John Bolton

John Bolton

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Will Supreme Court Overturn ObamaCare?

There is no question that the government's case was a disaster. But that doesn't mean the law will be thrown out!
Supreme Court hearing oral argument by Solicitor General Donald Verrilli
Democrats are in a panic over the way ObamaCare was presented to the Supreme Court this week. Whether it's an article in Mother Jones Magazine calling the case a "disaster" or one in the Los Angeles Times openly speculating that ObamaCare is toast, it's clear Dems are upset by the prospect.

It's easy to understand why they are upset. Obama's Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli's performance was embarrassing at best. The Politico speculates that he "choked" and the White House had to come out and say they still had confidence in him. Why the concern? Take a listen to a compilation of his stumbling and studdering. It's worse than Obama without a telepromter:

In another example of how out of his depth the Solicitor General, a former Editor of the Columbia Law Review, was, there was this exchange with Justice Scalia is referred to as a "benchslap" and a schooling on the definition of the 10th Amendment and enumerated powers.

But the question to Verrilli which put the entire case in perspective was the one asked by Justice Kennedy, the court's swing vote:
JUSTICE KENNEDY: Assume for the moment that this is unprecedented, this is a step beyond what our cases have allowed, the affirmative duty to act to go into commerce. If that is so, do you not have a heavy burden of justification?

I understand that we must presume laws are constitutional, but, even so, when you are changing the relation of the individual to the government in this, what we can stipulate is, I think, a unique way, do you not have a heavy burden of justification to show authorization under the Constitution?
I'm reminded of the time a reporter asked former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi if ObamaCare was constitutional. Her indignant response "are you serious?" must be ringing in her ears. Like the rest of the hearing Verrilli had no good answer to that. It's tough to try and sell a bad law to the Supreme Court. The majority of the Justices won't be swayed by media spin or Democrat talking points.

But while the public side of the hearing seems to lean heavily in favor of the Court overturning the law or portions of it, I would caution readers to be wary. The matter is just too close to call and the Justices often have a way of digusing their true intentions when asking questions.


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