Supreme Court upholds key part of Obama health law

Thursday, June 28, 2012 | 9:26 a.m. CDT; updated 11:09 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 28, 2012
Claire McAndrew of Washington, left, and Donny Kirsch of Washington celebrate outside the Supreme Court in Washington on Thursday after the court's ruling on health care.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld virtually all of President Barack Obama's historic health care overhaul, including the hotly debated core requirement that nearly every American have health insurance.

The 5-4 decision meant the huge overhaul, still taking effect, could proceed and pick up momentum over the next several years, affecting the way that countless Americans receive and pay for their personal medical care.

A look at the federal health care law in Missouri

Here is a look at where Missouri stands on implementing President Barack Obama's federal health care overhaul, which the Supreme Court ruled Thursday can go forward:

NUMBER OF UNINSURED: 835,000 state residents are uninsured, or about 14 percent.

WHERE THE STATE STANDS: Missouri received an initial planning grant but has not implemented an online health insurance exchange, a cornerstone of the federal law, because of opposition to it by some Republican state senators. Missouri residents will vote in November on a ballot measure asking whether Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's administration should be barred from implementing an insurance exchange without specific authority in state law.

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The ruling hands Obama a campaign-season victory in rejecting arguments that Congress went too far in approving the plan. However, Republicans quickly indicated they will try to use the decision to rally their supporters against what they call "Obamacare," arguing that the ruling characterized the penalty against people who refuse to get insurance as a tax.

Obama declared, "Whatever the politics, today's decision was a victory for people all over this country." GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney renewed his criticism of the overhaul, calling it "bad law" and promising to work to repeal it if elected in November.

Breaking with the court's other conservative justices, Chief Justice John Roberts announced the judgment that allows the law to go forward with its aim of covering more than 30 million uninsured Americans. Roberts explained at length the court's view of the mandate as a valid exercise of Congress' authority to "lay and collect taxes." The administration estimates that roughly 4 million people will pay the penalty rather than buy insurance.

Even though Congress called it a penalty, not a tax, Roberts said, "The payment is collected solely by the IRS through the normal means of taxation."

Roberts also made plain the court's rejection of the administration's claim that Congress had the power under the Constitution's commerce clause to put the mandate in place. The power to regulate interstate commerce power, he said, "does not authorize the mandate. "

Stocks of hospital companies rose after the decision was announced, while shares of insurers fell sharply. Shares of drugmakers and device makers fell slightly.

The justices rejected two of the administration's three arguments in support of the insurance requirement. But the court said the mandate can be construed as a tax. "Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness," Roberts said.

The court found problems with the law's expansion of Medicaid, but even there said the expansion could proceed as long as the federal government does not threaten to withhold states' entire Medicaid allotment if they don't take part in the law's extension.

The court's four liberal justices, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, joined Roberts in the outcome.

Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.

Kennedy summarized the dissent in court. "In our view, the act before us is invalid in its entirety," he said.

The dissenters said in a joint statement that the law "exceeds federal power both in mandating the purchase of health insurance and in denying non-consenting states all Medicaid funding."

In all, the justices spelled out their views in six opinions totaling 187 pages. Roberts, Kennedy and Ginsburg spent 51 minutes summarizing their views in the packed courtroom.

The legislation passed Congress in early 2010 after a monumental struggle in which all Republicans voted against it. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said Thursday the House will vote the week of July 9 on whether to repeal the law, though such efforts have virtually no chance in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

After the ruling, Republican campaign strategists said Romney will use it to continue campaigning against "Obamacare" and attacking the president's signature health care program as a tax increase.

"Obama might have his law, but the GOP has a cause," said veteran campaign adviser Terry Holt. "This promises to galvanize Republican support around a repeal of what could well be called the largest tax increase in American history."

Democrats said Romney, who backed an individual health insurance mandate when he was Massachusetts governor, will have a hard time exploiting the ruling.

"Mitt Romney is the intellectual godfather of Obamacare," said Democratic consultant Jim Manley. "The bigger issue is the rising cost of health care, and this bill is designed to deal with it."

More than eight in 10 Americans already have health insurance. But for most of the 50 million who are uninsured, the ruling offers the promise of guaranteed coverage at affordable prices. Lower-income and many middle-class families will be eligible for subsidies to help pay premiums starting in 2014.

There's also an added safety net for all Americans, insured and uninsured. Starting in 2014, insurance companies will not be able to deny coverage for medical treatment, nor can they charge more to people with health problems. Those protections, now standard in most big employer plans, will be available to all, including people who get laid off, or leave a corporate job to launch their own small business.

Seniors also benefit from the law through better Medicare coverage for those with high prescription costs, and no co-payments for preventive care. But hospitals, nursing homes and many other service providers may struggle once the Medicare cuts used to finance the law really start to bite.

Illegal immigrants are not entitled to the new insurance coverage under the law, and will remain one of the biggest groups uninsured.

Obama's law is by no means the last word on health care. Experts expect costs to keep rising, meaning that lawmakers will have to revisit the issue perhaps as early as next year, when federal budget woes will force them to confront painful options for Medicare and Medicaid, the giant federal programs that cover seniors, the disabled and low-income people.

The health care overhaul focus will now quickly shift from Washington to state capitals. Only 14 states, plus Washington, D.C., have adopted plans to set up the new health insurance markets called for under the law. Called exchanges, the new markets are supposed to be up and running on Jan. 1, 2014. People buying coverage individually, as well as small businesses, will be able to shop for private coverage from a range of competing insurers.

Most Republican-led states, including large ones such as Texas and Florida, have been counting on the law to be overturned and have failed to do the considerable spade work needed to set up exchanges. There's a real question about whether they can meet the deadline, and if they don't, Washington will step in and run their exchanges for them.

In contrast to the states, health insurance companies, major employers and big hospital systems are among the best prepared. Many of the changes called for in the law were already being demanded by employers trying to get better value for their private health insurance dollars.

"The main driver here is financial," said Toby Cosgrove, CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, which has pioneered some of the changes. "The factors driving health care reform are not new, and they are not going to go away."

The Medicaid expansion would cover an estimated 17 million people who earn too much to qualify for assistance but not enough to afford insurance. The federal and state governments share the cost, and Washington regularly imposes conditions on the states in exchange for money.

Roberts said Congress' ability to impose those conditions has its limits.

"In this case, the financial 'inducement' Congress has chosen is much more than 'relatively mild encouragement' — it is a gun to the head," he said.

The law says the Health and Human Services Department can withhold a state's entire Medicaid allotment if the state doesn't comply with the health care law's Medicaid provisions.

Even while ruling out that level of coercion, however, Roberts said nothing prevents the federal government from offering money to accomplish the expansion and withholding that money from states that don't meet certain conditions.

"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," he said.

Ginsburg said the court should have upheld the entire law as written without forcing any changes in the Medicaid provision. She said Congress' constitutional authority to regulate interstate commerce supports the individual mandate. She warned that the legal reasoning, even though the law was upheld, could cause trouble in future cases.

"So in the end, the Affordable Health Care Act survives largely unscathed. But the court's commerce clause and spending clause jurisprudence has been set awry. My expectation is that the setbacks will be temporary blips, not permanent obstructions," Ginsburg said in a statement she, too, read from the bench.

In the courtroom Thursday were retired Justice John Paul Stevens and the wives of Roberts, Alito, Breyer, Kennedy and Thomas.

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Richard Saunders June 28, 2012 | 11:09 a.m.

Let's get ready to RUMBLE!

You'd think it's an election year, or something.

(Report Comment)
Skip Yates June 28, 2012 | 1:01 p.m.

Well, Like Nancy Pelosi said, now we can find out what's in it, a bit at a time.......

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 28, 2012 | 3:27 p.m.

I didn't get my wish. I had hoped SCOTUS would be more definitive about uses of the Commerce Clause. I haven't read the decision yet (but I will) and it is my understanding the issue was sidestepped. That's too bad and would...imo...just be another example of kicking the can down the road.

Is it true that the majority decision called the penalty a tax, which is why all is well?

How many people over the past couple of years have said it wasn't a tax? We're they liars or just ignorant?

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum June 28, 2012 | 4:00 p.m.

The penalty has no teeth, no criminal prosecution can arise from it, no garnishment of wages can occur. It is simply a nominal penalty on your tax return. Republicans don't like Obama because he's black and democrat--it's just that simple. It is not explicitly named a tax, but it is, in utility, a simple tax. 19 out of 21 legal scholars consulted with in a Bloomberg study stated that this was simply a no-brainer. The most shocking bit is that it went so far, the conservative justices, one with a clear conflict of interest (Justice Thomas) were fully prepared to severely impair the U.S. government in terms of its ability to govern interstate commerce. The ACA was THE - CONSERVATIVE - ANSWER - TO - REFORM. Now it's not? Why have I personally heard Mitt on the radio, seen him on Meet the Press, and in print, touting his plan? Am I to believe that he is a fool, or insane?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 28, 2012 | 5:16 p.m.

At least read the syllabus:

Re: The Commerce Clause: "Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate 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 Clause would give Congress the same license to regulate what people do not do."

Re: the Medicare/States issue.

"When Congress threatens to terminate other grants as a means of pressuring the States to accept a Spending Clause program, the legislation runs counter to this Nation's system of federalism."

Me: Gasp! Did SCOTUS just tell the feds that a threat to withhold funds from a State not doing what it is verboten??????

