As of March 29th thirteen states have joined in a legal challenge to the law known as Obamacare. According to the New York Times their case rests on two arguments, (A) the Constitution does not permit the Federal government to mandate the purchase of goods or services from the private sector, and (B) the provisions of Obamacare overstep states rights as provided in the Constitution. The Times predicts failure because “the law was carefully drafted to withstand just this kind of challenge.”
For the government to asses a penalty for a citizen’s failure to make a specified purchase in the private sector would undoubtedly be deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Therefore the new law calls it a tax. In a court of law names do not prevail, attributes do. You cannot avoid licensing your dog by calling it a cat. This argument is weak.
The second argument is very interesting indeed. States rights have been Fabianized away over many years. A favorable ruling on this issue could stop the slide and maybe even reverse the trend. A hearing on this issue could have impact well beyond Obamacare.
I fear the stir among the states is but a scream in reaction to sudden pain that will subside with time, and along with it, the determination to pursue the SOTUS course. If the November elections offer hope of legislative appeal it would further lessen the incentive to go with the Supreme Court option. That would be unfortunate for we would miss an opportunity to watch a landmark case.