The case against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) — what we often refer to as ObamaCare — is in the books. Members of the Supreme Court will cast their initial votes today than begin their deliberations, issuing their rulings — likely in four parts — at the end of the term in June.
It’s hard to make predictions about which way a majority of the Supreme Court, particularly Justice Anthony Kennedy, is going to go on the individual mandate and severability. But as has been noted by Jim Antle and Stephen Richer, many legal pundits never took the case seriously and now seem out-of-touch due to how close the end result is likely to be, no matter whether liberty prevails or statism hacks away another limited government principle from the Constitution.
Admittedly, I wasn’t going to write any predictions about the case simply because I don’t want to get my hopes up. But over at the National Review, Daniel Foster has given his predictions based on what we read and heard from oral arguments. He believes the Supreme Court will overturn the mandate, but split on severability, which he says will lead to “Chief Justice Roberts ask[ing] one of the liberal justices to write the operative opinion as a way of extending an olive branch.”
So with that, here are my predictions. I really hope I’m not let down, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the court go the opposite way on severability. I think there is just too much concern in the mind of Justice Kennedy to sign off on the individual mandate.
It’s that time of year when I take a stab at guessing what will happen in the new year. Just like always, I will take a stab at national politics, international politics, the economy, and sports.
*There will be a debt ceiling fight. America’s credit worthiness will be downgraded. Ultimately, the debt ceiling will be raised with no real spending cuts or entitlement reforms.
*No gun control legislation will pass this year on the Federal level. However, the left will embark on a cultural campaign against gun ownership in general.
*Minor filibuster reform will be enacted in the Senate and will be largely limited to Presidential appointments and budgetary issues.
*Chris Cristie is reelected governor of New Jersey and Terry McCauliffe is elected governor of Virginia.
*There will be a significant terrorist attack on US soil.
*Gay marriage becomes legal in Illinois.
*Proposition 8 in California is struck down by the Supreme Court on very narrow grounds that would apply on to that particular case.
*At least one state abolishes the death penalty.
*John Kerry will be confirmed as Secretary of State, but Chuck Hagel will be denied Secretary of Defense.
*Japan begins to rearm and becomes more aggressive with China.
*North Korea will create an incident with South Korea that will raise tensions but will ultimately die back down after a month or two.
*NATO forces strike Syria and force Bashir Assad from power.
*Hugo Chavez finally dies and makes his voyage to Hell.
*The European Union continues on the path towards centralizing into a superstate, while anti-EU parties do well in various national elections.
*Netanyahu reelected as Israeli Prime Minister
Here are a few predictions for this evening.
- New Jersey: Chris Christie (R) intially opened up a decent lead against incumbent Governor John Corzine (D), however, the emergence of Chris Daggett (I) has had a drag on both traditional party candidates. We expect it to be close, but based on most recent polling, Christie has slight the edge.
- NY-23: We’ve covered NY-23 extensively over the last month. It’s hard to trust polling in this race with the exit of one of the candidates so close to election day, however, Republicans seem to be moving towards Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate, despite Dede Scozzafava (R) endorsing Bill Owens (D). Our prediction is Hoffman will win with some room to spare.
- Virginia: Bob McDonnell (R) has led Creigh Deeds (D) in all but one poll in the Virginia gubernatorial race since December 2008. Deeds was able to cut into his opponent’s led for short time, but since mid-July McDonnell has pulled away, as each of the last 12 polls shows him winning by double digits. This is the most obvious pick of the night…McDonnell wins Virginia. Republicans are also expected to pick up seats in the Virginia General Assembly.