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith June 28, 2012 | 5:37 p.m.

@Michael Williams:

Just ignorant. Today's governing philosophy is also known as the Greek Disease, the Spanish Disease*, the Italian Disease, etc. Washout D.C. can't balance the budget as it is, but continues borrowing as if there's no tomorrow.

When the fiscal fecal matter REALLY hits the fan in the US of A I'll be pushing up daisies.

*- Not to be confused with that OTHER Spanish disease.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 28, 2012 | 6:20 p.m.

If you want to see how far Justice Ginsberg will pretzel herself to make a point, see footnote (4) on page 19 of the above link.

Still reading some fascinating stuff. So far, I'm impressed with Justice Robert's et. al., view of the Constitution. Lot's of "original intent" stuff in there, with which I happen to agree.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle June 28, 2012 | 6:31 p.m.

This is like watching someone else poke a hornet's nest with a stick. Quite entertaining, from a distance. Keep that angry buzzing up until November!

If hating on Obamacare turns out to be a dud, I recommend all the conservative misogynistic control freaks go back to trying to piss off the ladies. Just don't answer the phone that's ringing in your echo chamber. If you pick it up, you'll just get a recording, saying,

"You're out of touch. Your line has been disconnected. Please don't try your call again."

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 28, 2012 | 6:32 p.m.

I sure wish I could figure out how to copy from the SCOTUS .pdf file, but it won't let me.

On page 26, the majority says the Commerce Clause is not a free license for cradle-to-grave regulation simply because a person will predictably engage in particular future transactions (i.e., economic activity).

That's a very limiting statement about the Commerce Clause.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 28, 2012 | 7:08 p.m.

Page 44: "The Federal Government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance....The Federal Government does have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance."

The majority says that the penalty can be construed as a tax, and the power to tax is a legitimate activity of Congress; hence, 5000A is constitutional.

The majority also says that if 5000A is based upon the Commerce Clause, it would be considered unconstitutional. The majority cites precedent that if there are multiple conflicting interpretations of a law, and one interpretation would be unconstitutional, then the court is bound to interpret the law in a way that saves the law.

Hence, the "tax" interpretation rules.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 28, 2012 | 7:22 p.m.

Page 49:

"The States are separate and independent sovereigns. Sometimes they have to act like it."


(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 28, 2012 | 7:27 p.m.

Re: The act threatens to cut off ALL medicaid funds to a state if the state does not comply. Here's what the majority says:

"...the financial inducement Congress has chosen is much more than "relatively mild inducement"--it is a gun to the head."

Whoa again.....

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 28, 2012 | 7:46 p.m.

Tired of reading now.

But I will say this (for now, pending further reading): The majority decision shows a vision of state autonomy from the feds that I (1) like, and (2) believe was the intent of the framers. Even though many are dismayed by this particular SCOTUS decision, I believe the document (1) shows a vision of the relationship between the states and the feds that brings the 9th and 10th amendments back into play, (2) is full of Commerce Clause precedents (limiting ones) that will be used successfully in the future to limit Congressional acts, and (3) is quite originalist in scope.

So far, I'm quite happy with the logic of the decision, Derrick's snark not withstanding. Justice Roberts has written a spectacular decision and I understand why he voted the way he did. Contrary to what many of you are thinking, his conservative (and originalist) credentials remain intact.

I was wrong in my post of 3:27 pm...misuse of the Commerce Clause by progressives has been seriously hindered.

Every one (either side) needs to read this decision, if for no other reason than to NOT accept someone elses' Kool-Aid interpretation. Further, it should be required reading of every Missourian editor, reporter, and staffer...just for the learning experience. Only a few parts are tough to wade through....all the rest is plain English with a logic that will jolt each and every one of you.

(PS: Of course, I have yet to read the rest of the decision and the dissents, but my request that everyone read it still stands.)

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 28, 2012 | 8:49 p.m.

One more:

"Congress has no authority to order the states to regulate according to its instructions. Congress may offer the States grants and require the States to comply with accompanying conditions, but the States must have a genuine choice whether to accept the offer....The remedy is to preclude the Federal Government from imposing such a sanction....The Framers created a Federal Government of limiting powers, and assigned to this Court the duty of enforcing those limits. The court does so today....It is so ordered."

Justice Roberts shot a brilliant broadside into those who would reduce/eliminate Federalism, and he chose the most unlikely of cases to do it. The power of States to "just say no" has been increased. They now have a choice in the matter and SCOTUS says so. A brilliant blindside NO ONE anticipated.

I'm ok with the new law, and I'm ok with the precedents.

PS: I learned more about the law from reading the decision than I did from all the pundits, newspapers, politicians, posters, etc. Turns out most were liars of the first order....ALL sides.

PSS: The conference compromises must have been quite spirited. The liberal wing of SCOTUS must have barfed up their lunches to get this new law at the expense of the originalist precedents and lofty Constitutional language written by Justice Roberts.

Someone many months ago said, "Be careful what you wish for."

Because you just got it.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle June 28, 2012 | 9:00 p.m.

@Mike: I actually appreciate the fact that you've been doing the reading and providing a few tidbits and analysis. I think you've done a great job! Sorry for the snark; I really didn't mean to aim that at you, you were just... hard to miss. For the record, I do not believe you deserve any of my above criticism.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 28, 2012 | 9:49 p.m.

Derrick: "didn't mean to aim that at you", "hard to miss", yet do not "deserve any of my above criticism".


(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle June 28, 2012 | 11:44 p.m.

1. You had the highest post count already (broad side of a barn); any general comment is likely to be inferred as a response to your posts.

2. My political jab was a classic "sweeping generalization"; any reasonable person would conclude that my criticism applied directly to you.

3. I do not think you are a misogynist.

4. I do not think you are a control freak.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle June 29, 2012 | 12:07 a.m.

One more response I will make to one of your comments, Mike:

"...pundits, newspapers, politicians, posters, etc. Turns out most were liars of the first order....ALL sides."

This is absolutely true, and very important: The quality of information we get from the media is zero. Absolutely Zero. This is almost universally true, from all sides. All of us are grossly misinformed. All of us.

This is all just entertainment. I'd love to make a case for some grand propaganda conspiracy, but occams razor says we just want entertained, so that's what we get: A big circus with high-wire acts, tons of clowns, animals, freaks, magicians, and tons more clowns.

No wonder we've got so many problems. Another bag of popcorn? Oooh! The Lion Tamer is up next!

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 29, 2012 | 8:00 a.m.

Derrick: Yes, I realized the mild risk I was taking when I started posting several snippets simultaneous with my reading of the decision; some posters with nothing constructive to say would start counting posts and accuse me of monopolizing the intellectual logic more at home on the playground than in this place.

But thanks for saying I'm not a misogynist or a control freak, although you might be wrong about the latter in certain instances. Did you leave a word out in your point #2?

Still reading the last part of the decision, then on to the dissents. I remain shocked Justice Roberts got the 4 liberals on the court to go along with his originalistic verbiage and vision; the horsetrading and gagging must have been intense. Far-left liberals will not be happy with much of this vision. I have the sense that the dissent philosophy from Scalia el. al., will mimic much of the vision of the main decision, with only Ginsberg standing alone in her defense of the Commerce Clause....but, I have more reading to do.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith June 29, 2012 | 8:53 a.m.

Michael Williams:

Misogynist? Control freak? I think not. You also have one aspect I think needs noting: very seldom are you truly impolite. This impresses me because I am NOT polite and have no intention of being polite. How did muleskinners of old influence mules? Not with sugar cubes or apples: they whacked the mule's head using a piece of wooden 2x4.

I once had a boss who had a large, framed motto in his office. When you entered his office, it was the first thing you noticed:

"I don't get ulcers, I give 'em."

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 29, 2012 | 11:27 a.m.

And Lindsey Graham says, during Ocare
Repeal debate, every Republican will ask every Democrat speaking against repeal, "are you speaking to retain the largest tax increase in the history of the United States of America?"

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum June 29, 2012 | 12:45 p.m.
This comment has been removed.
Ellis Smith June 29, 2012 | 1:34 p.m.


You could always do what tenured university professors do, Louis: take a sabbatical. In several other areas of the economy when someone does that it's called "unemployment."

Norway is lovely at this time of the year. Finland is nice too.

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 29, 2012 | 1:46 p.m.

Yeah, Lewis, try anywhere but here. Thanks for your cooperation.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 29, 2012 | 2:09 p.m.

What'd he say, what'd he say?

I'm in a good mood. It's hard to be in a bad mood when you and two grandsons have just eaten a rather large pile of Central Dairy ice cream.

Ellis: Lol.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz June 29, 2012 | 2:23 p.m.

Michael, he tried to sneak an f bomb through.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 29, 2012 | 2:31 p.m.

I think Justice Roberts et. al. did pretzel themselves in one key area. On page 50 of the linked decision, Roberts discusses South Dakota v. Dole, "a challenge to a federal law that threatened to withhold five percent of a State's federal highway funds if the State did not raise its drinking age to 21."

The asked question was whether "the financial inducement offered by Congress was so coercive as to pass the point at which pressure turns into compulsion." The court found that the inducement was not overly coercive since only 5% was involved.

But, in this particular case, the court ruled that the coercive effect re: Medicaid was so coercive that it could not be permitted. The dollar figures (and percent of state budgets) were so high that States did not have a choice.

