Thursday, June 28, 2012

Quick Reaction to Obamacare Ruling

The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the constitutionality of Obamacare is on one level very disappointing. The good news is that Chief Justice Roberts -- the swing vote -- voted to uphold it under the taxing power rather than the Commerce Clause or the Necessary and Proper Clause.  This is a much narrower basis for the legislation than the Obama administration had advanced all along, until the very end.

Those who believe in limited government should thank God that this monstrosisty was not upheld under the Commerce Clause coupled with the Necessary and Proper Clause.

The majority opinion, at least at first glance, appears rife with inconsistencies and hypocrisy.  If the minimum coverage provision is a tax, then why wasn't it barred by the Anti-Injunction Act?

The ruling on Medicaid and the coerscion of the states is similarly illogical.  Seven Justices found that it was unconstitutional for Congress to take away existing Medicaid funds from states which refuse to adopt new Obamacare expansions.  But instead of holding the statute unconstitutional on that basis, a majority of  five for theCourt esseentially rewrote that provision -- Congress may not take away the exisiting Medicaid funds, but may withhold new funds conditioned on new expansions.  This, despite the fact that the statute contains no provision for severability. 

This is the Court not interpreting the law but redrafting it altogether.  It is one thing to construe a statute in the best light to hold it constitutional, it is another to slice it and dice it to make it so, particuarly in the absence of the a severability provision.

More thoughts to come, but that is my initial take.

No comments: