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« The Morning Rant | Main | Oh: "Republican" PAC That Attacks Republicans Turns Out to Be Bankrolled By... Liberal Billionaires »
December 17, 2018

Obamacare Going Back to Supreme Court, Now That Lower Court Has Ruled It Unconstititional

Eighteen Republican states attorneys general and two Republican governors sued to strike down Obamacare, arguing that the original bullshit ruling upholding it did so by claiming that the tax power was broad, and that the individual mandate could be construed, sort of, as a tax, and ergo, Obamacare was a tax bill and was presumptively constitutional.

But since then, Congress passed, and President Trump signed, a law eliminating the tax that enforced the individual mandate -- the individual mandate still existed, in theory, but there was no penalty for ignoring it.

Thereby making Obamacare no longer a tax bill, and thereby stealing away Chief Justice Roberts' entire (phony) rationale for claiming an unconstitutional bill was unconstitutional.

A Texas federal judge agreed with this argument and voided Obamacare as unconstitutional.

"In some ways, the question before the Court involves the intent of both the 2010 and 2017 Congresses," O'Connor wrote in his 55-page decision. "The former enacted the ACA. The latter sawed off the last leg it stood on."

That decision is here.

Resolution of these claims rests at the intersection of the ACA, the Supreme Court's decision in NFIB, and the TCJA. In NFIB, the Supreme Court held the Individual Mandate was unconstitutional under the Interstate Commerce Clause but could fairly be read as an exercise of Congress's Tax Power because it triggered a tax. The TCJA eliminated that tax. The Supreme Court's reasoning in NFIB--buttressed by other binding precedent and plain text --thus compels the conclusion that the Individual Mandate may no longer be upheld under the Tax Power. And because the Individual Mandate continues to mandate the purchase of health insurance, it remains unsustainable under the Interstate Commerce Clause--as the Supreme Court already held.

Finally, Congress stated many times unequivocally--through enacted text signed by the President--that the Individual Mandate is "essential" to the ACA. And this essentiality, the ACA's text makes clear, means the mandate must work "together with the other provisions" for the Act to function as intended. All nine Justices to review the ACA acknowledged this text and Congress's manifest intent to establish the Individual Mandate as the ACA's "essential" provision. The current and previous Administrations have recognized that, too. Because rewriting the ACA without its "essential" feature is beyond the power of an Article III court, the Court thus adheres to Congress's textually expressed intent and binding Supreme Court precedent to find the Individual Mandate is inseverable from the ACA’s remaining provisions.

So, the Individual Mandate was "essential" to Obamacare and, being essential to it, the entire Obamacare law falls if this essential, non-severable part of it is struck down. As Roberts (and the rest of the Court) already ruled that there was no part of the Constitution (including the Interstate Commerce Clause) giving Congress such a huge power to simply order people to buy insurance, except for the power of taxation, the idea that the Individual Mandate was a kind of tax was the only justification for this mandate. Now that that's gone, there is no justification for Congress ordering Americans to make purchases, and that section of Obamacare is voided as unconstitutional, and because that part of Obamacare was "essential" to its function in total, the whole law falls.

That ruling, though, did not come with an injunction ordering the federal government and states to stop administering Obamacare. Only leftwing judges, usually from Hawaii, order the rest of the country to obey their decisions without further review.

The ruling is on the books, but will not be enforced until the Supreme Court agrees with it.

The problem, of course, is Roberts. Roberts invented a farcical excuse to rule the unconstitutional law constitutional -- changing his vote from one to strike down the unconstitutional law to one to preserve it after he got pressure from the Democrat media -- and if he was willing to engage in fantasy rule-making once to save Obamacare there's not much to discourage him from doing so again.

Sure, he already ruled that no other power but the taxation power could uphold Obamacare, but wait for the Democrat media campaign to start working on this pussy.

The Affordable Care Act -- and the multitude of regulations, taxes and benefits that come with it -- once again could be on the road to the Supreme Court after a Texas judge ruled the law unconstitutional.

The surprise decision Friday already has both sides of the debate posturing, with Democrats claiming the ruling is but a hiccup and Republicans suggesting this could be their chance, at last, to abolish the law -- which remains largely in place despite President Trump’s past claims to the contrary.

A Supreme Court ruling in their favor would be Republicans' only shot at overturning the law in the foreseeable future, with Democrats taking control of the House in January...

"A confirming Supreme Court Decision will lead to GREAT HealthCare results for Americans," Trump tweeted Monday.

[tweet follows]

The DEDUCTIBLE which comes with ObamaCare is so high that it is practically not even useable! Hurts families badly. We have a chance, working with the Democrats, to deliver great HealthCare! A confirming Supreme Court Decision will lead to GREAT HealthCare results for Americans!

If the court were to overturn the law, it would leave the Trump administration and a divided Congress in a remarkably difficult situation – scrambling to come up with an alternative that has eluded the law’s critics in Washington ever since its passage in 2010.

"We have a chance, working with the Democrats, to deliver great HealthCare!" Trump claimed.

Chuck Schumer promised to fight the court's ruling "tooth and nail," and will fight for a bill already pushed by super-conservative Joe Machin (thanks, West Virginia!) to permit Democrats in Congress to intervene in the lawsuit as interested third-parties.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III introduced a resolution back in July that would authorize the legal counsel of the Senate to take part in the legal proceedings against Texas and the other states involved, including Manchin's home state of West Virginia.

It became a key issue for Manchin in part because his 2018 challenger was the state's GOP attorney general.

"This ruling is just plain wrong," Manchin said in a statement issued Friday night. "I look forward to its appeal to a higher court, and I intend to fight to ensure that the Senate has an opportunity to intervene to defend these critical health safeguards."

Democrats tried and failed to force a vote on the Manchin proposal in August, and a Manchin unanimous consent request to call up and pass the measure Sept. 5 faced objection.

All that bill would do is allow Senate Democrats to file their own brief in the case and that kind of thing.

digg this
posted by Ace of Spades at 12:18 PM

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