Justice Roberts’ decision is not controversial only because it let Obamacare stand, there is also controversy about the consequences of the decision going forward. Some good arguments have been given claiming at least partial victory or defeat for both the left and the right in the near and in the long term. There is also a logical opinion that the court has passed the buck by returning the decision to the voters.
One common line of thought is that the decision put a cap on the lefts widespread abuse of the Interstate Commerce Clause to justify all manner of expansion of federal powers. Mark, an attorney commenting on our earlier post takes a contrary view. In his opinion an even wider door was opened to Constitutional erosion by finding the Affordable Care Act can stand on the basis of the federal governments unquestioned right to tax.
Justice Ginsburg adds to the ‘we won but we lost’ confusion by taking the unusual, albeit not unprecedented step of writing a dissent against a decision she voted in favor of.
Charles Krauthammer declares Justice Roberts’ action was brilliant. Rush Limbaugh swears it was stupid. Mitt Romney vows to make the repeal of Obama care the immediate focus of his presidency and he may have the House and the Senate with him to do it. Nancy Pelosi says now it’s cinched; the Affordable Care Act is here to stay.
If it turns out that Obamacare is repealed in the next Congress, it will mean the right was the ultimate winner of the Supreme Court’s decision. If Obama is re-elected it will mean the left was the winner. If Obamacare is repealed and replaced by health care reform that preserves choice and quality and broadens demographic coverage at an honestly affordable price, the people and the right will have won. The left will have lost because health care users will have maintained control of their own destiny and not surrendered to the specter of socialized medicine.
We just have to wait.