Supreme Court

Gillespie in Newsday: Cheer Up, Losers! Settle Down, Winners! SCOTUS Isn't the Last Word on Anything (Hooray and Alas)!

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I've got a piece related to Obamacare whose veracity should survive whatever decision is announced in a few hours:

Here's an unsettling truth that should temper bitter resentment, unrestrained ecstasy, and any mix of feelings at today's outcome: The Supreme Court almost never changes the course of history. It might speed up or slow down the direction in which we're headed—and lord knows, it's made some genuinely terrible decisions over the years—but the role the Court plays is mostly to certify social, cultural and political trends, not to start them….

[That's not to say] the Court can't make better or worse decisions, or ones that are more popular or less popular. The 2005 decision Kelo v. New London, for instance, sanctioned governments to useeminent domain under virtually any circumstance, prompting a huge backlash at the state and local level to greatly narrow when elected officials might seize property for the so-called public good.

The plain fact is that the Supreme Court is never the last word on anything. Its justices "may not read the headlines," in the sense that they follow public opinion closely, but the court itself is generally a lagging indicator of what's really happening in the country. That's an insight that should give some succor to today's losers—and temper the enthusiasm of today's victors.

Read the whole thing here.

NEXT: A.M. Links: Eric Holder Up For Contempt, FBI Investigating Wildfires, News Corp Agrees to Split

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  1. Well, I was about to cite Wickard v. Filburn as an example of where this article is wrong, but I would have had it backwards. The case could have had the Supreme Court changing the course of history but in fact it did just step aside and give Congress virtually unlimited power, making the Court irrelevant.

    But with healthcare, I don’t know. If PPACA is struck down or gutted, Congress will be very reluctant to try something like that again. The Dems got tool beat in the midterms and won’t want a repeat of that any time soon.

    1. Though, in another way the premise is correct. Regardless of how the court rules, Congress can bring this back up. Either the Republicans could repeal, or the Democrats could redo but structure it as a blanket tax increase with a credit given if you provide proof of insurance.

      1. SSHHHH! They would’ve taken YEARS to reach that conclusion if you hadn’t given it away!

    2. I think you had it right the first time. Wickard might have been in accordance with the zeitgeist, but that’s not the way our Constitution is supposed to work. If Americans wanted Congress to have that sort of power, the Constitution provides a mechanism to grant it: Amendment.

      I doubt that, had state legislatures had the chance to contemplate the ramifications of a Wickard-esque expansion of federal power, they would have allowed it. Wickard, as James Fallows might put it, was a coup of the first order.

  2. temper the enthusiasm of today’s victors

    Not.

    1. Yeah I hope not. I want my salty ham tears, and it doesn’t matter from which side.

      1. I have my posts ready now:

        Victory: “Yes, Nancy, we’re serious.”

        Defeat: “Fuck!”

        1. It won’t be official till the first “Fuck you, that’s why.”

          1. What about the first, “I’m going to move to Europe!”?

            1. It’s been done to death.
              And they never really go.

        2. “Well Nancy, after you passed it, we got around to reading it, and we don’t like what is in it.”

  3. “The Supreme Court almost never changes the course of history.”

    Millions of dead babies would disagree, except that they’re dead.

    1. Millions of dead babies embryos would disagree, if dead embryos were capable of adult human thought, which, of course, they are not.

      1. Well that’s kind of a moot point since the vast majorities of adult humans aren’t capable of adult human thought.

    2. concerned is concerned…except for the tens of thousands of embryos destroyed yearly in fertility clinics as *PERSONAL PROPERTY* which is settled law.

      1. Just because something is settled law does not make it right.

        While I agree with the end-state (abortion should generally be legal), I do not agree with the premises of either pro-aborts or anti-aborts.

        1. You agree with conclusions but not premises? That’s a neat trick.

          1. Not so neat. You could arrive at a similar conclusion from different premises.

            For example, you can agree that apple pie is delicious- but disagree that it’s because of the crust.

            1. One cannot arrive at a valid conclusion by means of invalid premises. Logic 101.

              1. No, but one can accept the conclusion as valid if one arrives at it from valid premises- regardless of the failure of some other syllogism.

                “Jews have all the money;
                Those with all the money control hollywood;
                We should treat jews equal to all other humans.”

