metrics do they use? No one uses measurements any more.

  • Sean Mack||

    Let's start a conversation around that...

  • FlyoverCountry||

    I'll have my people reach out to your team.

  • CptNerd||

    Who's got the action items?

  • A Serious Man||

    This getting stuck down will just be awesome. Awesome. Just watching the liberal punditry and blogosphere erupt into impotent rage and hatred, lashing out at all their imagined enemies will be satisfying.

  • Joe M||

    If it is ruled unconstitutional, I may lose some liberal FB friends from all the virtual rooftop shouting I'll be doing.

  • Rev. Blue Moon ||

    Ehhhnnn, would we call it a loss, really?

  • Concerned Citizen||

    I'm with you, Joe M. My liberal FB friends know less about economics and the Constitution than the dump I took this morning.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    Just last week the likes of Linda Greenhouse and Dahlia Lithwick were proclaiming the case for ObamaCare a no-brainer, flaunting their own brainlessness as if it proved the point.

    James Toranto yesterday.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    So what now? To quote Lithwick: Optics, politics, and public opinion. Neera Tanden, a former administration health adviser and the president of the influential liberal organization the Center for American Progress, previewed the broader liberal response when she told The New York Times this week that “If this court overturns the individual mandate, it will galvanize Democrats to use the courts as a campaign issue….The idea that we would have gone through Bush v. Gore, Citizens United and now this.”

    Yeah, it's definitely the court's fault that the left can't even bother to acknowledge that we have a constitution, and that the sole aim of said constitution is to put limits on government power.

    "It's not our fault that we can't write laws that are within the scope of the law, it's that dastardly court's fault for not seeing authoritarianism as a good thing!"

  • Juice||

    Bush v. Gore

    All about politics (Dems lose)

    Citizens United

    All about the 1st amendment, but as applied to politics (Dems "lose" as they perceive it)

    and now this

    All about the power of Congress, but as applied to overturning a Dem law (Dems might "lose")

    Nothing about Kelo or Raich. Nothing about the rights of the people. The only thing worth fighting for is "Dems winning" and the only rallying cry is "we lost a battle."

  • ||

    I'm curious as to what the liberal "running against the Supreme Court" will look like.

    The big two decisions they'd be running against would be:

    - Citizens United, which BO will be the primary beneficiary of this election season, and

    - whatever this case is called, which would overturn a law the public hates by 72% margins.

    Doesn't look like a very good strategy.

    And if they want to include Heller/McDonald in the list of SCOTUS decisions they're running against, the GOP will clean up this fall.

  • AuH20||

    But Citizens has been turned into, "Can you believe the Supreme Court is dumb enough to consider corporations people?!" ignoring all the implications of removing that legal provision from our country.

  • Juice||

    It's too hard to say "Sometimes, in certain circumstances, a corporation is treated as a single entity in legal proceedings."

  • ||

    Sad but true. I have confronted several professional authors with the fact that without Citizens United, the government has the right to censor political speech in movies and books, and they simply refuse to acknowledge it. They are too afraid that "rich people and corporations" will "drown out" everybody else's political speech. You know, the way Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman bought their way into office.

  • smartass||

    I'm sure the GOP will do only good things with their accidental windfall.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    There’s just no there there

    Huh?

  • ||

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Uh...

  • ||

    Uh, "huh"?

    Uh-huh?

  • Ben the Duck||

    "Like "Darmok and Jalad at Tenagra."

  • ||

    lol...

    Barack's children - their faces wet

  • Charlotte Corday||

    “If this court overturns the individual mandate, it will galvanize Democrats to use the courts as a campaign issue….The idea that we would have gone through Bush v. Gore, Citizens United and now this.”

    Except that a pretty large majority of the country both don't support the mandate and think it is unconstitutional. Who exactly is this going to be a successful issue with?

    If you do this, we are going to talk to ourselves about it and vote exactly the same way we would have anyway.

  • ||

    They're dredging up BvG again? I'll have to get the Sore/Loserman hats out of my closet again.

  • ||

    Research conducted by University of Virginia psychologist Jonathan Haidt suggests one possible answer: Liberals just aren’t as good as conservatives and libertarians at understanding how their opponents think.

    I'd have to see this a bit more closely, because a legit question about that research is how "how their opponents really think" was determined. If it was determined purely by the researcher's cogitation (as often is the case in the "conservatives are stupider" studies) then the results are pretty suspect.

  • ||

    Research conducted by University of Virginia psychologist Jonathan Haidt suggests one possible answer: Liberals just aren’t as good as conservatives and libertarians at understanding how their opponents think.