I think this is like the guy who asked a woman if she would have sex with him for a million bucks. The woman said yes. When he asked "How about for 5 bucks?", the woman became angry and asked "What do you think I am?" The guy replied, "We've already established that; we're just haggling over the price."

In Justice Thomas's short dissent (the title was longer than his dissent), he complained about this "substantial effects" test under the Commerce Clause. Allowing this "substantial effects" test has encouraged the feds to persist in its view that the Commerce Clause has almost no limits. I agree with Justice Thomas; to do otherwise is just haggling over the price.

Roberts should have settled this issue in his decision.

Nonetheless, the decision is that States now have a choice (I'm pro-choice!) and there are now limits on how coercive the federal government can be in their behavior modification efforts.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 29, 2012 | 2:34 p.m.

JohnS: Was he also one of the guys who flipped off Reagan in the WH?

I only ask because the behaviors are so similar so often.

Louis reminds me of Paul Allaire.

I wonder...........

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 29, 2012 | 3:44 p.m.

Derrick: The quality of information we get from the media is zero. Absolutely Zero. This is almost universally true, from all sides. All of us are grossly misinformed. All of us.

I certainly agree with this.

We are misinformed for several reasons, among them: (1) A media with an agenda(s) that gives only one side of an issue rather than telling us both sides so we can make up our own mind, (2) A media who often fails to read the source documents; instead, they bypass the source documents and report someone elses' agenda-driven drivel as factual interpretation, and (3) WE don't read the source documents ourselves, mostly because they are hard to find and/or hard to identify and/or we're too damned lazy.

The Missourian is no exception, and neither is the "other" newspaper in town. Their bias is reflected not only in what they DO report, but also in what they do NOT report.

Number 3 is why I have hit the notion that all of you should read SCOTUS decisions, including this one. It is rare to find such easy access to original source documents. By reading these decisions, YOU get to make up your own mind and know when someone else is blowin' smoke up your nether regions.

Nothing infuriates a liar more than you KNOWING the truth because you took the time to read the truth itself.

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 29, 2012 | 3:53 p.m.

I had been wondering if the 4 liberals upheld the mandate on the same basis as did Roberts.

"Justice Roberts got the 4 liberals on the court to go along with his originalistic verbiage and vision;"

Michael, in a radio broadcast, it was related that in announcing any decision the Justices gather and announce their positions one by one, with the Chief Justice, the first. The point being, the wonder that Roberts must have incurred with his surprise announcement.

Do you or anyone have info on this? Do the justices not confer with each other?

Imo, Roberts went far beyond the purview of his position. This Act is an atrocity against the citizenry and must be repealed. It was said that he wanted to return the decision to the American people! The American people,26 States, believing our Supreme Court was instituted for this purpose, brought the question to him! To allow this monstrosity more legs for repeal, possibly by the same Congress that used such insidious sleaze, bribery and Lies (Graham also stated that had "the Mandate been identified as a tax, as it now is. It wouldn't have gotten 10 votes much less 60) to pass it in the first place, is beyond comprehension.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith June 29, 2012 | 4:32 p.m.

Michael Williams:

I see a definite difference. Louis attempts to be humorous and often succeeds rather well; Paul sometimes attempted to be humorous but almost never succeeded. Frank, I suggested that Louis might contemplate a sabbatical, I didn't suggest that he has to take one.

There's a cute kids' story called "Red Fox & His Canoe." A little Native American boy wants a canoe, so this father makes one for him and he starts down a river. Animals keep swimming up, or dropping from trees, into the canoe. This isn't so bad until bears start getting in. When Red Fox objects strenuously to that, the first bear into the canoe says, "It's a BIG canoe, there is room for all."

We have a BIG canoe. Right, Missourian?

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 29, 2012 | 4:54 p.m.

Mike W. - You make me wonder as well. I thought naming me a moron with the bomb as adjective, was a little overboard even for Louis S. The sentence, however read exactly as Allaire, out of nowhere, has more than once, accosted me as well as others.

Ellis, I thought we both "suggested". I only widened his possibilities for destination. Now, had I addressed him as a #*&@/, moron....

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 29, 2012 | 5:50 p.m.

Frank, re: the Justices talking with one another.

I am not the person who can authenticate one way or the other. I have read that justices can change their mind and have changed their mind based upon opinions written by other justices. I would bet the clerks discuss things often, but I am no authority on this matter.

I'm confident there was significant interplay/argument in making this decision....and not a little gagging.

You need to read the decision. All of it. Carefully. This is one time NO ONE needs to spout off about atrocities, lies, opinions, sleaze, etc. Don't do so until you read it.

IMO, any talk of repeal is stupid. It won't be. The deal is done, but in the "doing" Roberts framed a vision that is much more far-reaching than this health care law. Far-left liberals just don't know it yet, but the 4 SCOTUS liberals do and so do the dissenting (and smiling) conservative justices. Roberts got what he wanted, and made the 4 liberals sign off on it. He even got Ginsberg to sign off on his vision, and even though she mollified herself and dissented about the Commerce Clause, her vote (and the precedents) still goes with Robert's vision. Holy cow!

I know you don't understand this, but read the document and you will at least see from whence I'm coming.

Look, I could be wrong on all or much of this. I tried hard to not look at what anyone else was saying about the decision while I was reading/posting on it in this place because I wanted to express MY understanding of the written decision. I take some comfort that my subsequent readings from others supports many of my conclusions posted here, but the fact remains that legal scholars more knowledgeable than me have yet to comment.

The document is readable and understandable to anyone with command of the English language. Just scroll over all the "ibids", case citations, and other folderol and read the English. As a conservative, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Right or wrong, I'm confident that reading the document is putting me in a much better position to detect a future lie/spin or a truth...a position I'm much more confident with than just reacting helter-skelter with a good mad.

My current conclusion? I think I got what I wanted out of all this.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 29, 2012 | 6:14 p.m.

Frank says, "I had been wondering if the 4 liberals upheld the mandate on the same basis as did Roberts."

Doesn't matter. The point is that Roberts got them to vote with him and his vision and his rather conservative comments in order to get this law. The precedents are established and available to any future court, and the 4 liberals are 80% (i.e., 4 or 5) responsible for it. a leader, Roberts is da man!

I wanted the firm statements and precedents, mainly with the Commerce Clause. I got a bonus with the State's rights "choice" issue and the limitation statements on Federal bullying.

I'm happy. Does it show?

PS: It might be the ice cream talking.

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 29, 2012 | 7:00 p.m.

Mike -
Ice cream notwithstanding, did they vote with Roberts, or did Roberts vote with them? I had read the syllabus as you posted. I read the decision per Roberts, until, "it is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices". Would further reading of this decision change my opinion? His and their job is to answer questions poised to them, whether or not it includes "political choices". "a vision that is much more far-reaching than this health care law.", was neither required nor wanted by anyone in this decision.

My "spout off about atrocities, lies, opinions, sleaze, etc.", had to do with the passage of the bill and are a matter of fact in American history, not with the Health Care decision.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 29, 2012 | 8:32 p.m.

I'm guessing they voted with him. I think he called the shots, a conclusion that to me is obvious given that the liberal faction actually signed off on his verbiage.

I agree with Roberts that it is not SCOTUS's job to protect us from ourselves. It is SCOTUS's job to interpret the Constitution as it applies to laws passed by Congress and signed by the President. Congress/President can hence pass any damnphool thing they wish, and so long as it's constitutional there is nothing SCOTUS can do about it. I support this posture.

This is also why I do not support the liberal justices' posture on an evolving Constitution. Such a posture allows any damnphool (there's that word, again) interpretation the times allow. The Constitution provides a way to modify itself, and while it is admittedly a rather difficult "way", if something is important enough and supported enough, it will get passed.

Your statement "...a vision that is much more far-reaching than this health care law was neither required nor wanted by anyone in this decision" is incorrect.

I did. I just didn't expect it to happen like this and I didn't hope for all I got. It blindsided me, too.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 29, 2012 | 10:05 p.m.

Re: Repeal.

A pundit by the name of Erick Erickson says, "because John Roberts concluded it was a tax, the Democrats cannot filibuster its repeal because of the same reconciliation procedure the Democrats used to pass it."

Oh my.

Did Roberts figure this out?

Beats me.

At least SCOTUS decisions are written with reasonably-plain English. Congressional rules, most legal decisions, and laws are so rhetorically constipated, they need ExLax to get any business started. Case in point: The Affordable Care Act.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 29, 2012 | 10:10 p.m.

Curiouser and curiouser, from a commenter on an internet article:

"Now, since SCOTUS has declared ObamaCare properly as it is, a tax, Congress and it’s many lawyers should get their head out of their rears and file under Rule 44 for the case to be heard again before the court on the grounds the Tax law was passed unConstitutionally thru Congress as ObamaCare did not go to committee or follow the correct process for tax law to be passed. They have 25 days to do so."

Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 29, 2012 | 10:13 p.m.

I don't think I want to play poker with Justice John Roberts.

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 29, 2012 | 10:15 p.m.

MW - "without objection", you are correct about, "it is not SCOTUS's job to protect us from ourselves." The oddity is, why was the statement from Roberts, necessary? "Congress/President can hence pass any damnphool thing they wish, and so long as it's constitutional there is nothing SCOTUS can do about it." Shouldn't you try to recall? Whether or not the Act is Constitutional is the reason Roberts and the Supreme Court (I hate SCOTUS) have become involved?