                The flaws in that syllogism do not negate the truth of the conclusion if reached by another- logical- argument. Thus, you can agree with the conclusion, but not the premises.

              2. disagreeing with a premise does not equal to its being invalid.

                1. It depends on the type of argument. Let Wiki explain. Wiki is never wrong.

                  A deductive argument is one which, if valid, has a conclusion that is entailed by its premises. In other words, the truth of the conclusion is a logical consequence of the premises?if the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true. It would be self-contradictory to assert the premises and deny the conclusion, because the negation of the conclusion is contradictory to the truth of the premises.

                  1. Yes, but of course you are assuming he finds the premises coming from a logical/rational source.

                    My argument is that crazy people can still reach a conclusion that is found valid by rational logic- but through irrational premises.

                    1. Then it’s an invalid argument, logically.

                    2. But that does nothing to negate the truth of the conclusion.

                      Thus- to the original point- you can agree with the conclusion independent of the premises.

                    3. But that does nothing to negate the truth of the conclusion.

                      Thus- to the original point- you can agree with the conclusion independent of the premises

                      Dear Sweet Christ, THANK YOU Spencer. I didn’t think that argument was going to have to be explained in such detail.

          2. Premise: I don’t want to be murdered

            Conclusion: Murder is wrong

            1. I don’t like liver.
              Eating is wrong.
              You should change your handle to Keating.

            2. just because something is *SETTLED* doesnt make it worng either randian

  4. so is the the ruling thread?

    1. I declare it so. Till someone else supersedes my edict. Someone with real power.

      1. Crap!! Obama just released an Executive Order banning threads on the ruling.

        1. I believe PIP said REAL power…

          1. Yeah. I nominate Randian. He’s the smart one here, right?

      2. Like Spiderman?

  5. I think this is a significant case, as the odds of the rest of the government undoing it if the law is upheld are small.

    Some cases are critical and could have significant repercussions if they’re decided wrongly. The fact that they may just endorse a trend doesn’t help, as the courts should be making sure the rest of the government doesn’t exceed its constitutional bounds. Regardless of whether that excess is popular or not.

    I think the CDA is a more recent example of a case that could’ve gone the other way that would’ve been a major disaster for free speech and the expansion of the Internet.

  6. I think Dred Scott had a significant impact.

    1. And Plesssy and Brown. But I think Nick could make the argument that those decisions were more refelctions of where the country was headed anyway. The country was ready to have a civil war when Dred Scott was decided, the country was headed towards segregation and then desecration when Plessy and Brown were decided. They didn’t create the wave, they just reflected it.

      1. Yes, but that’s a hindsight argument that’s impossible to prove.

        1. And getting dangerously close to determinism.

  7. I think the statists will eventually win in this country. All we can hope is to slow it down.

    1. NO! We are the last real hope against the road of other Western Nations. We can’t think in such defeatist terms.

      1. and yet, we refuse to acknowledge the potholes in the road others have traveled.

  8. The Decision will have all the impact and historical significance of Ron Paul’s campaign. Or not.

    I have spoken.

  9. I think the statists will eventually win in this country.

    Eventually? I would say they’ve already won, and all that’s left for them is a few mopping-up operations.

    1. We’ve been playing defense for too long. Defense might win Superbowls, but Superbowls have a game clock.

      1. What’s the 2 point safety in politics?

        1. bringing a bill to the floor and then losing the vote?

          I suppose a pick-six would be if the motion to recommit with instructions is agreed to.

          1. I was thinking contempt or impeachment proceedings would be a STRONG defensive move. Maybe those are the blocked punts and field goals…

    2. Without an incentive to repeal shitty laws, the logical conclusion of piling law upon law upon law is a totalitarian state.

  10. It’s true, nothing in life is ever truly “settled”, and the only entity that gets the “last word” is the Grim Reaper.

  11. 4 mins to decisions.

    1. I am trying to consider it the worst no matter what so I am not disappointed.

  12. It might speed up or slow down the direction in which we’re headed.

    We need to slow down the direction we’re headed.

    We certainly need to slow down the direction Obama was headed.

    1. If they uphold the mandate. I’m gonna have a conniption. I’m gonna shit my pants.

      First I’m gonna shit my pants, and then I’m gonna have a conniption.

      1. time to change your underwear.

  13. WHAT’S THE ANSWER?

    The suspense is killing me.

  14. Fuck.

    The SCOTUS betrayed us.

    Fuck this shit.

    Fuckers.

    1. Fuck you fluffy you nasty little shit. It is not out yet.

      1. Oh come on! Let me have a little fun.

        1. damn you Fluffy. That’s grade-A trolling right there! 😛

          1. It was particularly fun because this was a repeat. I did this earlier in the session, too.

            1. I just got an IP update that said they upheld.

        2. You did that last week, so I was ready.

        3. I think that’s just setting yourself up for bragging rights later!

    2. Damn you to hell, Fluffy! I believed you.

  15. Stolen Valor Act is unconstitutional, so that’s a positive.

    1. If lying about your combat record is a crime, we need to lock up a lot of people.

      1. Like Frank Dux/

        KUMITE, KUMITE!

      2. Like Tom Harkin. Hmmmmm….

  16. Stolen Valor act is unconstitutional.

    1. Who wrote the opinion?

      1. Kennedy in a plurality

        1. Good, it should be. Now it they get benefits that would be fraud.

  17. I still say that John Roberts should open the opinion, Meadow comes into the Supreme Court and *black*

    1. I still say “what”?

      1. Nevermind, I see you linked in the other thread.

  18. Who’s this girl on CNN?

    I never watch anymore.

    1. Judging from their ratings, you are not alone.

  19. The problem, really, is that the Supreme Court is going to fumble on severability and permit the pre-existing conditions stuff to stay. We’ll all have Medicare by next year.

  20. http://www.scotusblog.com/cover-it-live/

    SCOTUSblog seems to be the best place to watch.

    1. Over half a million people watching on there.

    2. How many windows do you have open right now? I’m guessing eight.

  21. Stolen Valor Act struck down.

  22. SCOTUSBLOG is saying they expect the Obamacare decision at 10:15 EDT.

    1. They say they have it now!

  23. Struck down. Holy crap

  24. here we go

  25. The mandate goes down.

  26. Mandate survives as a tax. Are you kidding me?

    1. We don’t have a government anymore. And we are going to be stuck in a socialist hell that bankrupts the country.

      1. That’s the spirit!

      2. The Federal Government of the United States would be doomed even if the Supreme Court had found the law to be unconstitutional.

  27. FUCK!

    10:08

    Amy Howe:
    The individual mandate survives as a tax.

  28. They fucked us. They called it a tax and upheld it. I had a bad feeling.

    1. Thanx to that cocksucker John Roberts.

      W fucks us from retirement.

  29. Down goes Frazier!
    No, he’s back up!

  30. Mandate survives as a tax. Wish I could say I was surprised.

    1. I’m amazed that they said it’s ok as a tax, when it’s not a tax.

      Not horribly amazed that it was upheld.

    1. FOXNews said SCOTUS ruled mandate unconstitutional.

  31. Next time when you pass a tax be honest and call it a tax.

    They didn’t have the guts to call it a tax, and now their law is down in flames.

    1. How so? Am I missing something? Please tell me I am wrong that the mandate survived.

  32. A tax? WTF!

  33. This isn’t a bad link either…

    http://stream.wsj.com/story/su…..S-2-24938/

  34. So CNN got it wrong? I should have known better than watch these dumbasses.

  35. Tax?! They didn’t present it as a tax or argue it as a tax….FFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

  36. UPHELD!

    Now, how long exactly does it take the blood to drain from my wrists?

  37. The mandate was upheld!!!

  38. Ruling is apparently complicated. Thanks bunches, Nazgul, for making this clusterfuck even more clusterfucky.

    1. And calling it a tax when Congress didn’t call it that.

      1. Technically that’s correct. If it looks like a tax and smells like a tax, it’s a tax, despite Congress not wanting to call it one. Just like all of Obama’s claims that he hasn’t raised taxes on the Middle Class, when he has.

  39. CNN is STILL reporting it was struck down.

    WTF?

    1. It’s CNN. What else do you expect?

    2. It’s CNN. What else do you expect?

    3. Maybe SCOTUSBLOG is full of shit.

    4. The Matrix hasn’t found it’s running the wrong program in your brain. It’s okay, just take the red pill, and we’ll be seeing you shortly. Down the rabbit hole.

  40. The Medicaid provision is limited but not invalidated.

    What the fuck does that mean? And Roberts sold out the Court and voted with the liberals. He turned out to be the apparatchik his critics have said he was.