    If they did they wouldn't be liberals.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    If it was determined purely by the researcher's cogitation (as often is the case in the "conservatives are stupider" studies) then the results are pretty suspect.

    Yeah, this strikes me as a Team Red version of those stupid "studies" that show liberals are more open-minded and mentally tougher than conservatives. They all seem like a big intellectual circle-jerk.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Agree with this.

  • ||

    Search for it on here, Bailey did a post about it last year I think.

  • Mensan||

    I'm going from memory, but if it's the same study I'm thinking of, they asked participants to self identify as conservative or liberal (or varying degrees of each). Then they had them answer one questionnaire from their own POV, and another from the POV of their ideological opposite. Then they compared each groups opposite POV answers to the other group's actual answers.

  • Mensan||

    For clarity, I meant they were answering the same questionnaire both times; just from both POVs.

  • Alan||

    Haidt is actually one of the few psychological researchers who has good (if imperfect) methodology. In this case, he asked conservatives and liberals to answer the various surveys as a typical conservative, and as a typical liberal. Then he compared those results to the answers given on the same surveys by actual conservatives and liberals. Liberals way overestimated conservative badness and way overestimated liberal goodness, while conservatives slightly overestimated conservative badness and liberal goodness.

    It's not perfect, as the original survey participants may also have answered according to their perception of themselves more than the reality, but it looks like a fair enough start.

  • Daniel||

    We all believe in judicial restraint/judicial activism, except when we don't. Conservatives do it too, but it's much, much worse with liberals.

    A good test to see this point in action. Go ask a liberal, or better yet a Planned Parenthood executive, what the actual holding of Roe v. Wade actually was. At least 80 percent of them will get the answer wrong. (Most of them will say that it "legalized abortion").

    And while I'm ranting, I can't decide whether Dahlia Lithwick actually believes the things she says, or if she's intentionally being intellectually dishonest.

  • ||

    In that same article she was railing against the conservative justices' majority opinion in Jones v US, the case that said they need to have a warrant to attach a GPS tracker to your car. If she really believes what she says, she's a truly disgusting creature.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    She is a disgusting creature.

  • 4chan||

    Hey, pat yourself on the back for pointing out that liberal bias yet again!

  • ||

    Wouldn't it be devestating to the legitimacy of the court to uphold it in the name of functionally illiterate boobery?

  • Susan||

    It legalized abortion, it is in the constitution the most important right anyone has. The medicine is a privacy issue for all wommyn.

  • Susan||

    Not passing this law would be a disaster because then less abortions would be done.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah. Nobody believes that.

  • Grammar Nazi||

    Fewer. Fewer abortions. Not less.

  • Thom||

    Legal abortion is an obvious long-run equilibrium. Make abortion illegal and the number of progressives will increase dramatically over a 20-30 year period, who will in turn make it legal again. The pro-life crowd needs to take note of unintended consequences. This is probably not the battle they should be fighting.

  • thirtyandseven||

    Look, the left knew damn well this would not be an easy victory as they were predicting. It was always about framing the thing so as to intimidate justices into falling into line, with the obviously right, reasonable decision.

    Sure, some of the lefties are morons who bought their own side's spin, and thus really were quite ignorant of this, but I don't believe for a second that was the case for the majority of them.

  • Team Blue||

    thirtyandseven|3.30.12 @ 5:00PM|#
    "It was always about framing the thing so as to intimidate justices into falling into line, with the obviously right, reasonable decision."

    I remember a discussion when Vinson ruled against it; the result moved question of the constitutionality from the margins to an acceptable subject of discussion.
    At that point, the left lost the poison-the-well contest.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Liberals just aren’t as good as conservatives and libertarians at understanding how their opponents think . . . “The results,” he writes in the May issue of Reason, “were clear and consistent.” Moderates and conservatives were the most able to think like their liberal political opponents. “Liberals,” he reports, “were the least accurate, especially those who describe themselves as ‘very liberal.’”

    I see the fancy university education that focuses not on what to think, but how to think is working out as they hoped. They've made political drones who're convinced they're smarter than the rest of us because they have a degree. (Cont)

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Being completely unable to at least understand and coherently explain the talking points of the political opposition shows a complete inability to think at all, much less think better than the opposition, yet it's the left who's hung up on their fancy education which sets them apart from us (even those of us who also have a fancy education yet somehow didn't follow down their intellectual path). But then again, that's the point of groupthink.

    Fuck this 900 character limit with a fucking broadhead.