My discussion with you on this subject brings memories of the online discussions (when I first got online)about the validity of the effects of Global Warming. I always added, politely, that that the reality of Global Warming matters not. Liberals intend to use the threat to extract money from government where-ever, when-ever possible. Same thing is happening with health care reform. I believe Roberts shirked his clear duty, to protect our Constitution and our people from an obvious attack on both, in his assumed duty to bring respect (somehow) to the branch he now chairs. In doing so, he is allowing months, possibly years to the agenda of the liberal progressives to change and control our lives.

C. Krauthammer, tonight, in the other paper does not relate directly the the "decision", but he denotes what can be expected, now, as opposed to "much more far-reaching than this health care law". Does not this "health care law", present somewhat of a problem to you?

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 29, 2012 | 10:36 p.m.

MW - "A pundit by the name of Erick Erickson says, "because John Roberts concluded it was a tax, the Democrats cannot filibuster its repeal because of the same reconciliation procedure the Democrats used to pass it."

Rep Eric Cantor (not a pundit), corrected the sage NBC, Tom Brokaw this morning on Morning Joe, Obamacare is now a spending bill requiring only 51 votes for repeal in our Senate. Rep Paul Ryan (not a pundit) said the same thing on Fox in the afternoon.

And you believe this lets Chief Justice Roberts off the hook? All we now need to do is assure honest elections in our U.S.A., this Nov.?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 29, 2012 | 11:24 p.m.

Does the health care law present a problem for me?

Of course.

I've never said otherwise.

Indeed, as I stated above, my sympathies actually rest with the Scalia et. al. faction.

But throughout all of this, I've also recognized two huge threats to my core beliefs: (1) what I consider gross misuse of the Commerce Clause by the federal government and (2) an erosion of States' rights and neglect of the 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution.

In this particular case, I was especially hopeful SCOTUS would limit the scope of the Commerce Clause. It did, and it also addressed #2 to my utter surprise.

One pundit stated that Roberts played "rope-a-dope" with progressives in all this, a concept with which I cannot disagree. Roberts the 4 liberals on the court to OWN his vision of Federalism (do you understand how significant this is for future SCOTUS decisions and opinions from liberal justices?), and he also made them 80% responsible for all the precedents that come with the decision.

And progressives also have to give up their notion that this court is 5-4 against them. Any future gripes about this are dead-on-arrival.

Progressive misuse of the Commerce Clause is now severely limited; the decision (agreed to by 4 liberal justices, an outcome beyond my wildest dreams) makes clear statements about Federalism and what the fed government can and can't do.

I've wanted that for a long time. I've also wanted a strengthening of States' rights, and I got that, too. I'm hoping there is more to come and, if a conservative President is elected, there is every expectation that at least one liberal justice will be retiring within the next 4 years. And THAT is what this next election is all about; it's best not to forget that fact. President Obama got by with replacing 2 retiring liberal justices with liberal justices, and he succeeded; I don't see that happening to a potential next conservative President.

For now, all I see is sheer genius on the part of the Chief Justice, Scalia's long face notwithstanding.

(PS: In spite of all the rhetoric, it is my belief that millions of younger folks with established careers who, because of their good health, do not have health insurance....still do not understand they will have to purchase it and increase their support for older folks like me. It's gonna cost them money recognized as a "tax", and they are about to find out this fact in a real hurry. Can you say "educational moment?")

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle June 30, 2012 | 11:49 a.m.

Still reading, but so far I'm with Mike: I'm very pleased with the limits to the commerce clause and the assertion of state rights.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 30, 2012 | 12:40 p.m.

Derrick: I'm very pleased that you are pleased with the limits, etc., etc.

Please do not write back that you are pleased that I'm pleased that you're pleased. I won't know how to stop.


(Report Comment)
frank christian June 30, 2012 | 1:32 p.m.

"21 new taxes on Americans
The high court’s ruling leaves in place 21 tax increases in the health-care law costing more than $675 billion over the next 10 years, according to the House Ways and Means Committee. Of those, 12 tax hikes would affect families earning less than $250,000 per year, the panel said, including a “Cadillac tax” on high-cost insurance plans, a tax on insurance providers, and an excise tax on medical device manufacturers."

"Five Devastating Effects Obamacare Will Have on Young Adults"

Mike, I'm happy you recognize this as a problem! I can only add that these and the other devastating sections of the law are, today being established, new rules put in place, new precedents being set everywhere needed for takeover of U.S. health care. Because our Chief Justice avoided the task, AG's of 26 States had placed before him, this decimation of our health care and economy as a whole will continue, unabated until and only If, control of our entire Governmnent can be delivered to Republican hands.

Attention to commerce clause and states rights are good, but fall far short of ruling that was needed and could have just as well been included.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle June 30, 2012 | 1:34 p.m.

(sound of crickets chirping)

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 30, 2012 | 2:57 p.m.

Derrick and crickets:

Maybe everyone is reading the decision?????

PS; Nah.

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking June 30, 2012 | 5:11 p.m.

Frank quoted:

"The high court’s ruling leaves in place 21 tax increases in the health-care law costing more than $675 billion over the next 10 years"

Over which Americans will spend something like $25 trillion on health care.

Please, never give me that "over 10 years" stuff. It's hyperbole. It's about three percent. Three Whopping Percent. It's damn near statistical noise.

I'm not happy that the court upheld the individual mandate. But they did what the judicial branch was supposed to do, and no more. Let's see what happens in November...


(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt June 30, 2012 | 5:43 p.m.

You guys thought I was Paul Allaire too, even though Mark Foecking's excellent detective skills (read: Google) quickly dispelled that notion.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt June 30, 2012 | 5:49 p.m.

And Frank, instead of reading and posting a bunch of blogs talking about the decision, you could simply read the decision itself as Michael Williams recommended. Seriously, there's no reason not to.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 30, 2012 | 5:54 p.m.

Jon: My original speculation about Louis/Paul wasn't real serious.

The episodic, rather nasty behavior is similar, tho.

If I'm reading you correctly, you've read the decision.

What do you think?

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt June 30, 2012 | 6:07 p.m.

I haven't yet, but until I do I'm staying away from the discussion, heh.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 30, 2012 | 6:32 p.m.

Jon: Fair enuf, but when you do I'd be interested in your take.

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 30, 2012 | 6:54 p.m.

The "Decision"! Mike can tell us, did the decision mention the 21 new tax hikes, 12 of which are on folks earning less than $250,000? (Mark might ask those people about the 3% of "statistical noise,")

Did the Decision mention that the nationalization of the student loan program is hidden in Obamacare?

Jona, not posting from blogs is a good way to prevent truth from appearing in discussion. Your opinion about the Decision and blogs appeared before your forced admission that You have not read the Decision. Your presence still displays the uniqueness of your liberal approach to matters of government.

Mark,"that "over 10 years" stuff." Comes from your big government, not I. R. Reagan once stated that the communists in the Kremlin were never able to accurately determine, the crops, manufacturing, etc. needed by those people over even 5 years. I'd bet it wasn't conservatives that put our country on the 10 year glass ball.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 30, 2012 | 9:33 p.m.

Frank asks, "Mike can tell us, did the decision mention the 21 new tax hikes, 12 of which are on folks earning less than $250,000?"

You can tell me after you read it.

You can either read it or remain partially informed. And there is absolutely no reason for you to be pissed at me as though I have abandoned the "cause". I haven't abandoned my principles or disdain of the ACA, but I'm not into tilting at windmills and I haven't lost perspective on how I think this nation should "be". I remain firmly in the conservative camp, perhaps even more so than before.

But, the truth is that you are coming across as petulant rather than fully informed and/or mad instead of rational (and there is no need for the rest of you to respond...stay the hell out of this). The Supremes did their job, and they made the correct decision even if Roberts and Ginsberg did pretzel themselves a couple of times (I also think they did their jobs and made correct decisions in Bush v. Gore and the more recent handgun decision. Yes, I've read each and every one. Did you?) The individual mandate is a know it, and I know it and SCOTUS knew it and even the President knew it even though he and his minions lied their asses off about it. The law would be unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause (SCOTUS says so, thank goodness), but Congress has the power to tax and SCOTUS cannot say otherwise in spite of your wishes. Until you read the decision, you will have no concept of how well Roberts pulled future wool over one helluva lot of eyes.

Get busy and support someone who is not President Obama or a far-left Congressperson. Keep your eye on the real prizes....SCOTUS appointments and a solidly conservative House (3:1 would be fine). Too hell with the rest.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams June 30, 2012 | 9:44 p.m.

For God's sake, to those of you who are mad about this decision:

Do 2 things....

(1) READ the damned thing, and
(2) Realize that Roberts could have gone with Scalia et. al. and polarized this country for another 50 years, giving you your precious but empty and temporary victory over liberals, or he could have gotten the 4 liberals TO SIGN OFF (AND OWN!) HIS AND YOURS AND MY IDEAS/NOTIONS OF CONSERVATIVE FEDERALISM FOR DECADES TO COME!!!!!!!!!!!

Roberts ACTUALLY got LIBERAL JUSTICES, the 4 precious liberals, to sign off on valuable, dear-to-the-heart conservative values!!!!!!!!!

Get it?

I'm in heaven.