    1. not of this is going to make sense until the opinions are posted. but i’m pretty sure it’s “fuck you, that’s why”

  41. MOTHERFUCKER SONOFABITCH!

  42. We are so fucked. Sob.

  43. Roberts sells out.

  44. Prepare to eat your broccoli, bitches.

  45. Yay! Health care for all survives!

  46. Tom:
    The bottom line: the entire ACA is upheld, with the exception that the federal government’s power to terminate states’ Medicaid funds is narrowly read.

  47. The bottom line: the entire ACA is upheld, with the exception that the federal government’s power to terminate states’ Medicaid funds is narrowly read.

    That is SCOTUSBLOG Fuck Roberts.

  48. Not even a cynical bastard like me could have envisioned such a split-the-baby ruling.

  49. “Historic”.

  50. Drinking myself to death and you guys get to pay for it!

  51. BROCCOLI FOR LUNCH IT IS.

    Thank fuck I don’t have to hear you assholes gloat.

  52. I hate to say it, but I called it…

    1. I was afraid they would do it. When have they ever limited congressional power?

  53. Well, looks like 5 justices decided to play politics. Can’t wait to tell that to my liberal friends.

  54. It would appear that no one has any idea what’s going on. Which is pretty standard.

  55. They split the baby apparently. They actually read the commerce clause properly and then said you could do it anyway because you are just taxing people who don’t have insurance.

    So the Obama legacy comes to this, his great accomplishment was taxing the uninsured.

    1. How terribly anticlimatic. Hopefully someone at Romney’s campaign is already calculating how much Obama raised everyone’s taxes.

      1. I would hope so as well. The liberals are going to gloat for about 24 hours and then it is going to dawn on them that they are now admitting their signature legislation was nothing but a giant tax increase on the poor.

    2. I’m stealing that last one.

    3. ObamaCare sucks regardless of whether it’s constitutional.

      If there’s any bright side to this, it’s that this will probably galvanize Obama’s opposition–like it galvanized the Tea Party.

      Obama probably won’t get reelected after this.

      That’s not much a consolation considering that we’ll be suffering from this horrible ruling in all sorts of ways long after Obama is gone.

      What a fucking travesty!

      1. You’re sadly completely right. The GOP is completely useless here, they will never repeal it, even piece by piece. They will focus on some random BS issue like gay marriage instead…

      2. What happens is the mandate can now be spun as a tax on the uninsured. Good luck filibustering to keep that in place.

        1. Oh if the GOP tried they might be able to repeal it. It just seems that the Dems eagerly advocate tyranny while the GOP stands by and shrugs, saying, “I don’t know guys…” promptly forgetting about the last instance of tyranny and letting it become “precendent.”

      3. The problem is that we need Romney to kill it after the election and there’s little chance of that happening, no matter how much he promises to do it.

        1. I think he will. He would have no choice but to sign legilstion killing it after it got out of Congress. The question is can it get out of Congress. Since I think I think there is a pretty good likelihood that the Republicans will own Congress, the question is would the Dem senators filibuster it. That would be their only hope of stopping it.

          In that sense, calling it a tax is problematic. The Dems can’t call it a mandate anymore. It is a “tax on the uninsured”. There is a reason why they didn’t call it a tax. Calling it a tax would have been political poison.

          1. This is how the income tax started.

            I’ve been fighting to repeal that since I was a little kid in the 1980s and found out what that was.

            This is how social security got started. People voted for conservatives back then hoping someone would finally repeal it–no one’s trying to repeal social security.

            This is how medicare and medicaid got started.

            The Republicans weren’t the solution to those problems, and they aren’t the solution to the individual mandate either.

            As frightening as it is, the only solution is to persuade our fellow Americans, starting with our friends and family, no matter whether they’re Democrat or Republican, that our politicians are not the solution to our problems.

            That they should be free to choose their own plan in a free market.

            When we get enough of a critical mass of people who believe that, things will get better. Until then, anyone who tries to convince our fellow Americans that Republicans are the solution to their problems?

            Is contributing to the problem.

            1. Politicians are going to do what gets them elected. It is that simple. When the people demand better, they will get better.