  • Mensan||

    I always find it amusing when some team blue apparatchik, who knows nothing about my education, just assumes I don't have any when they find out I'm not a liberal. In most cases I have more education then the liberal I'm arguing with. Luckily, except for the few required social "sciences" classes, I was rarely subjected to attempted liberal brainwashing in college.

  • raymond luxury yach-t||

    you mean "than the liberal" you functionally illiterate boob

  • Mensan||

    That is what I meant. I really should learn to proofread, but it's difficult what with the functional illiteracy and all.

  • ||

    [Y]ou mean[,] "than the liberal"[,] you functionally illiterate boob[.]

    FTFY, you grammatically challenged imbecile.

  • ||

    [spit-take]

  • ||

    I find I am unable to disguise my intellectual background, but occasionally I run across a liberal who thinks their fancy education puts them at an advantage over me. As you say, quite amusing.

  • Raven Nation||

    Agree. I don't always share my politics with fellow academics, but when I do, it truly is wondrous to watch the various facial expressions as they seek to extricate themselves.

  • Zeb||

    focuses not on what to think, but how to think
    Should that be the other way 'round?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    It should be. but that is a classic line in academia when accused of being primarily factories to make little liberals.

  • ||

    What can explain liberals’ widespread failure to anticipate the Court’s wariness of the mandate?

    Reading comprehension. The Constitution is a clearly written document that’s interpretation has been so bastardized over the last century that a large number of supposedly intelligent people are unable to understand its clear intent.

  • ||

    That is because when they sit down to read it they do not say to themselves 'what does this say?', instead they say to themselves 'what do I want this to say?'.

    You may notice that this mentality colors everything they do. The world is not what it is, it is what they wish it is. SoCons are pretty bad about that too.

  • ||

    Philology, categorical logic, and deductive reasoning have been around awhile. Just because SCOTUS isn't competent in any of those aspects doesn't mean the idea of a written constitution is a bad idea. I always thought than an opinion should have a logic addendum. That way we can evaluate form and soundness.

    And why didn't BO argue the case before the court? He's a god damn harvard scholar right? As a law rebview grad, his bibliography should be just smashing with all it's commas and shit. He is supposed to be in the top 1% intellectually, right?

  • ||

    “If this court overturns the individual mandate, it will galvanize Democrats to use the courts as a campaign issue….The idea that we would have gone through Bush v. Gore, Citizens United and now this.”

    Don't the majority of voters think the mandate is unconstitutional and view Obamacare unfavorably?

    Cool we can now declare both Dems and Reps as suicide cults now.

  • Alan||

    Gary Johnson for the win!

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    In February 2011, Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe reassured readers of The New York Times that even conservative justices would not buy the challengers’ arguments, insisting upon the “clear case for the law’s constitutionality.” Andrew Koppelman, writing in The Yale Law Journal Online, declared the mandate’s constitutionality “obvious.”

    If it was that "obvious," it wouldn't have even gone to the Supreme Court to begin with--it would have been settled long before this and the Court would not have chosen to add it to their schedule.

  • ||

    Man, if this is overturned, I'm gonna od on some booze, blues, weed, and a big fuckton of schandenfreude.

  • A Serious Man||

    Liberals just don't seem to understand that a majority of Americans are wary of government power. Railing against the system of check and balances in order to give the most unpopular Congress in history near unlimited regulatory power would be incredibly stupid. I hope they do that just so it can backfire.

  • ||

    Perfectly representative comment from that Gawker thread:

    Some people want healthcare affordable and available to all Americans - and some people have this idea that access to healthcare takes their freedom and somehow violates the constitution.

    I want to shake Scalia like a baby and say, THIS IS LIFE OR DEATH.

    .
    (Gotta love the little indignant grace note there at the end... god, they do self-righteousness so well.)

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I want to shake Scalia like a baby and say, THIS IS LIFE OR DEATH.

    Written with all the self-absorption and hysterical verve a high school girl.

  • ||

    It probably is a high school girl. Notice the vapidity and extremely superficial grasp of the issues.

  • A Serious Man||

    I'm more amused that she wants to "shake him like a baby". Isn't that dangerous and considered a form of criminal abuse?

  • Mensan||

    Exactly what I was thinking. Shaking a baby is a very bad idea.

  • .||

    And most pedos were prior victims -- is it any wonder that shaking a baby would've popped into her mind? Explains a lot.

  • ||

    What that silly cow doesn't know of course, is that the reason why medical care is so expensive is because there's so much government interference in that industry.