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 30, 2012 | 10:07 p.m.

"Jonathan Hopfenblatt June 30, 2012 | 5:43 p.m.

You guys thought I was Paul Allaire too,"

You appear critical of "you guys". Just mentally note that to be wrongfully identified as the one you named is far from a plus on both these newspaper blogs.

I think you read more like L. Schneebaum.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 1, 2012 | 12:32 a.m.

Michael - No one is pissed at you for your input on this subject.

Your sense of fair play is evident in your every post.

"Roberts and Ginsberg did pretzel themselves a couple of times (I also think they did their jobs". imo, this is your problem, Ginsberg, or any liberal, will willingly "pretzel" themselves whenever necessary to further their agenda.

Mike, Their agenda is rolling, to believe that conversation is key to stoppage is simplistic.

Roberts ACTUALLY got LIBERAL JUSTICES, the 4 precious liberals, to sign off on valuable, dear-to-the-heart conservative values!!!!!!!!!
Sir, didn't 4 "precious liberals" sign on to a decision that allowed their heart felt need for a cow of cash, ACA?

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 1, 2012 | 12:39 a.m.

Michael - I had a much lengthier message about the decision, but either my lap top or our host flipped me around so much that this must be it for tonight. I'll try again tomorrow.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt July 1, 2012 | 1:12 a.m.

frank said": "Jona, not posting from blogs is a good way to prevent truth from appearing in discussion."

Uh, lol? You do realize that blogs are opinion pieces, right? I'm curious as to how you're gonna demonstrate to the rest of us that a blog post necessarily contains more truth than any opinion expressed on these forums. Again, you could read the decision and get straight to the source, instead you keep crying based on some blogger's opinion and interpretation of it.

"Your opinion about the Decision and blogs appeared before your forced admission that You have not read the Decision. Your presence still displays the uniqueness of your liberal approach to matters of government."

Uh, lol? I don't need to have read the decision myself to know that it's a better source of information and facts than whatever sources you're using, because the decision IS the source. Everything else is hearsay and third-hand accounts. So, once again, why do you refuse to read it? All that time you've wasted whining and reading blogs about it could have been spent instead reading the actual document. So yeah, lol?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 1, 2012 | 5:25 a.m.

Michael Williiams said, "I'm in heaven." Sounds like a line from a Broadway-type musical.

Don't look too closely, Michael, but all of us are really in STASIS. :)

As for the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) splitting the nation over a decision, does anyone recall the Dread Scott case? You should, because it concerned Missouri. However, although many Americans thought (and still think) the Dread Scott decision was terrible, it was legally grounded in the original Constitution. Fortunely, and not just for black Americans, we have since altered the Constitution with the Thirteenth Amendment. (Which political party championed that ?)

As for Michael's multiple posts on this subject, it appears Michael is attempting to gain a better understanding of what has occurred. How dare he?! Nanny [State] could cut off Michael's milk and cookie supply.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 1, 2012 | 8:07 a.m.

Frank: "...or our host flipped me around so much that this must be it for tonight."

Yes, our host's webpage was an unfriendly pain in the ass yesterday and last night. Hopefully today will be better.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 1, 2012 | 8:43 a.m.

Ellis: Lol. But, please leave my cookies and milk alone...and you'll really be in trouble if you interfere with my across-the-river commerce at the little ice cream store in Boonville.

Frank actually raised what I think is a great point, one which goes to the heart of my amazement that 4 liberal justices would actually sign off on, and OWN for all posterity, Roberts' originalist vision of this country.

Let's pretend Frank has offered me an all-expenses-paid vacation in Disney World. All I have to do is agree with Frank's written vision (a law) that Ellis Smith is a really great guy, which I don't believe is true but damn I really want that trip! Indeed, I have to vote publicly on this "law", after which all the world will have to believe all the reasons Ellis is really a great guy.

AND, I even get to write my own missive (a dissent, if you will) on what I really think of Ellis....which now is at an all-time low since he threatened my supply of milk and cookies.

What does that make me?

It makes me a leaf blowing in the wind, an unprincipled character who believes that "any means to an end" is the way to get my trip.

Yes, I got my trip (and legacy, since it'll be a memorable trip), but because of me everyone now has to believe Ellis is a great guy.

And good-ol'-Jonathan, who never liked Ellis anyway because of a prior cookies and milk incident, gets to write down all his reasons against Ellis...AND he still gets a lessor trip to Branson.

But that ol' Frank is sure a good poker player. He knew how much I wanted that Disney trip and accurately figured out which "Michael buttons" to push.

Everyone now has to publicly like Ellis.


(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 1, 2012 | 9:59 a.m.

Sigh! And I've tried so hard for that (publicly being liked) not to happen! As for touching another man's "cookies," I'm not that kind of guy.

Ice cream is nice, but I have an invitation next week to go to Piropos (the restaurant), get pleasantly smashed, and watch fireworks over the Missouri River in Parkville, MO.

Of all branches of modern humans, Argentines are the truest carnivores. "Piropos" is a form of Argentine flattery, made by a man to a woman or young girl. For example, "If beauty were a crime, you'd be a life sentence."

I also love watching Hispanic TV soap operas. All the females, young, old or in between, cry buckets of tears, and all the men are absolute b*****ds, even to their own mothers.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 1, 2012 | 11:59 a.m.

J. Hopfenblatt "how you're gonna demonstrate to the rest of us that a blog post necessarily contains more truth than any opinion expressed on these forums."

Many bloggers include provable fact in their posted opinion. Many of course, Do Not. These latter are the ones you refer to and we are agreed that they provide little basis for our belief. Prove the fact presented in a blog and one has sound grounds for an educated opinion.

Have you read the Decision, yet?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 1, 2012 | 1:31 p.m.

From the Scalia et. al. dissent:

"...the Commerce Clause, even when supplemented by the Necessary and Proper Clause, is not carte blanche for doing whatever will help achieve the ends Congress seeks by the regulation of that the scope of the Necessary and Proper Clause is exceeded not only when the congressional action directly violates the sovereignty of the States but also when it violates the background principle of enumerated (and hence limited) federal power."


"The Government was invited, at oral argument, to suggest what federal controls over private conduct (other than those...prohibited by the Bill of Rights...) could NOT [emphasis included in original document] be justified as necessary and proper for the carrying out of a general regulatory scheme. It was unable to name any....We are hard pressed to posit any activity by an individual that Congress is without power to regulate. Section 5000A is defeated by that proposition."

Ergo, there is not a lot of difference between the Scalia et. al. dissent and the majority opinion on this matter!

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 1, 2012 | 1:39 p.m.

More from the Scalia et al dissent:

"...if every person comes within the Commerce Clause power of Congress to regulate by the simple reason that he will one day engage in commerce, the idea of a limited Government power is at an end."

Again sounds like the Roberts opinion.

Sheesh, except for the fact that Scalia et al wanted to scrap the whole deal, all this verbiage in the Roberts and Scalia documents sounds like a complete 9-0 vote, notwithstanding the Ginsberg et. al dissent even though they disagreed with the majority (in the dissent) before they agreed with the majority in the opinion.

Where have I heard "agreed with it before I disagreed with it" or somesuch?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 1, 2012 | 2:04 p.m.

From the Scalia et al dissent, discussing the Ginsberg et al dissent:

"...its application (from me: application = individual mandate) rests upon a theory that everything is within federal control simply because it exists."

Few times in my life have I read such simple words that express my understanding of liberal political philosophy.

These words are talking about the difference between (a) folks that, as a general philosophy, gain their identities by association with a uniform "herd" versus (b) those who identify with themselves as unique individuals.

It's no wonder we fight so much. Those within the "herd" want the individuals usually as members; the individuals mainly just want to be left alone, usually away from the "herd".

That oughta bring out sufficient caustic discussion and put us in a non-Colonel blue in no time at all.......

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 1, 2012 | 2:10 p.m.

From the Scalia dissent addressing Ginsberg et al:

"Article I [of the Constitution] contains no whatever-it-takes-to-solve-a-national-problem power.

Talk about drawing a line in the sand. No wonder Ginsberg said, in an interview prior to this decision, that there would be sharp disagreements between the justices.

Roberts is just looking smarter and smarter all the time.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush July 1, 2012 | 3:09 p.m.

Somalia: for
Conservatives who just want
To be left alone.

Finland, Iceland, and
New Deal America - the
Liberal compact.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 1, 2012 | 4:01 p.m.

Mike W. - I have now read as much of the Decision as I intend to read. (I thot you wrote that cut&paste was blocked and did not try it. Did you copy yours above?) I wrote down a little.

Ginsburg wrote, "CJ rigid reading of Commerce Clause make scant sense and is stunningly retrogressive." She referred to the CJ "crabbed" reading. Imo her attitude has not changed about anything and is only with him, in this instance, to save the "cash cow" provided progressives by ACA. I liked the dissent "If Congress can reach out and command (healthy) to buy insurance then the Commerce Clause becomes a font of unlimited power".

The dissent asserted that the mandate and money extracted for it must either be labeled a penalty or a Tax, not both as required by Gov't argument. Their opinion that within the bounds of this case, penalty fit the monies derived, not a tax. Their case against was far more compelling than CJ's majority, imo.

You are right that Dissent and CJ points were similar and the question remains for me. Why did Roberts go out on a limb and join the liberals, to preserve this law? Surely not to improve the image of His court as has been offered by many.

