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Summer Supreme Court Obamacare Decision Likely

I wanted to make sure you were aware that the Obama administration has decided to let the Supreme Court rule on Obamacare during the heat of the 2012 campaign.

The Administration decided not to force an appeals court to rehear a ruling by a panel of the court that decided Obamacare was unconstitutional, setting the stage for a summertime 2012 decision by the Supreme Court.

The panel of the appeals court ruled 2-1 that the requirement that everyone purchase health care violates the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, saying that not buying something is not commerce and therefore the federal government’s power to regulate commerce doesn’t include forcing you to buy a product like health insurance.

Obama and the Los Angeles Lakers
Obama meets with members of the Supreme Court to try to influence their decision on Obamacare. Oh, wait, those are the Lakers. Never mind. || Photo by Keith Koffler

The requirement is the linchpin of the bill. Without it, nothing works.

If Obama had appealed to the full appeals court, the inevitable final decision by the Supreme Court could have been delayed into 2013.

I would caution against reading too much into any analysis of why the administration decided to do this. Perhaps they feel it’s a win-win situation – Supreme Court approval might make the law sound more legit and increase its popularity, while disapproval could rile up the Democratic base.

It might at least get people’s attention off the economy, which would be good for Obama. And the revival of health care as an issue could hurt Mitt Romney were he the nominee, since he did something similar in Massachusetts.

Or maybe the Obamaites think if Republicans win in 2012, it will increase the odds the law will be overturned. Or maybe someone in the White House thinks God told them to get a Supreme Court decision as early as possible.

Unless someone is quoting good sources in the administration, it’s tough to know.┬áIn any case, health care will become more of a major campaign issue.

Let us know if you’ve got your own theories.

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17 Responses to Summer Supreme Court Obamacare Decision Likely

  1. I read about this earlier.

    I am scratching my about it as well as this will only “stir the pot” right in the middle of the election. So, one must as themselves why, just like you have.

    My thoughts are that one way or another they, yes the progressives want this settled. Does this mean that they think that they will win? This is a huge risk as if the supremes declare it is constitution then they will wave that flag all the way to November ’12.

    My question is, will Sotomayor need to recuse herself from this. Keith, clarify this, but didn’t she push for Obamacare when she was solicitor general?

    • My bad, it was Elena Kagan that Barry appointed to the supremes and she was the solisitor general.

      I have seen many questions being asked on the internet asking if she should recuse herself.

  2. I’ve read elsewhere that of the 11 people on that panel, only 5 were appointed by Democrats and I THINK one has already signaled he/she would vote against the law. So why go to the trouble of a rehearing, if you think it will go against you?

  3. Interesting tactic, clever, too.
    They’re hoping that the Supremes strike down the law.
    Declaring Obamacare unconstitutional would put an end to the constant public battle over something the public hates and diffuse that political talking point for the Repubs. They can always blame the whole fiasco on SenReid and CongPelosi who can then protest they were only looking out for the health and welfare of the country.
    Assuming that MrRomney wins the Repub nomination, they’ll then pummel him with his own health care fiasco.

  4. They want a decision because they think, no matter what the ruling, a Supreme Court decision will make the bill meaningless in the election. If the Supremes uphold it, then a lot of people who don’t like it will move on to the next topic. If the Supremes strike it down, then Pres. Obama can say that he understands and will try for something better. Either way, it sort of makes the Obamacare a non-issue in the election since it’s either Constitutional or irrelevant.

  5. Once again I think you nailed it Keith. It’s win ( strike it down and we will see granny getting shoved off a cliff one more time ) , win ( don’t strike it down and the nasty republicans are heartless bastids who WANT granny shoved off that cliff ).

    Seriously doubt anyone in the WH is talking to God though….unless you mean the chosen Won.

  6. To have the SCOTUS decide the Healthcare in the middle of the campaign will help Obama motivate his base. It will motivate all those who support ‘free’ healthcare and other government largess. I can just see the rhetoric: Jet owners don’t want your baby to have healthcare. The Republicans, Tea Party, Libertarians, etc. are selfish and greedy, do you want them to control your government?
    It will be fun to watch. God help us if logic and good economic and not pandering political sense does not win.

  7. I wonder if the admin has been secretly advised that Kennedy will step down soon, and they believe they will be able to seat their own new pinko before next summer. Then it would be in the bag even if Kegan has to recuse herself.

  8. Obamacare ruling adds texture and urgency to class war campaign strategy. “These people want to take your health care. If you don’t re-elect me, people will die.”

  9. I seriously doubt that this White House knows what it is doing. Obamacare was passed and signed into law over the strenuous objections of the majority of the people. Remember when the president said it would not affect our insurance premiums? Well, he was wrong! It has caused our premiums to jump by about 10% in just one year. I don’t think the SCOTUS will affirm the law since it is blatantly unconstitutional. But, who can tell what will happen. Dred Scott was upheld.

  10. I believe the reason they are putting it off into “campaign” time is because that way they can use it against the Republicans without being accountable for it. I.E. “They” don’t want you to have health care, if you elect “them” they will make sure of that!

  11. They will not get a dime from me.
    If this Supreme Court rules the wrong way it will surly result in a replacement of the high court. To force someone to pay for something against their will could cause a revolution.