As you know, earlier this week President Barack Obama launched into a rather odd attack on the Supreme Court as they consider overturning ObamaCare. But he also attacked Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and House Republicans over the recently passed budget proposal, channeling comments made by former Speaker Newt Gingrich last May:
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will shred the House GOP budget as a “Trojan horse” built around radical right-wing, “thinly veiled social Darwinism” and the makings of a renewed recession.
That’s the message he’ll take to The Associated Press’s annual luncheon in Washington, according to prepared remarks provided by the White House: The plan written by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is directly opposed to the message of economic fairness he’s been pushing since late last year.
“It’s antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who’s willing to work for it — a place where prosperity doesn’t trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class,” Obama will say of Ryan’s budget, drawing on the same themes he touched on in his December speech in Osawatomie, Kan., and his State of the Union address in January. “[B]y gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last — education and training; research and development — it’s a prescription for decline.”
While I don’t like to engage in conspiracy theories or anything like that, I do find it odd that President Barack Obama has been targeting the Supreme Court so heavily the last couple of days over ObamaCare (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). Some conservatives have suggested that he knows how members of the High Court cast their initial ballots on Friday and what we’re seeing is a reaction to that.
Obama may really just be trying to sway Justice Anthony Kennedy, but it’s hard to see how this will play well with him or even Chief Justice John Roberts, who was believed to be more sympathetic (though that’s quite a stretch) to the administration’s argument. Obama has already spurned Kennedy once thanks to his 2010 State of the Union address in which he blasted the decision in Citizens United, an opinion written by Kennedy.
But thinking about the motivation for Obama to do this, here are a few scenarios that I’ve been thinking about today.
Obama has no idea where the Supreme Court is going: As mentioned above, he’s desparate to see his signature domestic initiative survive this legal challenge and he’s is making an odd plea for them to rule on his side. Again, the way he has handled this, if this is truly the case — and it may very well be, is odd and probably not the best move.
Obama knows the PPACA is going down: Then what we’ve seen the last couple of days is indeed Obama lashing out at the Supreme Court. This is what opponents of ObamaCare want to believe, myself included. He knows it’s coming and we can call this part of the “five states of grief.”
For someone that was a “constitutional law professor,” President Barack Obama doesn’t seem to have a very good grasp of constitutional law. While appearing yesterday before a group of newspaper executives, Obama once again launched a preemptive attack on the Supreme Court over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — also known as ObamaCare:
President Obama elaborated on his claim that a Supreme Court ruling against Obamacare would be “unprecedented,” as he suggested today that the court does not take its responsibilities “seriously” if they do.
“We have not seen a court overturn a law that was passed by Congress, on a economic issue, like healthcare — like I think most people would clearly consider commerce — a law like that has not been overturned at least since Lochner [vs New York, 1905],” Obama told reporters during the question-and-answer session of the Associated Press luncheon.
Of course members of the Supreme Court take the task given to them seriously, even if we don’t always agree with their conclusions on issues that come before them. They play an important role in our system of checks-and-balances — striking down several dozen acts of Congress from 1981 to 2005. Thi is a role that some on the Left have apparently forgotten, including Obama himself.
With the future of ObamaCare up in the air, President Barack Obama took a divisive tone yesterday in discussing the pending Supreme Court ruling on his signature domestic, albeit blatantly unconstitutional law:
President Barack Obama took an opening shot at conservative justices on the Supreme Court on Monday, warning that a rejection of his sweeping healthcare law would be an act of “judicial activism” that Republicans say they abhor.
Obama, a Democrat, had not commented publicly on the Supreme Court’s deliberations since it heard arguments for and against the healthcare law last week.
Known as the “Affordable Care Act” or “Obamacare,” the measure to expand health insurance for millions of Americans is considered Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement.
“Ultimately, I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,” Obama said at a news conference with the leaders of Canada and Mexico.
Conservative leaders say the law, which once fully implemented will require Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty, was an overreach by Obama and the Congress that passed it.
The president sought to turn that argument around, calling a potential rejection by the court an overreach of its own.
“And I’d just remind conservative commentators that, for years, what we have heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism, or a lack of judicial restraint, that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law,” Obama said.
If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably very happy about how the Supreme Court hearings last week went. Justice Kennedy asked very sharp and pointed questions that seem to indicate he would vote against the individual mandate and perhaps put the entire law in jeopardy. That’s something anyone who is concerned about liberty should be pleased about.
But it’s important to see the stories that the other side will bring up in favor of it. Stories such as Violet McManus’:
When health care reform passed Congress more than two years ago, Julie Walters yelled for her husband to come into the living room where she was watching the vote live on television.
“I was so happy,” Walters remembers. “I yelled for Matt. I said, ‘Do you know what this means? Do you know what this means?’”
