Supreme Court

Essential Reading and Viewing for the Day 3 of Obamacare SCOTUS Arguments


As the third day of oral arguments about the constitutionality of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. ACA and Obamcare) before the Supreme Cout gets underway, here are some recent Reason articles and vids to read and watch:

The Obamacare Penalty That Isn't: Even if Congress can't regulate you, it can tax you into submission, Jacob Sullum, March 28, 2012

The 4 Best Legal Arguments Against ObamaCare: Why the president's sweeping health care overhaul should be struck down by the Supreme Court, Damon W. Root, March 24, 2012

Above: Here's a Reason playlist of our recent Supreme Court/Obamacare videos, including 3 Reasons to End Obamacare Before It Begins, Remy's Cough Drop Mandate Rap (feat. Sandra Fluke), Damon Root's reports on days one and two of the Supreme Court arguments, and more. It's a total of seven videos. Click to start watching or scroll through selections.

Why Obamacare is the "Most Important Case" in 50 Years: Q&A with Timothy Sandefur of Pacific Legal Foundation, Nick Gillespie and Jim Epstein, March 27, 2012 (Video)

Damon Root's first-person accounts of the first two days of the oral arguments are here and here. Videos of his reactions are here and here.

Read also Peter Suderman's ongoing blogposts about the Obama administration's shifting positions on whether ACA actually involves a mandate and more, and Reason Polling Director Emily Ekins' parsing of the new Reason-Rupe poll, which shows scant public support for Obamacare.

Come back later tonight for Root's final video and article dispatches about Obamacare and the Supreme Court.

And tomorrow, we'll be releasing a new Remy video about Obamacare.

For more on health care, go here.


NEXT: Jacob Sullum on the ObamaCare Penalty That Isn't

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  1. Good morning Reason!
    Loving the Reason take on Maobamacare.

    1. Fuckity-fuck, Suki! “Love” is a stative verb; you can’t use it in the progressive.

          1. You know that most locations are open now at 5:30 am.

            Try our delicious fresh roast coffee.

            1. Are you bringing back free wi-fi soon?

              1. When did they stop? Every McDonald’s I’ve been to in the past 6 months has free wi-fi.

                1. I was on a business trip a few months ago, they all had their wi-fi on but disconnected from the cloud. Haven’t checked lately.

      1. That is fucking rediculous.

        1. See? Now you’re getting it. “Fuck” is a non-stative/action verb, so it can be used in the progressive.

          Grammar…ba do ba ba baaaah.

          1. Progressives have been annoying the world for going on 100 years. You are no exception.

            1. Hey. I may know the progressive tense, but I’m no Progressive.

              Them’s fightin’ words, Suki.

              1. She isn’t EVEN REAL.

                SUKI DELENDA EST

          2. I saw a serious academic thesis on how “fuck” is the most versatile and descriptive word in the English language. IIRC, the author analyzed the following: “Fuck! Fuck this fucking fuck!”

            1. Sounds like a classic case of some college student ripping off George Carlin, coupled with an idiot teacher.

              1. Fuck!

  2. On Morning Joe, Mika is pulling an old complaint out of the bullpen, lamenting the poor performance of the Solicitor General in presenting the government’s case to the Supreme Court: The law is great, Team Blue’s messaging is just bad.

    1. So the Consitutional Scholar, Smartest President in History, should have argued it himself instead of sending his hand-picked second.

      1. Let me be clear: I am even more, uh uh uh uh, inarticulate and, uh uh, inept than the, uh, Solicitor General.

        1. JKF’s presedential wannabe brother Ted and their nephew Joe also mastered a foreign language as well.

          Howie Carr, author of the Brothers Bulger, and long-time WRKO Bostone talkmeister, used to have a contest which he named “The Wizard of Uhz”.

          The object of the contest was to correctly identify the number of ahs and uhs uttered by Congressman Joe Kenedy (son of RKF) in a given clip, usually between 20-30 seconds.

          Once in awhile, the contest would feature Senator Kenedy instead of his nephew.