One thing, I probably had never even considered. That the Court has always tried to preserve each law they examine. Though one portion unconstitutional, other portions must be saved.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 1, 2012 | 4:04 p.m.

Tell Jona, there was nothing in the Decision about the 21 new tax increases, or that the destructive student loan law is hidden in ACA.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 1, 2012 | 4:46 p.m.

Lyrics for the "Liberal Compact," a Brazilian Samba. [English translation]

Whether factual or mystic
Please don't act so narcissistic

Viewing visage in the water
Don't spend more time than you otter

Narcissus died from dire starvation
[We] don't want that for Tiger Nation

Sports are what today today impresses
We don't need academic presses

BTW, there really WAS a Girl from Ipanema; it's said that even at her present age she looks very good.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 1, 2012 | 4:56 p.m.

Frank: No, computer illiterate as I am, I never figured out to cut and paste. I simply went "tile" with Firefox and the document and started typing. Everyone should please excuse any errors, because they were mine and not the documents. Everyone should probably be thankful that I could not cut and paste; I found lots more than I wanted to post than I actually did.

It is my belief (possibly mistaken, but I don't think so) that Justice Roberts did what he did to get the liberals to OWN a whole lot of originalist and federalist writings and thoughts. A horse trade, if you get the law, but you have to own federalism with your very public vote. I say this because I have never read anything from any of the current liberal justices to think they would EVER concur with such thought on any other type of case. To my mind, all of them are constitutional evolutionists. To get the law, they had to sign off on his federalist, not evolutionist, ideas....and I think that's exactly what happened. They got a legacy, and so did the President, but I think we got much stronger limitations on liberal misuse (or the ignoring of) the plain and original text of the US Constitution. I think the Framers were honored and strengthen by this decision.

I also think he was concerned about the image of the court, but please note this is not my own idea....I read it somewhere else over the last day or so. However, all else that you've read from me on this topic was independent of anyone else. I was careful about that. PS: If you do your own work, folks can say "You're wrong", but they can't prove it. After all, how can you prosecute or yell at incompetence, lol?

When you look at the majority opinion and Scalia et. al.'s dissent, they look soooooo similar. With regard to the now legal notions of federalism, the limitations of the Commerce Clause, and the limitations on the necessary and proper clause, Roberts in effect got a 9-zip opinion (although I think 4 of those votes were made while gagging).

Any other way, this would have been a 5-4 nightmare just like Bush v. Gore.

I think Roberts somehow got the idea across that: OK, group...we can have a 5-4 this-law-goes-down-the-tubes, or we can have a 5-4 decision that preserves the law legitimately, allows you to dissent, allows Scalia et al to dissent in a manner in which I intend to write the majority opinion....but you liberals have to sign off and own a federalist (and limiting) decision.

And I think he won.

So, yes, I think the image of the court was on his mind.

I also think he had this figured out long before oral arguments, which is why he asked some rather odd (to an outside conservative with expectations of him) questions at that time.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle July 1, 2012 | 5:36 p.m.

Mike seems to believe that only "liberals" ever have, or ever will, abuse the commerce clause.

I disagree. This will cut both ways.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 1, 2012 | 5:40 p.m.

Mike - I hate to belabor the subject, but Ginsburg's dis-respectful language about CJ's writing, notwithstanding, she also wrote that she vehemently disagreed with his findings pertaining to the Commerce Clause. How can you be so certain she and they now "own" any part of his decision?

Imo, they joined him for one reason. As I have stated, "to save the "cash cow" provided progressives by ACA." I believe you attribute more honesty to these, than they deserve. It is progressives that maintain that our Constitution is a living thing, to be interpreted by them according to their needs at the time. Do you believe this theory is for the benefit of our society? Not,perhaps, to change and eventually destroy it? Obama has decried it as an "obstruction to things gov't can do for the people".

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum July 1, 2012 | 6:23 p.m.

Conservatives are actually anarchists; they just don't realize it.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle July 1, 2012 | 8:11 p.m.

I don't think they're anarchists; I think they mostly just want a brutal, totalitarian, religion-based government. There's a reason some of them fixate on Sharia: they are intensely jealous.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle July 1, 2012 | 8:15 p.m.

More interesting analysis of SCOTUS in light of the ACA decision - it seems to have sprung a leak.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 1, 2012 | 9:43 p.m.

Derrick: I agree conservatives can and will abuse the Commerce Clause, but you'll not convince me that conservatives attempt such a thing even close to the number of times liberals do it.

Yes, it will cut both ways, but it'll cut more one way than the other. After all, what kind of far-left liberal would ever write on their own (from the decision): "Congress has no authority to order the states to regulate according to its instructions."


Frank: If you think Ginsberg's dissent is disrespectful, take at look at Scalia et. al.'s remarks about HER dissent. You should keep reading.

Derrick says, "I think they mostly just want a brutal, totalitarian, religion-based government."

Me says, "No, you didn't think at all; and Louis's comment is just plain silly since a firm, originalist view of the Constitution is about as far from anarchist as you can possibly get.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 1, 2012 | 9:48 p.m.

Derrick's link says, "The conservatives refused to join any aspect of his opinion, including sections with which they agreed, such as his analysis imposing limits on Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause, the sources said."

Well, that's pure horse-hocky to anyone who has read the decision and dissents.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 1, 2012 | 9:50 p.m.

Hot damn, we hit the blue lagoon.

Without JKarl!

Where is he, anyway? Writing his own take on this?

Hope so.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 1, 2012 | 10:04 p.m.

Frank: re your 5:40 pm. post.

You just parroted what I said. I think you are exactly right. I think the liberal justices sold their collective precedents in order to get the law. Ginsberg et. al. can dissent and bitch all they want, but the majority opinion sets the precedents and future decisions, right? It is the majority opinion that will rule.

This is like you or me voting....we can bitch and moan all we want about a candidate, but if we then turn around and still vote for him/her...we own their future actions if they win.

Same thing Ginsberg et. al.

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum July 2, 2012 | 12:52 a.m.

Derrick, you're quite right there. In THEORY, they support something very similar to anarchy. In practice, it's something markedly more similar to a 'quasi-capitalistic moral autocracy'.

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum July 2, 2012 | 12:56 a.m.

J. Shiller is preparing another one of his banal, intentionally obnoxious, treatises. Keep in mind, that in one of his previous musings, he said G&D was 'really good food'. You can't trust anyone's opinion who honestly believes that.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 2, 2012 | 1:13 a.m.

@ Louis Schneebaum:

You could be onto something, Louis., more so than this jabbering about one SCOTUS decision.

OLD EUROPEAN SAYING (ALMOST CERTAINLY FRENCH): Scratch a German and you'll find a sheep; scratch a Frenchman and you'll find an anarchist.

UPDATED OLD SAYING: Scratch a Republican and you'll find an anarchist; scratch a Democrat and you'll find a sheep.

It was not always thus (at least for the Democrats and Republicans).

Occasionally I or my associates are asked about our religious and political beliefs. The answer is that our religious and political leanings are inseparable: We are devout anarchists.

OLD EUROPEAN SAYING (ABSOLUTELY FRENCH): The french vint wine; the Germans vint vinegar; the Italians vint high-octane gasoline.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 2, 2012 | 7:37 a.m.

I thot the Germans vinted, potato schnapps.

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Michael Williams July 2, 2012 | 8:01 a.m.

Ellis says, "UPDATED OLD SAYING: Scratch a Republican and you'll find an anarchist; scratch a Democrat and you'll find a sheep."

Ok, perhaps I was wrong about the "herd" thingie.

Perhaps I should have said "flock".

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 2, 2012 | 8:19 a.m.

Louis: One of the arguments in this case was the "Anti-Injunction Act, which says (basically) you can't gripe about a tax until it has been paid.

I think that Act also has a clause saying it's moronic to gripe about a JKarl column before it's published. Perhaps you should follow a variant of NancyP's advice and wait until it's published before you can know what's in it.

Your logic about not trusting anyone who likes G&D food is impeccable and quite consistent with past effluvia from your brain. Congratulations, but please try to keep it out of Hinkson Creek.

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frank christian July 2, 2012 | 8:32 a.m.

Michael - I understand your thought about precedent. This is imo, what BO is now about. Every item on his agenda he cannot now legislate, he sets a precedent for future attempts by future progressives. I understand this importance in our legal system and the Supreme Court in particular. I also believe I understand that those of the left, progressive, liberal, Democrats will now and in the future concern themselves only with precedents that might help their mission, to change our "whole thing".
Democrat, Patrick Leahy, Chair of Senate Judicial Committee since 2007, once asked to leave the Intelligence Committee because of his continued leaks of committee information to press, seems to have done little else than try to prosecute W. Bush and Cheney, since that date. A Truth Commission that might take 10-15 years is his prescribed vehicle. I somehow doubt "precedent" has any part in his approach to governance.

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frank christian July 2, 2012 | 8:42 a.m.

I do side with you in regard to the emissions from Schneebaum's brain.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle July 2, 2012 | 9:30 a.m.
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Derrick Fogle July 2, 2012 | 1:00 p.m.

@Mike: Actually, I did a lot MORE than just think. I evaluated empirical evidence to arrive at my conclusion. I probably scan nearly a book's worth of online comments from dozens of websites every week, and there are a couple core tenets I keep noticing coming out of conservative comments:

1) Religious conservatives want expansive government power to mandate and enforce their religious ideology;

2) Harsh punishment is the primary method of behavior modification; the "eye for an eye" mentality is very prevalent, and a small subset of the most radical advocate punishments like cutting off someone's hand for stealing.

