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I’m Stunned

By JLP | June 28, 2012

I have to say, I’m stunned by the Supreme Court’s ruling on Obamacare. It was split down the middle ideolocigally with John Roberts siding with the liberals.

Incredible.

Wow.

This quote came from an article I found in the Wall Street Journal and copied and pasted to facebook but now I can’t find the original article. Anyway, what John Roberts says here is surprising to me:

“It is well established that if a statute has two possible meanings, one of which violates the Constitution, courts should adopt the meaning that does not do so.”

Topics: Announcements | 16 Comments »


16 Responses to “I’m Stunned”

  1. Grace Says:
    June 28th, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    I’m stunned, as well, though I am also inordinately pleased with the decision.

    Roberts’ comment is basic law in just about every legal area–I don’t know why it would surprise you.

    But I’m not surprised that you would disagree. I continue to read and appreciate your blog even if I occasionally want to reach through my computer screen and give you a good shaking!

  2. JLP Says:
    June 28th, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    1. I’m not a lawyer. 2. It makes little sense to me and seems like an excuse to pass it.

    But…very little about law makes sense to me.

    Our freedoms are being snatched away from us left and right. This is scary stuff. Each ruling becomes precedent for successive rulings. “Well, we did that in the past, so we can do this now…”

    Scary stuff.

    The issue was run away healthcare costs. Obamacare will do nothing to contain those costs.

    I appreciate you reading AFM even though we disagree on a lot of topics. Your opinions add to the discussion.

  3. tom Says:
    June 28th, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I’m surprised the court allowed two definitions of the mandate. Shouldn’t they have made the administration choose?

    Is it a tax or is it not? After all, it was the fundamental tipping point.

  4. Dylan Says:
    June 28th, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    In the words of musical great, Joe Walsh, “one man’s freedom is another man’s prison.”

    As this ruling further illustrates, there are truly two sides to every story. It shouldn’t be any surprise that the ruling left half of the country disappointed or stunned. But regardless of which side one is on of any contested issue, the fact that our nation has such a system and laws to deal with such divisive differences is what makes me most proud to be an American.

    I don’t always like the outcomes, but I respect the process.

  5. JLP Says:
    June 28th, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    I’m mostly stunned that a supposed conservative (supposed to be small government) would side with the liberals. Not one liberal sided with conservatives. Interesting.

    Makes you wonder if John Roberts has something to gain by ruling the way the way he did?

    Tom, AGREED!

    Dylan, I respect the process but I wish I understood it better. This finding makes zero sense to me.

  6. Retiredat40 Says:
    June 28th, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Surprising. But this is a corporate court so I thought it was a possibility that it would like the corporate subsidy part of this plan. But I expected a party line vote.

    It seems the court may also have been concerned that the Supreme Court was going to be considered a group of hacks if it made another party line vote so Roberts was the one to take the fall as the head of the court.

    Apparently, 19 of 21 constitutional law professors believed it to be constitutional. It was vetted by the Heritage Foundation so there was reason to believe a conservative would approve it.

  7. Brendan Says:
    June 28th, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Unless it is repealed before the election, Obamacare will be there in some form for ever.

    Finally years after the developed world had it Americans have something the rest of the developed world takes for granted – affordable healthcare. (All be it with a rather clunky system)

  8. Jack Says:
    June 28th, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    This is, indeed, a historic opinion. For the first time EVER, the Supreme Court has overturned a prior decision IN THE SAME DECISION.

    First, it declares that the penalty for not getting insurance is NOT A TAX, and therefore the Anti-Injunction Act does not apply and the Supremes can rule on it. Then, in the SAME DECISION, the Court rules that it IS A TAX, so it is not unconstitutional.

    That IS stunning.

  9. Jack Says:
    June 28th, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    From now on, the feral government can coerce you to do anything, so long as the penalty is in the form of a tax.

  10. clocks Says:
    June 29th, 2012 at 6:40 am

    Bama is trying to convert America into a socialist, Euro style country, just as those countries are collapsing.

    JLP – I was also shocked by the decision, but I believe you have something wrong. Obama cares less about affordable healthcare, than he does about giving entitlements to the lower class, and in his own words “spreading the wealth”.

  11. JLP Says:
    June 29th, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Brendan wrote:

    “Finally years after the developed world had it Americans have something the rest of the developed world takes for granted – affordable healthcare.”

    Suuuuuuuuure…

  12. BG Says:
    July 1st, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Jack) you and I know that coercion is well established. The tax code is used (and abused) to force social engineering. Higher taxes on tobacco, social engineering. Less taxes for couples with kids, social engineering. Every tax break is social engineering.

    This ruling did not surprise me at all, though I wished it went the other way. The insurance mandate is a tax increase on everyone, with a loophole for people who buy insurance. You are free to not comply, but at the cost of higher taxes (losing the ability to claim the deduction / exemption / loophole), just as you are free to not comply to the requirements for any other tax loophole.

  13. Jack Says:
    July 2nd, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Well, there are TWO silver linings:

    1) Only and 51-50 majority is needed in the Senate for repeal
    2) We go back to court on these grounds: “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.” (Article I, Section 7)

  14. Valkyrie Frost Says:
    July 3rd, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Although I stand on the Liberal side of most issues, I too thought this one (the insurance mandate) was going too far. I understand how the Fed Govt can tax me (aka take my money), but no where do I see in the Constitution where it can force me to buy something from a private company.

    I would prefer a public option over what they have created. Instead, we get screwed from both ends to pay the medical care of the Baby Boomers and the overweight Gen-X-ers.

    To bad the Boomers didn’t create a sustainable economy to pay for all these extra expenses.

  15. BG Says:
    July 6th, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Valkyrie) Congress passed the Militia Act of 1792 requiring males between the ages of 18 and 45 to purchase gun, ammo, etc — you have 220 years of precedent there.

    Change the tax-code to a flat tax with absolutely no allowances for deductions/exemptions/loopholes of any kind and you will eliminate a big part of Congress’s control over you (via the tax code).

  16. Valkyrie Frost Says:
    July 8th, 2012 at 11:23 am

    That Act expired after 2 years, but was replaced by the Militia Act 1795 making the militia permanent. It also required two weeks of training each year. The Militia Act was replace in 1903 with the National Guard Act.

    However, it should be noted that the Militia Acts are laws regarding national security, which is in the realm of federal authority and would be deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court.

    Healthcare reform does not fall under either the Interstate Commerce Clause or National Defense.

    Allowing the individual mandate under the taxing authority is still quite perplexing as it is clearly state as a penalty(aka punishment), not a tax.

    I’m sure we will be seeing more lawsuits on the matter in due course. As for tax reform, it will take a Constitutional Amendment to reform the US tax code.

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