    2. So the options are:
      1. The law just sucks and there aren’t any very good arguements for it.
      2. He’s not a very good lawyer and didn’t prepare for the biggest case in his fucking life by – I don’t know – looking at some opposing arguements and crafting halfway coherent responses.
      3. He’s taking a dive. The Obama regime thinks a dead Obamacare will energize their base and suck some of the energy from the Red team.

      1. I’ll take #3 for the win Alex!

        1. 3 seemed the least likely at first, then became more plausible as I thought about it. The Obama administration has already had to defund certain portions of it and admitting they weren’t going to work (CLASS, specifically).

          Having Obamacare repealed might indeed energize their base against an already weak field of GOP presidential candidates, possibly letting them retain the Senate (despite steep odds) and the Presidency after November, and maybe even get the House back.

          They can then just turn around and say, “Okay, time for single-payer, beyotches!”


          1. They will never admit it, but passing it without any Republican support was a huge mistake. They own it now. They can’t blame Republicans or call it bi partisan when it fails. You can see how much this hurts them when you listen to the crying about how the mandate was a Republican idea that was forced on them.

            Politically they would be better off if the Supreme Court gave them a do over. Then they could also write the myth of how wonderful Obamacare was going to be if only the evil Supreme Court hadn’t killed it.

            That said, it might demoralize the base instead of fire it up. The Dems had one golden shot at 60 votes in the Senate and the White House and Obama, Pelosi and Reed screwed the pooch by not passing single payer and giving the Supreme Court a way to strike it down.

          2. Having Obamacare repealed might indeed energize their base against an already weak field of GOP presidential candidates,

            Maybe. I can’t see it. That fraction of the country that really likes it is already their energized base.

            This means he runs on 4 years of not getting a goddam thing done, except padding the pockets of his cronies.

      2. See? Doing nothing is not an option!

      3. If he took a dive, what arguments is he failing to make?

        1. (1) Commerce Clause mandates to buy goods and services are completely ordinary. There are thousands of them on the books now.

          (2) This mandate is not unusual. Mandates on the books now apply to individuals if the “affect” interstate commerce in the specified way that triggers the mandate.

          (3) Because of the nature of health care financing, namely, the funding of risk pools, at a national level everyone who doesn’t have health insurance “affects” the risk pool, has to be financed, and thus “affects” interstate commerce.

          I don’t think they have made any of these arguments, although I gather the last one was hinted at by Kennedy at the end of yesterday’s session.

          1. The first argument doesn’t apply here. Sure those laws exist, but they exist after you enter an area of commerce. If I choose to go into trucking I have to buy such and such safety equipment. In this case everyone by breathing is affected. So the laws are not analogous.

            Your second argument is just a restatement of your first. Yes, mandates exist. But they only exist on people who choose to enter an area of commerce. Here, everyone no matter what they do is affected. So the first two arguments are weak and I think probably were not made for that reason.

          2. The third argument is a bit better. But it ignores the fact there are people out there, the rick, the religious, those who die suddenly, who do not affect the risk pool. No everyone who doesn’t buy insurance will be financed by the collective. It is a little stronger than the other two. But it doesn’t prove enough.

            And for the record no SG would ever want to go down in history as the guy who lost the case of the century before the Court. So the idea that he is tanking this is just fantasy. The arguments for it are just that weak.

  3. (a.k.a. ACA and Obamcare)

    Please correct typo: should be Abumcare.

  4. But Linda Greenhouse and Dahlia Lithwick said there was no rational argument against Obamacare. How did things go so badly for the home team?

    1. Why would they need to prepare? It’s obviously constitutional!

      1. Are they serious?

  5. Wow is that Time cover creepy looking. Like North Korea News level creepy.

    1. This is asked too often, but can you imagine anyone doing this to Bush? Like putting him in a general’s uniform like they did with Obama in doctor’s garb? They used to do it, but only ever jokingly, not seriously like this. I’m not saying this is a liberal media thing, I think it’s an Obama obsession thing, whether from right or left. It is very odd.

  6. Britain Deserves Better

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