What this mindset amounts to is little more than thuggery.

You can get your feathers ruffled all you want regarding my sometimes sarcastic, hyperbolic couching of these observations, but that does not, in any way, invalidate my observations and conclusions.

Speaking of observational accuracy, has every single conservative in the world really just forgotten that this whole idea came straight out of the right-wing Heritage Foundation, and was implemented by a Republican governor first? Or, that deficits don't matter, just a couple years before it suddenly became the biggest perceived problem on the planet? Or, that the conservative crowd complaining about too much government spending is heavily skewed towards older people, who are one of the two biggest expenses the government has?

The astounding lack of consistency, lack of memory, and lack of consistent application of ideology among the conservative crowd should be very concerning to everyone.

Of course this same thing can be said of many liberals too; but instead of just forgetting or disowning previous ideas, they like to spend a lot of time spinning it, instead. At least collective amnesia and failure to observe is way more efficient; gotta hand that one to the conservatives.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 2, 2012 | 3:25 p.m.

Derrick: "hyperbolic couching of these observations, but that does not, in any way, invalidate my observations and conclusions."

I submit to you that hyperbolic couching almost always invalidates observations and conclusions or, at a minimum, diminishes them substantially.

Otherwise, there is no need to be hyperbolic, parabolic, or asymptotic in the first place.

As far are your generalizations about conservatives and this "whole idea"....just why do you think the Tea Party was formed in the first place? Do you really think it was solely because of those damned liberals?

No. It was also because of those damned conservatives.

You think we REALLY want to defend Romney and his history with health care?

Think again.

Ya know, I don't know one single conservative that desires a "brutal, totalitarian, religion-based government." Maybe I need to get out more, although I do know quite a few people across this land. I think your term "brutal" is a harsh interpretation (that means you chose the harshest hyperbole you could think of) in response to many of us disgusted with repeat criminals that get a pass. I have no idea where you get the "totalitarian" notion unless you happen to think a Constitutional originalist is a "totalitarian"....that one makes my jaw drop, quite frankly. Religion-based? Nah. I think you know that most conservatives would tell you a government based upon religion ALWAYS makes a hash of it. So, yes....I agree you were full of hyperbole although I don't understand why you felt the need to be unless you were just trying to mimic Louis today.

Anyway, we're in the blue...which I hate. And the topic is straying with no significant comment/discussion on the decision itself. Done...unless the discussion level goes back up.

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mike mentor July 2, 2012 | 4:17 p.m.

Kudos to you Michael !!!
I think your analysis is better than the people they pay on tv...

Roberts is a genius and saw the forest the whole time while he kept the libs intensely focused on the tree. This decision sets clear precedence for the commerce clause and states rights in accordance with conservative viewpoints. This was the war and Roberts won it without having to fight the battle. The libs were too enamored by the bright light that the ACA represented to realize they were insects flying toward Roberts' bug zapper.

We also now have a clear mission for November. After promising no tax increases for the middle class, we now have one passed by libs through sleazy bribery and such. Wow! I don't think we could have set the stage any clearer for this coming election. Judging by what happened at the mid-terms, I have renewed hopey for a changey!

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frank christian July 2, 2012 | 4:59 p.m.

Our great oracle has blessed us again with the low down on our conservative population.

While he scans "nearly a book's worth of online comments from dozens of websites every week,", who has ever read a quote beyond, Think Progress and Daily KOS?

For his purpose here he has decided to refer to belief in our Constitutional law,1) Religious conservatives want expansive government power to mandate and enforce their religious ideology;

2) Harsh punishment is the primary method of behavior modification; the "eye for an eye" mentality. (I gag the insidious referral to "a small subset of the most radical advocate punishments like cutting off someone's hand for stealing.")

His sage information ends with the worn blame game of conservatives previous leaning toward health care mandates and the W. Bush spending on Democrat, frantically sought, programs. "Speaking of observational accuracy, has every single conservative in the world really just forgotten? I believe I can answer for all that have been interested, NO! Now, where are we left. We still have a failed USSR. An EU on the brink destruction from the spending you advocate, with only the will of the German lady in charge of that country (a conservative)as a hope of salvation.

The Oracle is left, it seems, only with the threat of Religion, still prevalent here, to proclaim, as the source of our coming demise.

Comeback again, after you have gleened some serious information from your weekly forages.

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frank christian July 2, 2012 | 5:24 p.m.

"Did Chief Justice Roberts Craft a New, More Limited Commerce Clause?

In a word: No. Or, even if yes, just by a hair--by adding just a footnote to the current doctrine. Here's why."

(Report Comment)
mike mentor July 2, 2012 | 5:58 p.m.

He didn't rewrite the law, but he specifically identified clear limits that were previously not set as far as case law goes. We now have very clear limits on the commerce clause as well as what the feds can do to try and strongarm the states. Both are good if you believe in small fed as I do. I think your guy is grasping at straws when he tries to make a case that the majority opinion in this case is just the opinion of one judge and not of the court. That's poppycock...

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frank christian July 2, 2012 | 7:40 p.m.

Mike M. - "he specifically identified clear limits that were previously not set as far as case law goes. We now have very clear limits on the commerce claus".

Are these limits enumerated somewhere? All I'm able to find is the instance when Congress tries to create an activity where there previously has been none. Even he stated this would seldom if ever occur again.

My understanding is that the dissenters never referred to or mentioned Roberts in their dissent. Haven't we been told that Dissent notified Roberts that he was "on his own"?

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Michael Williams July 2, 2012 | 8:04 p.m.

Frank, don't put all your eggs in one non-source basket. I did read your link and I think there is some valuable stuff in there, but keep in mind it's only one person's opinion. The REAL fight over "What does it mean" is only beginning, and we won't really see the REAL meaning until SCOTUS uses precedent from it.

I admit I am confused by aspects of the "opinion". Near as I can tell, it had 4 general parts (I through IV), and #III was divided into IIIA, IIIB, IIIC, and IIID. Roberts delivered the opinion of the court on I, II, and IIIC and the 4 liberal justices joined. Roberts delivered an opinion on IV, and Breyer and Kagan joined. The syllabus says he gave a self-opinion (I guess that's what it means) on IIIA, IIIB, and IIID. Ginsberg filed an opinion that concurred in part, concurred in the judgment in part, and dissented in part, but I don't know which parts yet...her's is confusion. Everyone else just dissented.

The confusing part to me is how can ANY part of the judgment...the document that carries the weight and precedents....have parts in it not agreed to by a majority of justices? Given this, how can a "judgment" be a "judgment"? What the hell is a judgment? Is this not the document, THE one, from which all else follows?

And what the hell is a self-opinion and what kind of weight does it carry in the "judgment"? After all, it's in the "opinion" section, not a dissent section.

Even with this confusion, tho, there's one helluva lot of originalistic wording in this document (a judgment) that a bunch of liberal justices signed off on. So far, I think my arguments in support of that notion still hold true. I'm still working on the rest.

But, I'd sure like to see answers to the above questions.

PS: I sure feel more comfortable reading someone else's stuff having read the decision on my own. If I hadn't read it, I'd be flying in the dark. As it is, I get to fly at dusk (or morning, I don't know which).

PSS: MikeM: Thanx for the compliment. You can send a few bucks to me at BR549, Columbia, MO, to help make the pay more equitable. Otherwise, I'm callin' Occupy.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 3, 2012 | 8:39 a.m.

Mike W. - I threw the "egg" at MM only to indicate one source that does not proclaim the outcome of this erroneous decision by the Court in such glowing terms.

Laura Ingraham, "A former litigator and Supreme Court law clerk," (Clarence Thomas) is another. This morning on Fox, she stated her view, that Roberts (a friend for years) was totally wrong. She believes the story that he originally agreed to vote against the law, but changed after the media onslaught, for the image of His court. She stated that his duty is to protect the Constitution, certainly not the reputation of the Court.

Meanwhile, I'm reading things as I was afraid they would occur. Democrats are pushing to get every facet of this disaster in place as soon as possible. People opposing the law are now deciding, since approved by Supreme Ct., perhaps it should be allowed to stand. Republicans have sworn to repeal it, but their every effort will now be assailed by this media and liberals, where ever there is one, will go after them tooth and nail. You must agree, if Democrats are left in control of any branch of Federal government Nothing will change, particularly the destruction from this unmitigated economic disaster known as Obamacare. While we wait to see the benefits of changes to "Commerce Clause".

(Report Comment)
mike mentor July 3, 2012 | 9:39 a.m.

Oh ye of little faith...

I am just sharing my opinion. However, my opinion does not need to uphold some sort of image. Every person you see on tv or hear on the radio has an image to protect and uphold. This is the backdrop behind their "opinions". So, don't be surprised to hear the more conservative pundits blast Roberts because they will probably assume that will appease their constituency and hold true to their image.

I am glad we have the precedent that we do, IMHO, regarding states rights and the commerce clause.

The way the law was interpreted, as Michael pointed out early on, follows case law which is how our system works.

"The majority cites precedent that if there are multiple conflicting interpretations of a law, and one interpretation would be unconstitutional, then the court is bound to interpret the law in a way that saves the law.