    -jcr

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Shaking babies doesn't help keep health costs down, either.

  • ||

    some people have this idea that access to healthcare takes their freedom

    Baby-shaking aside, this obviously is the most annoying part. Sometimes I genuinely can't tell with these people: Is this an honest failure to comprehend the opposing argument (i.e., a demonstration of Haidt's premise), or is it just a deliberate, ridiculous way of short-circuiting the whole debate?

    In other words, is it real dumbness, or just feigned dumbness? Does this commenter really think the argument is that "access to health care" is the part that takes away freedom?

  • Sevo||

    "Sometimes I genuinely can't tell with these people: Is this an honest failure to comprehend the opposing argument (i.e., a demonstration of Haidt's premise), or is it just a deliberate, ridiculous way of short-circuiting the whole debate?"

    I'm going with "both", but I also wonder why lefties don't understand that it's insulting to others to be handed such transparent bullshit.

  • ||

    I also wonder why lefties don't understand that it's insulting to others to be handed such transparent bullshit.

    Which leads one to ask: How is a contempt for truth supposed to be part of an actual argument?

    I mean, seriously, when you clear out everything else, it's this tic of the left that gives away the game.

    It's getting to where I don't even think it's right to give this stuff the honorable name of "debate," because it's nothing remotely like one.

  • Badger||

    In other words, is it real dumbness,

    Yep,

    She's a complete dumbshit with less understanding of economics than an average eight year old boy.

    IOW she's an 'educated' member of the 'reality based community'.

  • ||

    Liberals think it's okay to shake babies? This may explain a lot of the brain damage one encounters on the left.

  • ||

    Liberals, on the other hand, have a different theory. The Court is just a bunch of partisan hacks who’ve bought into the most extreme ideas of the Republican base.

    But the mandate is unpopular and Obamacare is unpopular. How can striking it down be partisan if doing so is popular?

  • ||

    " if you ask the law’s liberal cheerleaders, there can only be one answer: pure partisan politics."

    They are correct, but they are looking at the wrong side of the court for this.

  • ||

    A prime example of the justices placing a check on governmental power while avoiding rank partisanship is when they heard the case of FAA v. Cooper.

    The conservative majority in a 5-3 decision held that the Government can release private information ( health, etc) to discredit an individual and said individual can only sue for the cost of the legal fees they incurred despite the government clearly being in violation of the 1974 privacy act.

    The fact is the justices are only concerned with limits on power when it suits them. The irony of this article is reason usually rails against the power of the court to explicitly play political games.

    That is, of course, when the court appears to be on the verge of ruling in their favor, then it magically transforms into an institution with integrity with its critics suffering from a case of the proverbially sour grapes.

  • ||

    You don't follow reason very closely do you?

  • Killazontherun||

    Hey, he took a shot. Are you asking that he should of done so with better care? Or explained why it is necessarily contradictory to note that the courts often get things wrong and often get things right in terms of constitutional law when those two differing states of action actually occur? Nah, he's a dickweed who thinks he is making a great first impression, let him be.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    The irony of this article is reason usually rails against the power of the court to explicitly play political games.

    The irony of your post is that you confuse policy with partisanship, while criticizing the article for the same.

  • ||

    Suderman contends that liberals live in a 'legal bubble' which I don't dispute but fails to realize conservative and libertarians live in their own legal bubbles. It's fun to kick people when they are down, I am not going to pretend this is a substantive critique of the assumed thought process of liberals v. libertarians.

    Fundamentally I could really care less what they believe. What I care about that Studerman's argument that conservatives have some greater grasp on reality and shoehorns some pretty specious reasoning and massive conceptual leaps prove it.

    Nor will I pretend that justices of all political affiliations judge solely on the merits of the case and statues.

    Reason has often argued political leanings and disregard for the constitution have affected court rulings, it is disingenuous to claim anyone who makes the same claim is suffering from a confirmation bias.

  • Sevo||

    chris he|3.30.12 @ 10:26PM|#
    ..."Reason has often argued political leanings and disregard for the constitution have affected court rulings, it is disingenuous to claim anyone who makes the same claim is suffering from a confirmation bias."

    You should probably read the article before you make a fool of yourself.
    The left (and I'm guessing that includes you) isn't suffering from confirmation bias, it's suffering from hypocrisy.
    Suderman's point is that the left is back-stepping like crazy now that it's obvious that the court isn't buying the bullshit in toto.

  • ||

    "...But everybody I know voted for McGovern!"

  • ||

    "...But everybody I know voted for McGovern!"