  56. Fuck, betrayal.

  57. How can they uphold the law based on an argument that wasn’t actually presented?

    1. Fuck you, that’s why.

    2. The Supreme Court has done that before. They aren’t solely reliant on what’s presented before them.

    3. Not just an argument that wasn’t presented, but one that was explicitly argued against by the administration on national television?

      1. Still doesn’t matter. There are lower opinions to consider as well.

    4. You forget the oral arguments, Fluffy. The Solicitor General was fucking up so badly that the liberal Justices actually started making his arguments for him. It was like watching the Packers kicking the shit out of the Rams, only to see the referees start picking up the ball and running it down the field.

  58. There’s no chance for a free market in healthcare during our lifetime.

    No private option.

    If there’s ever a free market for health insurance in this country, we’ll never live to see it.

    The nature of your coverage will now be determined by disgusting politicians in Washington.

    What a fucking travesty!

  59. Terrible, terrible, terrible.

    Let’s pass a tax to require gun purchases.

    1. They can. Just pas a law that you pay more taxes if you don’t own a firearm.

  60. Pearls for sale! Getcher clutching pearls here!
    Fainting couch! $5 per quarter-hour!
    Paper bags! Perfect for hyperventilating! $1 each!

    1. See, guys, Pip is a good Ferengi libertarian! You never let an opportunity for profit go to waste, folks.

      1. Damn right. My conclusions have nothing to do with my premises! I’m the perfect pragmatist libertarian.

        1. I’ll sell you some Vagisil to calm down the flaming of your vagina. Spencer handled that argument fine.

          1. I have a few clutching pearls left. Going fast!

            1. Too late. John got the last string.

  61. It was apparently Roberts not Kennedy. Kennedy voted to kill the entire law. Roberts saved it. Okay, I am thinking that trying Bush as a war criminal makes a lot of sense now. That fucking worthless bastard.

    1. Glad to see you’re taking it well.

  62. i’m seriously more disappointed than i thought i’d be. even bracing for this outcome.

  63. The auto workers’ unions are probably calling in the Dems right now to try and get a law passed requiring that everyone buy cars from American companies.

  64. The idea that this is limiting is fucking hilarious. They’ve just expanded the shit out of the taxing power.

  65. SCOTUSblog: “Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax. This is sufficient to sustain it.”

  66. I would have preferred if they upheld it straight up.

    1. I think so too. In the end Roberts just didn’t have the balls to stare down the liberals. He was afraid no one would like him and he wouldn’t get invited to the right parties. Something about him always gave me the creeps. He always looked just a bit too perfect and too successful. And now we know why, he is completely devoid of moral or intellectual courage. When it mattered he caved to be popular among his fellow elites.

      I hope he enjoys his moment in the sun because I think history is going to judge him very harshly for this.

      1. Would you like to rent my fainting couch, John? $5 per quarter-hour.

        1. it is a good thing liberals are able to make such solid arguments there Mary.

          1. Sorry, not “Mary.” And while I’m dismayed by the decision, I am immensely entertained by the reactions, especially your typically overwrought hand-wringing. More, please.

            1. Fuck off Mary.

              1. I’ve breached John’s crazy zone!
                Now I feel bad.
                Bye, Johnny. Get well.

                1. Whatever Mary. At least you behave well enough not to get yourself banned anymore. So there is that.

                  1. You really should see someone about those delusions. Toodles!

  67. via Scotusblog:

    Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax. This is sufficient to sustain it.

    I can’t say I disagree with that on its face.

    1. But “The court reinforces that individuals can simply refuse to pay the tax and not comply with the mandate.” How does that work exactly?

      1. Wait, taxes are optional? That’s awesome.

      2. “My fellow Earthicans, we enjoy so much freedom it’s almost sickening. We’re free to choose which hand our sex-monitoring chip is implanted in. And if we don’t want to pay our taxes, why, we’re free to spend a weekend with the Pain Monster.”

        1. “See you April 15, folks!”

  68. Roberts either got bribed or was successfully intimidated by the media. I think I’m going to be sick.

    The Supreme Court, the great ultimate defender of our liberties and freedoms. What an absolute fucking absurd joke that notion is.

    1. Yeah, approving rounding up and sending citizens to concentration camps made a joke of that idea decades ago.

  69. from politico: The Supreme Court has upheld the health care reform law’s individual mandate in an opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined in by Justices Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor

    1. That’s some good company you’re keeping there, Roberts.

    2. Yes Roberts, forming the biggest opinion of your tenure as a 5-4 win which included a vote from the person who helped write the legislation in question is a good way to preserve the legitimacy of the court.

