So the Supremes will announce their decision today on whether they will be consistent with previous rulings, including their own, or if their ideology and partisanship will produce the rational gymnastics necessary to overturn Obamacare.
If that description of the two choices sounds a bit unbalanced, well, so be it. As always, balance for balance’s sake will never be a goal of this blog. My evidence to support that description lies in data like this:
The U.S. Supreme Court should uphold a law requiring most Americans to have health insurance if the justices follow legal precedent, according to 19 of 21 constitutional law professors who ventured an opinion on the most-anticipated ruling in years.
Only eight of them predicted the court would do so.
Maybe they’ll go as far as their Bush v. Gore decision where the logic was so tortured that they included a caveat, saying “please don’t use this decision as precedent for any other decisions.” Justice Scalia would have the most explaining to do as he has made rulings that would have been consistent with upholding the law, but he has hinted in a recent book that his previous decisions may have been wrong. They just don’t make precedent (or judges) like they used to.
Whatever happens today (or possibly Thursday) the media is almost sure to focus on what the decision means to the presidential horse race, rather than to the millions of people who will not be covered if the law is overturned. If the law is overturned in its entirety, a lot of people are going to be in very bad shape and healthcare will once again become a major issue in this election.
Kevin Drum has an interesting post (which I’m not sure I totally agree with) about what might happen if the Court rejects the mandate, but upholds the rest of the law. It’s actually pretty rosy, which is one reason I am hesitant to agree with it, but it’s worth a read.
I have some more thoughts that I will be sharing after the decision, including some questions for our conservative readers. (Actually, I think the majority of our readers are conservative for some reason.)
UPDATE 7:24 AM PDT: It looks like there won’t be a SCOTUS ruling on Obamacare today. In other rulings, they overturned 3 of 4 key provisions in the Arizona immigration law.