  • shrike||

    Better dead than Red

  • Juice||

    Is your handle another term for the Lord of Pain?

  • Bruce||

    I really liked this article. Could you right more on this, either deeper and longer or applying the same matrix to other current events? Please.

  • Paltrow Bock||

    love the subtitle...perfect.

  • Mensan||

    Pure partisan politics will be the only explaination if any of the justices vote to uphold Obamacare.

  • Mensan||

    Alternative version: Pure partisan politics will be the only explanation if any when four of the justices vote to uphold Obamacare.

  • ||

    Correct version: Pure partisan politics will be the only explanation regardless of what happens

  • Concerned Citizen||

    I'm guessing you've never read the Constitution.

  • ||

    Oh, once or twice. I'm not sure what that has to do with Team vs. Team rhetorical horseshit, though. Come on, imagine if this were the Patriot Act or some other less-than-constitutional Right wing masterpiece. Do you seriously believe they wouldn't be crying about partisan politics rather than being impartial and rational?

  • Concerned Citizen||

    My point is the overturning of Obamacare could be based on the Constitution not giving the feds that much power. How teams Red and Blue react doesn't interest me.

  • ||

    Isn't it the Job of the Supreme Courts main job to see if a law is Constitutional?

  • j||

    No, silly, that's the job of the media and Ivy League law profs. The SC's job is to accede to their wishes.

  • Lauren Cola||

    The libertarian position on the health care act is underrepresented (ugh, two party system). I've setup a BroadCause campaign to gather public support for us, please STAND WITH US to keep the pressure up: http://www.broadcause.com/camp......php?id=52

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Liberals ignore any part of the constitution that seems critical of their vision of the total top-down welfare state.

  • ||

    As do the conservatives.

  • Tony||

    As do the libertarians.

    Or is near-anarchic "freedom" not a form of welfare for people as you envision it?

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Gotta love your consistency: not taking is giving, not giving is taking, from each according to his ability, to each according to his need, etc...

  • Sean Mack||

    It's worse than Haidt imagines: modern liberals have been taught not to understand principled arguments in general, no matter where they originate. A few such arguments are still kicking around on the conservative side, hence the confusion.

    This seems odd to those of us who remember the 1970s liberal, a creature that could still, at least, mount an abstract defense of some (mostly non-economic) rights. Today even that is gone, as one can see through the left's almost total abandonment of speech and press freedom.

    We're at the point in the story where they've started shouting "four legs good, two legs better!".

  • ||

    This seems odd to those of us who remember the 1970s liberal, a creature that could still, at least, mount an abstract defense of some (mostly non-economic) rights. Today even that is gone, as one can see through the left's almost total abandonment of speech and press freedom.

    They still exist; you'll occasionally find them at places such as The Nation.

    But your observation is generally dead on. Leftism isn't even really consciously ideological at this point. At best, it's just a kind of romantic impulse, a heart-swelling way to process the world. But mostly -- as with those Gawker commenters, for instance -- it's just the water they swim in, and that they've always swum in, and they can't even conceive of any other environment.

  • Jerryskids||

    modern liberals have been taught not to understand principled arguments in general

    Liberals have no principles - that would imply some sort of objective morality. Everything is subjective with them. That is why they don't understand the SC wanting to decide this case on "the principle of the thing", i.e. regardless of whether or not it is a good idea, we need to decide whether or not it is Constitutional. If it is not Constitutional, it doesn't matter whether or not it is a good thing.

    This also explains why liberals decry hypocrisy more than anything else. Clinton's infidelity didn't matter because he never claimed being faithful to ones' promises is a good thing. Newt gets roundly criticized for his serial monogamy because he hypocritically supports the sanctity of marriage.

  • Jerryskids||

    Which also explains the left's "disappointment" with rather than condemnation of Obama. They may not like the fact that Obama lied about everything he promised he would do once he got elected, but they understand that he had to lie in order to get elected so they won't actually go so far as to condemn him.

    Nothing wrong with lying, in principle, if you have no principles.

  • CatoTheElder||

    The Court is just a bunch of partisan hacks who’ve bought into the most extreme ideas of the Republican base.

    The Court's conservative jurists have bought into many of the more "extreme ideas of the Republican base".

    Unfortunately for the Left, those ideas align pretty well with the individualistic, libertarian concept of natural rights held by the drafters of the Constitution. The alignment isn't perfect, but at least it isn't pointing in the opposite direction.

  • ||

    American politics, best politics money can buy lol.

    www.Anon-Nets.tk

  • Fibertarianism consists of....||

    denying that money is the power to buy the politics centralized, privatized money wants.

