The New Republic Sketch….
Could this come down to?….
FIVE GUYS versus The Congress and President who broke their Balls to put together a Law that provides Healthcare Benefits for the ENTIRE American Population!
It could come to this….
Could Five Right Wingers on the US Supreme Court be handing their buddies in the Republican Party and political axe to try unseat a President they couldn’t stand from the Jump….
Here’s some stuff on the dancing to the Supreme’s….
Whether the U.S. Supreme Court will uphold President Obama‘s landmark healthcare overhaul or scrap at least the most controversial part — the requirement that most Americans have health insurance — won’t be known until probably this summer, when the justices are expected to rule.
But after three days of oral arguments concluded this week, four constitutional law experts weighed in on the strengths and weaknesses of the cases made by the administration’s top lawyers, Solicitor Gen. Donald Verrilli Jr. and his deputy, Edwin Kneedler, and Paul D. Clement, solicitor general in theGeorge W. Bush administration, who represents the 26 states challenging the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Adam Winkler, UCLA constitutional law professor
“To no one’s surprise, Paul Clement has been extremely persuasive on the part of the challengers. He is known to be one of the foremost Supreme Court advocates in the nation…. He’s famous for being able to make arguments without notes, without stutters. The arguments this week showed his skill again.
“Verrilli did an OK job but I’m sure many supporters of President Obama’s healthcare reform were a little disappointed with his advocacy. He had very good answers to key questions but often phrased them inartfully. He also failed to remind the court repeatedly of the deference the court owes Congress” in its lawmaking role.
How is the court likely to rule?
“I think it’s too close to call, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Supreme Court struck down the individual mandate. [Striking down the entire law] is less likely as that would be a clearer case of aggressive judicial activism. The law has thousands of different provisions, many of which have nothing to do with the individual mandate.”
“If Congress doesn’t want the provisions that are not infected to stand, Congress can take care of it,” said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Former Solicitor General Paul Clement — arguing for the law’s opponents — said the justices should “just tell Congress, look, try and fix the problem, don’t just try and fix the statute that’s left here.”
If only it were that easy.
Democrats don’t have the power to restore the law if it’s struck down in full or in part.
Republicans don’t have the desire.
And White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Wednesday that the administration is focused on implementing the law, not revisiting it if the mandate is struck down.
“We’re confident that the legislation is constitutional,” Earnest said. “There’s no contingency plan that’s in place. We’re focused on implementing the law.”
So the consensus in Washington is that the Supreme Court’s version of the law will stand at least until January, when a new Congress and maybe a new president come to town.
The GOP has broken into three camps. One wants to act quickly to save popular provisions that ensure insurance options for young adults and folks with pre-existing conditions. The second isn’t even paying lip service to the “replace” end of the mantra “repeal and replace.” And a growing third faction, mirroring some of the views of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, splits the difference by calling for the federal government to repeal the law and for the states to adopt its most popular features.
“There are pieces we will look to keep, like covering people with pre-existing [conditions], but that might be something we turn back over to the states, maybe with high-risk pools or community-centered care,” Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), a leader among House GOP freshmen, said Wednesday. “I think that’s something 90 percent of Republicans would be in favor of. I don’t think another sweeping reform package is necessary.”
As Tuesday’s oral argument on the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate came to a close, several commentators faulted Solicitor General Donald Verrilli’s performance. Particularly harsh was CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin, who called the two hour argument “a train wreck for the Obama Administration.” But having sat through the oral argument and re-read the transcript, I have to dissent. Especially on paper, Verrilli’s performance appears quite strong—and possibly more effective than that of his opponents, Michael Carvin and the justly renowned Paul Clement.
Here’s why. Making a persuasive legal argument in a hotly contested case is just like making a persuasive political argument in a confrontational campaign. The key is simple: Come up with a clear, smart message, and stay on it, without sounding so inflexible or extreme that crucial centrist voters are alienated. By that standard, the solicitor general registered well—indeed, he got stronger and stronger as the two hours passed. The transcript shows Verrilli constantly returning to the same four-point algorithm:
1. The argument by opponents of the ACA mandate—that the mandate is not a “regulation” of commerce but a diktat to passive bystanders to enter commerce—is inaccurate, because people are already engaged in the health services market.
2. The opponents concede that Congress can regulate that market by imposing an insurance coverage mandate when patients show up at a doctor’s office or hospital emergency room.
3. That alternative solution is an unworkable sham.
4. Hence, striking the mandate bars Congress from achieving universal coverage and, in particular, ensuring affordable coverage for persons with pre-existing medical conditions, through any means that preserves private insurance markets.