So, Roberts protected the integrity of this decision and the court by following case law and agreeing that Congress can impose taxes even if he disagreed with the tax and how it got passed.

So, what we are left with is a large tax increase on middle class and young working people even though the administration that schemed, bribed, plotted and crooked their way to getting this passed promised there would be none. I think they will find this impossible to overcome for the election. The methods used to get this middle class tax increase passed will become fresh in our minds again as we head to the election and I think this is just what we needed to energize middle grounders to say enough is enough with this guy...

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 3, 2012 | 10:35 a.m.

"my opinion does not need to uphold some sort of image." It definitely does! You stated this opinion to shape the image of yourself. (I won't dwell on what you have accomplished.) To press for rejection of those whom earn their living disseminating information (pundit), because of their politics and in spite of fact they may provide, is bias in the 1st degree and used by liberals everywhere.

Your post is only an attempt to "shore up" the one previously stating your opinion which is now under fire from many sources. Ingraham did not mention any benefit from "changes" regarding Commerce Clause and you have not touched on the problems arising with the Roberts switch. So, are you both trying to appease your constituency and hold true to your image?

(Report Comment)
mike mentor July 3, 2012 | 12:06 p.m.

My postings shape an image of myself to you, but I do not have a financial or personal stake in how you or anyone else on this board sees me. I share my opinions freely without regard to whether or not a conservative or liberal will be mad about what I say. (I guess lucky for me I upset the libs far more than the cons ;-) This is not true for your pundits. Laura Ingraham has a financial stake in keeping people like you happy and keeping liberals mad. Her communication will be based on this primary need. Sorry to break it to you, but every opinion you hear from conservative pundits is not their true personal opinion. (Gasp!)
Remember, I am on your side. I don't think we have to ask why NBC didn't report on Fast and Furious until very recently.

You ask a loaded question when you say I didn't touch on the problems with the Roberts switch. That's because I don't see it as a problem. As I said above we have precedent that says, "if there are multiple conflicting interpretations of a law, and one interpretation would be unconstitutional, then the court is bound to interpret the law in a way that saves the law."

So, Roberts correctly acquiesced to congress that they do have the power to tax and even if they pass a horrible tax in a sleazy, but legal way, SCOTUS doesn't and shouldn't have the power to nix it. You won't hear the right wingers admitting that Roberts followed the law because the law disagrees with their agenda. The problem is not Roberts. The problem is the ACA! It passed Congress. We can't go back and burying our heads in the sand won't change that.

What will change that is voting Republican at this next election. Considering the majority of swing voters are opposed to this monstrosity of a tax increase that will raise health care costs and lead to poorer care for the vast majority of our responsible citizens (Those with insurance now...), I think we will have more republican votes in November than we would have had if this court decision had not come down until after the election. Just my opinion and since we are now SEC folks, I'll include the popular southern politeness of including, I could be wrong...

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 3, 2012 | 12:09 p.m.

Frank: I prefer gridlock.

It's difficult to "do" anything with gridlock, and difficult is how I want it.

This law came about because there was no gridlock.

PS: Personally, I'm in favor of a Constitutional Amendment that limits the session of Congress to....oh....30 days or so. The remainder of the year, congressmen and women have to go get a job and live with the laws they pass. The jobs MUST be in manufacturing or sales or lawyering or lobbying jobs allowed. There is no doubt whatsoever that my view of politicians is at an all-time low no matter the flavor; I did not think that was possible.

PSS: As a reminder, I told you my sympathies rested with Scalia et. al., and that's still true.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 3, 2012 | 1:32 p.m.

Mike M. - To "cya" you repeat the premise (false!) that (You only referred to conservative) even though a person has career experience and close relations with the subject and those involved, we must not consider their input because,"This is not true for your pundits. Laura Ingraham has a financial stake in keeping people like you happy and keeping liberals mad." This a shallow, false presumption and for you in using it, to make me appear as shallow as you, "Sorry to break it to you, but every opinion you hear from conservative pundits is not their true personal opinion. (Gasp!)" Really, O Great One? You certainly know how to keep one conservative mad. Why in your opinion, could not LI, ("Her communication will be based on this primary need.") full fill this primary need, with truth? Our brain should be used to distinguish truth and falsehood. R. Limbaugh I believe reading from CATO INST, has been explaining ACA as it is coming down. Are we wrong to listen, because they both are limited by "a financial stake in keeping people like you happy". Gosh, it sounded like good information to me. Guess I fell into the trap! Rush referred ACA as an "unmitigated disaster" around 1p. At 8:39a, I referred to it as an "unmitigated economic disaster". Did he talk me into something? Sorry.

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frank christian July 3, 2012 | 1:42 p.m.

Mike W. - I agree with most everything you write. I had not forgotten that your stated side was and is with the dissent in this matter. I just questioned Roberts apparent "switch" that allowed this "unmitigated economic disaster" (again, sorry) to continue with new legs. Watching the States decline without the threat of lost funds will be interesting. See you there.

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mike mentor July 3, 2012 | 3:33 p.m.

I guess we can agree to disagree then Frank. Why would I feel the need to "CMA" on this? This is my opinion and whether or not it is accepted by you or anyone else has no real effect on my life. This is just one thing that differentiates me from the pundits. Knowledge and or level of expertise might be another difference you would point out ;-) I no more believe that everything Rush says is true than I believe that everything Bill Maher says is a lie. I am not saying that you shouldn't listen to them at all, and I am certainly not saying that Rush brainwashed or tricked you in to thinking that the ACA is bad, but you should be aware that you are not getting information from a source who's sole purpose is to spread the truth. I think if you were a close personal friend of Rush's he might even let you see behind the curtain and let you know that a lot of it is for the show, but I could be wrong...

Having said that, I do not like the ACA. I think the ACA is bad. I think it will benefit a small number of irresponsible people and will harm everyone else. However, my feelings about the ACA don't change the fact that it passed Congress. Those feelings don't change the fact that legal precedent says that if SCOTUS has two interpretations of a law and one is considered unconstitutional then the court is bound to interpret in the way that saves the law. Whether the chief justice likes it or not, he is bound by the law he swore to uphold to interpret the law in a way that saves the law (tax) and not the way that would be unconstitutional (commerce clause). Hence, we have a tax that we will use to oust Owebama, we have limitations on what the fed can do to the states to compel them and we have a clear limit on the commerce clause. Best possible outcome that does not upset our legal system IMHO.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 3, 2012 | 7:09 p.m.

I'm trying to make this short. I told you why you cya'd in the same sentence that I used the acronym.

Yes we must disagree. I can't imagine why you would limit your intake of information because, "I no more believe that everything Rush says is true than I believe that everything Bill Maher says is a lie.". This statement indicates that you have no idea what either one is saying, day after day.

"you should be aware that you are not getting information from a source who's sole purpose is to spread the truth." From which source is this salient information obtained? Rush Limbaugh swears his sole purpose is to spread the truth during every broadcast. Bill Maher, removed from network TV (I refuse HBO, because they hired him), has never made such a claim, if I'm wrong please correct.

Your refusal to accept any truth except your own, seems to match your earlier remarks about religion. I grew up in a world that was ready to accept each person as an honest one (problematic exceptions, of course) until proven otherwise. We came to that conclusion, because of the Judeo-Christian religions. This relationship, since before 1960, has now been denigrated by those you claim to oppose, liberals.

This has not been short, but is my honest answer to you and the opinions you have expressed.

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle July 3, 2012 | 8:13 p.m.

Speaking of court rulings, here's another very interesting read:

It's an incredibly strong affirmation of the EPA's right to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Judges ruled that the body of evidence for anthropogenic climate change (ACC) substantial and compelling, and pretty much delivers a smackdown to challengers of EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gasses.

Interestingly enough, it was the EPA that originally argued to the SCOTUS, in Massachusetts vs. EPA, that they *didn't* need to regulate greenhouse gasses, and the court told the EPA no uncertain terms that a scientific judgement indicated that CO2 was indeed air pollution that almost certainly endangered the public health and welfare.

Regarding this article's content and comments, I think everything has pretty much been said already.

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum July 4, 2012 | 6:56 p.m.

"Having said that, I do not like the ACA. I think the ACA is bad. I think it will benefit a small number of irresponsible people and will harm everyone else"

Mike, you used 'think' twice there to express your 'feelings'... If your analysis of the efficacy of the ACA is based on your thoughts, how can it be sound? In your own idiotic statement, you suggest that persons in need of government assistance are inherently irresponsible; as if one can fall on hard times solely through irresponsibility. Republican beneficiaries of 'Obamacare' have only rejected the new provisions in meaningless words. They will gladly reap the benefits silently. At the same time, the individual portions of the bill poll very well. The mandate affects very few people. The status quo is unacceptable. You can screech to high heaven, just like all racist white republicans always have, and always will, until they finally become extinct (a fait accompli). I am not interested in the constitutionality of the ACA, or even in the Constitution itself. I find it to be an antique document, in dire need of revision.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor July 5, 2012 | 10:07 a.m.

Take in all the information you can and then interpret that information to come to your own truths. I have heard good people lie for a beneficial outcome. jus' sayin'

Yes we know your a troll. Nice try. The great thing about America is that she will let you leave anytime you want ;-)

P.S. The people that need government health care due to disability and such already get it and if you think the mandate won't affect you, you aren't paying attention!

(Report Comment)

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