      1. Seriously, what a fucking dope. “I’m worried about the institutional integrity of this court, so I’m going to implement a 5-4 decision the other way from where everyone else suspects.

  70. Called it. Bought Roberts’ vote with the SEIU vote.

  71. *Now* can we fix the tax code?

  72. Isn’t there any part of government left that cares about our freedom at all?

    1. Of course, Ken. You’re free to do what they tell you to do or pay conficatory taxes.

  73. Hey, here is a silver lining:

    The court reinforces that individuals can simply refuse to pay the tax and not comply with the mandate.

    There might not be any enforcement the Administration is willing to do on this ‘tax’.

    1. Whoa, where did that come from?

    2. Lol. “Apologies – you can’t refuse to pay the tax; typo. The only effect of not complying with the mandate is that you pay the tax.”

    3. Nope.

      Tom: Apologies – you can’t refuse to pay the tax; typo. The only effect of not complying with the mandate is that you pay the tax.

      1. Fine, dammit! But it looks like the States cannot be forced to implement ACA.

    4. The court reinforces that individuals can simply refuse to pay the tax and not comply with the mandate.

      The mandate is being enforced by the IRS.

      Try telling the IRS you don’t have to pay the mandate part with your income taxes, and see what they say.

      The mandate penalty is gonna be on your 1040, right?

      1. That was a typo on SCOTUSblog, Ken.

  74. “The court reinforces that individuals can simply refuse to pay the tax and not comply with the mandate.”

    okay then.

    1. I’m thinking a few individuals may even refuse to pay *any* tax.

  75. More silver lining: Congress cannot penalize states for failing to comply with ACA (meaning that federalism may well indeed be alive):

    Nothing in our opinion precludes Congress from offering funds under the ACA to expand the availability of health care, and requiring that states accepting such funds comply with the conditions on their use. What Congress is not free to do is to penalize States that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding.”

    1. Federalism might be, but individual rights just took a pretty big blow.

  76. The Court holds that the mandate violates the Commerce Clause, but that doesn’t matter b/c there are five votes for the mandate to be constitutional under the taxing power.

  77. There is at least a very, very small silver lining in that the Court found that the law does violate the Commerce Clause. Not like the Commerce Clause means anything if they can just threaten to tax you if you don’t comply.

    1. Yes, there’s still some theoretical limit to the commerce clause, though there’s no longer a practical one.

  78. The four liberal justices voted to uphold under the Commerce Clause. Roberts’ opinion controls though, and it is invalid there.

    1. So does that mean it sets no precedent regarding what the CC allows, but only saves Obama’s ass?

      1. Yes and no. It does set precedent on the CC and in a good way. But yes it saves the act.

      2. There’s a precedent – Congress does not have the power under the Commerce Clause to make you buy something. Congress does have the power to engineer your activity through the tax system, however.

        This is kind of not a bad decision, overall. First, the states cannot be penalized for failure to implement ACA, and you have a boatload of states who have it in their constitutions that they aren’t going to implement ACA, so while they won’t receive new ACA funds, they won’t lose their Medicaid funds.

        Scott Walker, John Kasich, call your offices. Republican governors just became extremely important.

        1. Congress does have the power to engineer your activity through the tax system, however.

          But is this really news? I mean what are, say, renewable energy tax credits? A bad idea, yes, but if the ACA mandate is a tax (I think it’s not, it’s a mandate), then is it different?

          1. No, it isn’t different, really. The good news, as I said, is that the states do not have to participate in expanded Medicaid. Having the federal government be told that not only did it overstep the Commerce Clause, but that it’s bullshit punitive measures (like the kind of bullshit in Dole v. South Dakota) go too far counts as a partial win in my book.

            Especially given that the tax is, sadly, constitutional.

  79. Here is the thing with the tax. There are all sorts of ways to defeat a tax. Congress could simply prohibit the IRS from enforcing the tax. The President could issue an executive order telling the IRS not to enforce or collect the tax. And if enough people just refused to pay, there would be no way to collect it anyway.

    1. I am with John – this is actually a victory. The House can choose not to fund the IRS’s collection division on this tax, and President Romney can choose, like President Obama did, to de-prioritize collection of the tax.