  • ||

    Anon bot, you so crazy.

  • ||

    buddy's mom made $19011 a month ago. she is making an income on the computer and bought a $529600 condo. All she did was get lucky and put in action the information shown on this web site NuttyrichDOTcom

  • ||

    Did she make it off Eliot Spitzer?

  • boyfriendlyrics||

    Can't wait to see the Haidt piece in May.

  • boyfriendlyrics||

    Can't wait to see the Haidt piece in May.

    http://www.boyfriendlyrics.com/

  • ||

    Feds are arguing that everybody is already in the health insurance market because they have decided not to buy insurance and in case of catastrophe ( hit by bus, cancer ) are going to have their costs overloaded to others.

    Anti-health care arguing against this but arguments get a little complex.

    I suggest people read both briefs submitted to the court. They are not that long. And read oral arguments.

  • ||

    The 'limiting principle' seemed to be the real hang up. And seemed to be what the defenders were completely at a loss to define.

  • ||

    State of the Union Jan 2010 - the President allows his party to reign down boos and disapproval on the justices while justices have to sit quietly and take it.

    February 2012 Obama uses same decision to begin raising record amounts of campaign money.

    The President himself treats the court as politically driven and has no qualms using utilitarian arrogance to soothe his bruised ego when the courts don't play ball.

  • Sam Grove||

    President allows his party to reign down boos and disapproval

    Please, "rain", not "reign".

  • ||

    My apologies you are correct. Although in this context, "reign" is more symbolic than rain. Perhaps a Freudian slip.

  • ||

    I took it as intentional wordplay. And liked it.

  • ||

    If the mandate is tossed and it's also determined to be not severable I will look forward to seeing to what degree pure bureaucratic inertia keeps it going anyway. There are already a lot of things in place and growing daily. I predict a struggle to kill it even after a negative court decision.

  • ||

    Even though there is no way it can be funded lobby groups will try to keep it going. They don't care if we have to borrow more trillions and trillions as long as the money ends up in their client's pockets.

  • Sevo||

    SamIam|3.31.12 @ 2:11PM|#
    ..."I will look forward to seeing to what degree pure bureaucratic inertia keeps it going anyway."...

    I hope that a declaration of unconstitutionality would mean an immediate halt to the funds required to implement it. Meaning that X person currently paid under Obamacare would find themself out of a paycheck come the next pay period. That should pretty quickly end any inertia at that level, since Obama has yet to declare food or housing "rights".
    The 'inertia' in congress was never there to begin with, and I'm hoping to see that hag Pelosi melt into a stinking puddle of 'stuff'
    But I'm also used to being disappointed.

  • ||

    Liberals see Supreme Court justices as 'political hacks' because that is what liberal Supreme Court justices are. A thief thinks everyone is a thief, you see.

  • ||

    How could members of the Supreme Court possibly seriously consider the argument that ObamaCare’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance is unprecedented and unconstitutional?

    The Peter Principle.

  • ||

    The constitutionality of the mandate rests with the concept that everyone is already in the healthcare market. However, healthcare, as defined by the Essential Health Benefits package in the PPACA is something that everyone will not inevitably need.

    http://www.mayoclinicproceedin.....S0025-6196(12)00198-X/fulltext

    Contemporary standards in biology, medicine and ethics to nullify the basis on which the Government seeks to use its Commerce Clause powers to enforce the individual mandate.
    It also raises another consequence to the Government's argument that hasn't received any attention so far. This relates to the requirement to be covered for mental illness. This potentially opens up the whole scope of human behaviour to regulation under the Commerce Clause. This would include most criminal behaviour and therefore represent a reversal of their position in Lopez.

  • ||

    While no particular individual may need or request all the covered care, Congress had to be aware that most health care providers and so health care financing has to include a range of services -- if you go to a hospital, it provides not only maternity care but also cancer care and acute emergencies. And if one accepts that Congress could mandate prepayment (in effect) for the particular services you might need in future, then the debate is simply a legislative one -- i.e., ask Congress to dial back or expand the services which insurance must cover -- rather than a constitutional one.

  • hk||

    Too bad the ninth amendment states that you have no such right. It is pretty obvious what the founders meant by commerce.

  • hk||

    Also you clearly don't understand the purpose of the Supreme court. Only the constitution matters not the whims of Keynesians.

    Lastly we don't accept your argument that I should be forced into "prepayment". By prepayment you mean CENTRAL PLANNERS, need to tell me what to buy.

    markets > Central planners.

