As the Supreme Court enters the second day of oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act, tea baggers are praying and hoping that the Court takes a turn for political hackery. Unfortunately for those poor souls, it doesn’t look likely:
National Journal surveyed former Supreme Court clerks and lawyers who have argued cases before the high court about the health care law, and the consensus was that the Affordable Care is likely to prevail. One respondent said, “I don’t think this case will be nearly as close a case as conventional wisdom now has it. I think the Court will uphold the statute by a lopsided majority.“
Constitutional Law expert Jack Balkin has even stronger words:
The challengers to the health care mandate have filed their Supreme Court brief – the definitive statement of the case against the mandate, drawing on the strongest arguments that have been made against it by advocates and federal judges, and authored by conservative superlawyer Paul Clement. It is astoundingly thin and weak. A standard admonishment to young lawyers is that they should address the very strongest arguments on the other side, instead of substituting weak caricatures of their opponents’ views. Yet the brief does this repeatedly.
…As I’ve noted in a different context, when a lawyer as good as Clement makes arguments this bad, it tells you a lot about how desperate his case is.
Read Balkin’s piece in its entirety. If the Court upholds the law, grab the popcorn because a conservative immolation of epic proportions is on the way.
“This will literally help shut this country down,” Caldwell said at the Supreme Court. “We absolutely cannot suffer this kind of devastating loss for our economy.”Caldwell says the constitution doesn’t authorize Congress to force citizens to buy a product or service from a private, for-profit enterprise.
Of course, Caldwell doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about at all. Turning to a much brighter legal mind, Balkin counters:
As I’ve explained elsewhere, the argument for the mandate’s constitutionality is very simple. Congress has the power, under the Commerce Clause, to regulate insurance, and so to mandate that insurers cover people with preexisting medical conditions. (The brief does not dispute this.) Under the Necessary and Proper Clause, it may choose any convenient means to carry out this end. The mandate is clearly helpful, and may even be absolutely necessary, to Congress’s purpose. Therefore it is constitutional. Full stop.
The Court will likely announce its decision at the end of their term in June or July.