The historic vote meant their 18-month-old daughter, Violet McManus, would be able to keep her health insurance. Without health care reform, she would have gotten kicked off her parents’ insurance, perhaps as early as her 5th birthday, because her care is so expensive.
Violet McManus was born healthy, but when she was 11 months old her parents woke up in the middle of the night in their Novato, California, home to find her having a seizure.
“She was completely blue in her crib and shaking,” Walters remembers.
It was to be the first of hundreds of seizures — sometimes thirty in one day.
Violet has been hospitalized about six times and each hospitalization cost more than $50,000.
The Supreme Court finished out the third and final day of oral arguments yesterday on ObamaCare with severability being the first issue the of the day. The question before the the Justices is if the individual mandate is indeed unconstitutional, does that mean the rest of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) have to be thrown out? The second issue before the court yesterday was whether or not Medicaid expansion would be coercive to the states and therefore unconstitutional.
Philip Klein, who has been covering oral arguments before Supreme Court on the PPACA for the last three days, provides a recap of the severability arguments:
ustices on the U.S. Supreme Court this morning considered what to do with the rest of President Obama’s national health care law if its individual health insurance mandate is struck down. Though it was difficult to get a clear read on their thinking as they asked tough questions of all sides, the Court seemed open to the possibility of overturning the entire law.
Paul Clement, arguing for the 26 states challenging the law along with the National Federation of Independent Business, started off the arguments by suggesting the Court look at whether Congress would have passed the law without the individual mandate.
The more liberal justices argued that there were plenty of elements of the law that had nothing to do with the mandate.
With all of the excitement over this week’s arguments in the Supreme Court, the on-going race for the Republican nomination for president has largely fell off the radar. However, there is still plenty of news to share, but not all of it is good, depending on which candidate you’re backing.
Republicans in Wisconsin will head to the polls next Tuesday, April 3rd, to cast their votes in the race. And while Rick Santorum had been doing well there recently, it looks like Mitt Romney has surged to the front in the latest poll:
The GOP race for president has flipped in Wisconsin since last month, with Mitt Romney overtaking Rick Santorum in the latest poll by Marquette Law School.
Romney leads Santorum 39% to 31% in a survey of GOP primary voters taken last Thursday through Sunday.
Ron Paul is running third in the poll with 11%, followed by Newt Gingrich with 5%.
The new numbers represent a major shift from Marquette’s February poll, which showed Santorum leading Romney in the state 34% to 18%, followed by Paul at 17% and Gingrich at 12%.
They are also roughly consistent with a poll done almost one week ago on March 21 by Rasmussen Reports, which showed Romney leading Santorum 46% to 33%.
If Santorum loses in Wisconsin, the pressure will only increase on him to drop out of the race. Many are saying that if he wants to be a player in 2016, assuming Romney doesn’t beat Barack Obama, than he needs to bow out very soon. But people close to Santorum say that a exit from the race is unlikely.
Zach posted video yesterday of Tim Sandefur, who in a press conference at the Cato Institute last week, discussed the constitutionality of ObamaCare and the impact Medicaid expansion would have on the states.
Sandefur also sat down with Nick Gillespie and Reason TV to further discuss ObamaCare, the individual mandate, the Commerce Clause, and the scope of limited government if the law is upheld by the Supreme Court:
Yesterday was an interesting day at the Supreme Court. Justices heard the case on the individual mandate from both sides, with Solicitor General Donald Verrilli arguing the case for central part of ObamaCare and Paul Clement and Michael Carvin presenting the case against it. If you support the individual mandate, then it wasn’t a good day. If you oppose ObamaCare, there was reason for optimism that it will be struck down.
In case you missed it, you can listen to the oral arguments below and read the transcript from the Supreme Court’s website:
If you’ve been following the news at all, you know that today marks the beginning of Supreme Court arguments over ObamaCare. In my write-up yesterday, I explained what issues the nation’s High Court will look at over the next three days and what exactly is at stake. In my opinion, the question is, what limitations, if any, are on Congress? If they can mandate that we all purchase health insurance, essentially saying that economic inactivity can be regulated via the Commerce Clause, then what can’t they legislate?
But Jay Bookman, a columnist at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, writes that not agreeing with the Obama Administration’s argument in favor of the individual mandsate is an affront to court precedent (emphasis mine):
Given the case law and precedents, if the Supreme Court decides to overturn significant portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it will also be forced to overturn at least 70 years of its own jurisprudence on the Commerce Clause. The entire balance of power between the states and the federal government and the federal government and business would change, with repercussions that would echo for decades.
Um, no. With all due respect to Jay, who I read on a regular basis despite only agreeing with him occasionally, shooting down the individual mandate would not overturn prior court precedent dealing with the Commerce Clause, rather it would place actual limitations on federal power.