  • ||

    ... sorry that address should be

    http://www.mayoclinicproceedin.....S0025-6196(12)00198-X/fulltext

  • ||

    The fact is the constitutionality of the law has been upheld by a clear majority of appeals courts and arguably the most powerful opinion in support was written by the distinguished conservative jurist Laurence Silberman. Hence the slam dunk aspect of this legislation was hardly confined to liberal columnists. This is legislation legally passed by congress after two years of debate/negotiation. If it is overturned 5-4 there is little doubt it will be perceived as an act of political partisanship that will put the court's integrity in institutional peril. This is particularly so since there are going to be short term immediate effects (donut hole reopened etc etc) and long term upheavals as much settled law (including Medicare and SS) will inevitably come under attack from right wing zealots like Suderman.

  • ||

    You are simply delusional. Really- libs who think a decision against Obamacare will lead to a mass uprising should pay attention to the public opinion of the law. Polls have repeatedly shown that a sizable majority of Americans oppose the mandate and believe it to be unconstitutional. If you really hope to take that line of debate, realize that the only ones who will come out looking like partisan hacks will be you.

  • ||

    "Democracy doesn't WORK!" is what I hear routinely from my Leftist friends when something doesn't go as they wish. I NEVER hear this from the ones on the right.

  • hk||

    scary

  • ||

    High time, then to classify Liberalism as a MENTAL DISORDER and strip them of their Right to Vote!

    They get upset at Voter ID, whereas the Founders WANTED a Filter on Voting Rights -- you had to have "skin in the game" and own property, which provided the bulk of taxes that ran the government.

    But I like my idea better: Strip the Vote from the Libtards...!

  • ||

    The court took brave stands, in opposition to the will of Congress and public opinion, in cases like Brown, Griswold and Roe and liberals still cheer. Apparently the court should only stand up to Congress when it suits liberal politics. The double-standard is stupefying.

  • ||

    It would be presumptuous to suppose you can fully understand anyone else's position. It was difficult to predict conservatives would or could argue the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional for two reasons:

    1. The Act drew on proposals made by the Heritage Foundation and advocated by leading Republicans (e.g., Mitt Romney). Does that suggest new opposition arises from political expediency?

    2. While the author correctly notes that lower courts divided -- the fact remains that roughly 75 years of precedent -- maybe more than that -- uniformly supports the exercise of Congressional authority over health care financing -- something like one sixth of GDP. To get to a different result requires ignoring or overturning those precedents, an audacious act. Judge Silberman's opinion for the DC Circuit strikes the right balance, and sustained the Act.

  • Spinward||

    The problem comes in a couple of places:
    1. If an individual is not ill and is not in the health care market or health insurance market, does congress have the power to force them into commerce, so that they can then be regulated, on the presumption that they will be in the market some day anyway? That's a huge step that coongress has never tried before and "Regulating commerce between the several states" does not mention COMPELLING commerce. Hmmm...
    2. Forcing someone into a contract to buy health insurance... wait a second. How can someone be forced into a contract against their will? A contract, by definition, is a JOINT AGREEMENT, not one sided coercion. In the U.S., two people must agree and decide together to enter a contract. One cannot be forced to sign against their will OR... the contract is not valid.

    BIG problems with ObamaCare on many fronts.

  • Spinward||

    Liberals only see their side. They are very poor at knowing, much less understanding BOTH sides. This is why liberals fare very poorly in an open debate.

  • Occam49||

    The typical liberal is so blinded by self defined "correctness" of their own world view they can't even conceive of the possibility of alternate valid views. These "people" are the epitome of self righteous psychotic arrogant narcissistic ideologues. To them, anyone who disagrees with their world view, is just wrong, no proof or logical argument required. They, in their enlightened omniscience, have decided what's right, period, end of story. You can't win a debate with a liberal as they don't require reason or logic to be right, in their minds, they just are.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    My liberal friends on Facebook prove your point every day. As do the staunch conservatives.

  • ||

    Liberals show a profound weakness or inability to understand the viewpoints of their opponents?

    Gee, now there's a shocker. NOT!

    Liberals have a hard time thinking those who oppose their views have a brain because they are deluded by their own self-righteousness. I like the "idea" of everyone having quality healthcare but if it contains the dictum to FORCE me to buy a product with absolutely ZERO limitation to that power, count me OUT! The fact that liberals cannot even understand something as simple as that both angers and scares me. In November I'm voting for "common sense" and, sorry liberals, you clearly don't have it.