      One thing is for sure: I’m not getting my jar of liberal tears today, and for that I hate Roberts.

      1. a *partial* victory, I should say. I naturally would have preferred Roberts joined Kennedy.

      2. Day one of a Romney Administration, Romney could say by executive order that the tax will not be collected and the other provisions of the act will not be enforced. After what Obama did with the Dream Act, there would be nothing liberals could do about it. And since the act is unpopular and liberals would have already lost the election, it would be politically painless.

        1. Congress needs to repeal the piece of shit.

    2. When’s the last time the Republicans took an entitlement away from anyone?

      When has that ever happened?

      ObamaCare cannot function without forcing people to pay in who wouldn’t be paying in otherwise.

      Isn’t that what this is now? You’re talking about the Republicans voting to take away the support ObamaCare needs to function.

      It’s an existing benefit now for too many people. The Republicans aren’t going to vote to take that away–ever.

      1. Since when have the Republicans shied away from cutting taxes because it wasn’t fiscally prudent?

  80. The opening of the dissent

    n opening his statement in dissent, Kennedy says: “In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.”

    It was ALL ROBERTS. The whole act would have gone down if not for Roberts.

    1. Fuck that catholic cocksucker.

  81. Huh. So Nick was right after all!

  82. So sprint to the cliff it is. Fuck…wait…who is that ahead of us… THE EU? Let’s follow those assholes, they must know what they are doing! They’re skinnier than us, smarter, and have more vacation. Who cares if they are about to be turned into paste on the crags below?

    FUCK THIS SHIT

  83. From the dissent: “Whatever may be the conceptual limits
    upon the Commerce Clause and upon the power to tax
    and spend, they cannot be such as will enable the Federal
    Government to regulate all private conduct and to compel the States to function as administrators of federal
    programs.”

    Unfortunately, they can and will.

    1. Ah, but nicole, see, the Federal Government was just explicitly told they cannot compel the States. That is good news, trust me.

      1. Yes yes. But not so much with the first part.

    2. “If Congress can reach out and command
      even those furthest removed from an interstate market to
      participate in the market, then the Commerce Clause
      becomes a font of unlimited power, or in Hamilton’s words,
      “the hideous monster whose devouring jaws . . . spare
      neither sex nor age, nor high nor low, nor sacred nor profane.” The Federalist No. 33, p. 202 (C. Rossiter ed. 1961).”

      Kennedy brings it.

    1. The dissent is quite nice. I haven’t read the rest.

  84. I am glad to see that Roberts is at least smarter than “golden boy” Jeffrey Sutton and recognizes that, yes, Virginia, there is a difference between activity and inactivity:

    Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals precisely because they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority. Congress already possesses expansive power to regulate what people do. Upholding the Affordable Care Act under the Commerce Clausewould give Congress the same license to regulate what people do notdo. The Framers knew the difference between doing something and doing nothing. They gave Congress the power to regulate commerce, not to compel it. Ignoring that distinction would undermine the principle that the Federal Government is a government of limited andenumerated powers. The individual mandate thus cannot be sustained under Congress’s power to “regulate Commerce.”

    1. But he is still a dope since he thinks the Congress can accomplish the same thing via a tax.

      1. It just changes whose foot is in the boot on our necks, really.

  85. The markets are in free-fall.

    Employers remain in limbo, unable to project costs. You know what that means in terms of unemployment.

  86. Guys, not a defeat. I have to concur with SCOTUSblog here:

    The rejection of the Commerce Clause and Nec. and Proper Clause should be understood as a major blow to Congress’s authority to pass social welfare laws. Using the tax code — especially in the current political environment — to promote social welfare is going to be a very chancy proposition.

    1. Using the tax code — especially in the current political environment — to promote social welfare is going to be a very chancy proposition.

      Except…you can say you’re not using the tax code and SCOTUS will say that you did really after all…

      1. That’s going to be a one-time proposition, trust me.

        1. That’s only because they’ll be smart enough to mark it as a tax from the beginning in the future.

          1. Right but they’ve been doing that for some time now.

            1. Not really, they passed it as “not a tax.”

  87. Can’t wait for the President to run as the guy who raised taxes!

    1. It won’t technically be a “tax” then. The president can change the meanings of words. He has Executive Powers! Besides, premises don’t have to support conclusions. Everybody knows that.

    2. On the middle class!

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