ObamaCare's Defenders Keep Forgetting How Unpopular the Law Is


At the Volokh Conspiracy, George Mason University law professor (and occasional Reason contributor) Ilya Somin highlights the weaknesses of the most common non-legal arguments made in defense of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including the notion that a ruling against ObamaCare will undermine the legitimacy of the Supreme Court. As Somin writes:

Claims that a decision striking down the mandate will undermine the Court's "legitimacy" founder on the simple reality that an overwhelmingly majority of the public wants the law to be invalidated. Even a slight 48-44 plurality of Democrats agree, according to a Washington Post/ABC poll. Decisions that damage the Court's legitimacy tend to be ones that run contrary to majority opinion, such as some of the cases striking down New Deal laws in the 1930s. By contrast, a decision failing to strike down a law that large majorities believe to be unconstitutional can actually damage the Court's reputation and create a political backlash, as the case of Kelo v. City of New London dramatically demonstrated.

Read the whole thing here, including Somin's argument for why a ruling aginst the individual mandate would not be inconsistent with conservative judicial principles. For more on ObamaCare's unpopularity, see this post by Reaason-Rupe polling director Emily Ekins, which notes that just 32 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of the president's health care overhaul.