  • ||

    I think Obamacare is a really bad law, but using the courts to attack it seems pointless. Obamacare might just as well have been a new federal tax, with a rebate for those who got health insurance, it would have exactly the same consequences, and then entire legal issue would be moot.

    I suppose I'd be happy if SCOTUS struck it down. But in the end, the fact that it passed in the first place was a massive political failure, and that's what we need to address.

  • hk||

    No even that is totally different.

    If they had phrased it like a "tax" and a massive penalty against the plebeians, then they would have taken a political hit.

  • ||

    imho, liberals are incapable of comprehending the fact that their paternalism is an anathema to those of us who are capable of self governance and who know why this country was founded

    “If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”—Samuel Adams

  • ||

    We have the Full Audio from Day 1, 2 and 3 posted now on Common Cents...
    http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com

  • ||

    The "liberal" left has done such a good job expunging any study of the Constitution and the ideals which informed it from all levels of American education, that they are shocked anyone even remembers what individual liberty and limited federal powers even mean, much less seriously try to defend those founding principles of our nation.

  • ||

    Progressives are surprised when their brilliance is not recognized. They believe that even the most established, time-tested, proven ideas should not stand a chance against a "better" idea. Novelty is the coin of the Liberal realm, not sound doctrine.

  • ||

    Tanden and Drum aren't

    But Tribe, Greenhouse, Lithwick, Koppelman, Toobin, Haidt, Fried are...

    How is it that Libertarians like to think themselves the most free of thinkers, yet if some curious soul were to wonder aloud why 7 of 9 referenced mavens in this article are members of a minority comprising less than 3% of the general population.

    The inevitable, knee jerk charge, alleging some sort of thoughtless hate is a convenient way to prevent any discussion as to whether the overwhelming over-representation of a small minority with tremendous in-group loyalty is either ineluctable or fair to everyone else.

    Pax.

  • ||

    This is a rather trivial example of a wider anthropological truth:
    A minority understand the dominant majority better than the majority understand a minority.

    Canadians understand USA better.

    Black kids understand Standard American English better.

    Evangelicals understand secular fundamentals better than secularists grasp Christian fundamentals.

    It's not that minorities are more virtuous. They just constantly butt up against the dominant group & are force to make sense of it.
    Majority Americans may rarely encounter Canadians, Ebonics, or those whose lives revolve in astonishment around the implications of the Ressurrection of the Son of God. Happy Easter.

  • ||

    For most conservatives it is very easy to think like a liberal. One only has to recall the emotions that overwhelmed us as adolescents, and the reactions that seemed appropriate to us as adolescents, and one has the liberal blueprint for problem solving. For a liberal to think like a conservative is to expect a teenager to possess the wisdom his grandfather has learned through years of painful experience. In the liberal's case, though, the years may pass but nothing is learned - they are adolescents for life.

  • Joe Publius||

    I've actually said similar things to friends in the past. When it comes to political discourse:

    Blind Conservatives think you're evil for presenting an opposing opinion.

    Blind Liberals can't even conceive the existence of an opposing opinion, and are bewildered or igorant of them when they show up.

  • Social Lawyer||

    Now we just have to wait and see how the SC rules.

  • Thomas||

    I wouldn't put it past Obama to try and pull a Roosevelt and pack the Supreme Court.

  • joy||

    f this court overturns the individual mandate, it will galvanize Democrats to use the courts as a campaign issue pet ralph lauren

  • joy||

    f this court overturns the individual mandate, it will galvanize Democrats to use the courts as a campaign issue pet ralph lauren

  • Ali||

    Is there a link to Jonathan Haidt's research?

  • MarkVShaney||

    "Haidt helped conduct research that asked respondents to fill out questionnaires about political narratives—first responding based on their own beliefs, but then responding as if trying to mimic the beliefs of their political opponents. “The results,” he writes in the May issue of Reason, “were clear and consistent.” Moderates and conservatives were the most able to think like their liberal political opponents. “Liberals,” he reports, “were the least accurate, especially those who describe themselves as ‘very liberal.’”

    There is an easy explanation for this. Conservatives and Libertarians are made from Liberals. They are liberals who grew up. They can look back to their younger and more naive or rebellious days and remember what it was like.

  • jason||

    This is plicitcs season and both parties are blaming on the each others, now the targets are on the obama healthcare.

  • jason||

    After the health care law presented in the the assembly after that its continually under the law eyes.

  • emily12||

    New Era Hats
    "it is released by http://www.hatbrandshop.com/ 2012.06.015"

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