Quantcast

«

»

Jun 28 2012

What? The Supreme Court didn’t go bugnuts?

Good news: our hobbled, rudimentary effort at providing reasonable health care to the Republic — “Obamacare” — was supported by the Supreme Court. Somebody must have stuffed Scalia in the closet for this one.

94 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Or strewn garlic around the bench.

  2. 2
    Chuck

    Do Scalia and Thomas ever vote differently? I think they should merge into one being, Scaliomas, and have the remaining spot filled by someone with a functioning, independent brain.

  3. 3
    Ing

    @Chuck

    No. In fact Thomas only has ever, to my knowledge, asked one question for any hearing

    “What does Scalia think?”

    ((seriously though Thomas doesn’t ask fucking questions. He apparently is just an ass to fill a seat))

  4. 4
    kimrottman

    I was extra happy about this one because one of my facebook friends who is a creationist and with whom I had a bit of a debate re: abortion yesterday (in which his trump card was to link me to Ray Comfort’s 180 video) posted in his status this morning that he was looking forward to Obamacare being repealed today.

    *takes petty pleasure in his disappointment*

  5. 5
    The Mellow Monkey

    Oh, it’s a fine day for outraged conservatives and libertarians, screeching about “OUR FREEDOMS >:[” and such. How I laugh at their cries of this being the destruction of the US.

    It’s not my favorite solution to the health care problem, but it’s better than it was before.

  6. 6
    tubi

    Somebody must have stuffed Scalia in the closet for this one.

    As it happens, somebody apparently swapped CJ Roberts for J Kennedy.

  7. 7
    'Tis Himself

    Scalia, Thomas and, ominously, Kennedy voted against Obamacare. I need to see a real analysis of the ruling before I can say anything.

  8. 8
    leftwingfox

    With thanks to Surreal American from the LGM comments:

    Conservative court upholds Republican-inspired healthcare legislation. Conservatives declare ruling to be an assault on the Republic.

    Film at 11!

  9. 9
    The Mellow Monkey

    Oh lordy. I’m having laughing fits here. There are people all over Facebook and Twitter declaring that they’re going to move to Canada because of the Affordable Care act.

    Moving to Canada because of “Obamacare” is like someone in Salt Lake City moving to Milwaukee to get away from beer.

  10. 10
    cicely

    Conservative court upholds Republican-inspired healthcare legislation. Conservatives declare ruling to be an assault on the Republic.

    Now that the Democrats have licked it, the conservatives don’t want it any more.
    -

  11. 11
    karmakin

    From what I’ve read, the big thing is that Roberts voted to upheld it not due to the Commerce Clause, but because it is a tax and as such Congress has the right to tax.

    At least to me, Roberts seems like out of all of them on the right side the guy most concerned about his “legacy”, and as such, striking down Obamacare without leaving a dangerous precedent was something he simply wasn’t willing to do. And he didn’t want to set the precedent either. It’s too far for him.

    Thus you get this ruling.

  12. 12
    Zeno

    I had expected 6-3 if Roberts joined a decision to support healthcare reform, but Kennedy jumped ship and joined the hard right. Didn’t really anticipate that Roberts would be the deciding vote by himself. Is he the new swing vote? No one knows.

    The next step is to make certain that Romney doesn’t get to pick the next Supreme Court justices — especially since he thinks trolls like Scalia are model jurists (and Bork is one of his advisors!).

  13. 13
    radpumpkin

    Well, congratulations! You yanks might yet have a shot at this here socialist-facist-nazi-hippie-communist universal health care thing. Truth be told I’m quite surprised the court upheld the ACA, given how the reports after the initial arguments were rather dim.

  14. 14
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    Also today the SC struck down the “Stolen Valor” act (which outlawed lying about receiving a military medal). Scalthomito were on the losing side of both cases.

    Altogether, a pretty good day for the SC.

  15. 15
    Randomfactor

    As it happens, somebody apparently swapped CJ Roberts for J Kennedy.

    “Let’s see if anyone notices…”

    I think Roberts stared into the abyss, took a small step to the left and said to Scalia “After you…”

  16. 16
    magistramarla

    As Karmakin said,
    “From what I’ve read, the big thing is that Roberts voted to upheld it not due to the Commerce Clause, but because it is a tax and as such Congress has the right to tax.”
    I’m wondering if this leaves an opening for instituting a single-payer system, paid for by taxes, like other civilized countries. I would much prefer to pay higher taxes to insure that everyone has decent healthcare.

  17. 17
    Into the Sky

    Out of curiosity, does the affordable care act do anything to increase access to dental health insurance?

  18. 18
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    I’d like to quote Cenk Uygur

    Clever tactical move by Roberts. He’s always been the best politician on the court. Every DC pundit will call him moderate forever now.

    The ruling can be found here.

    5-4 majority against individual mandate under Commerce Clause, but upheld as a tax. It worries me because I do think that health care should fall under the Commerce Clause, but all in all I think it’s a good ruling.

  19. 19
  20. 20
  21. 21
    SnowyBiscuit

    Caerie:
    Oh, it’s a fine day for outraged conservatives and libertarians, screeching about “OUR FREEDOMS >:[” and such. How I laugh at their cries of this being the destruction of the US.

    I was laughing, too, until the dimmest bulb in my office went on just such a whingefest in the next cube, complete with all the FauxGnus talking points and outraged Tw00 Patriotism.

  22. 22
    Zeno

    The mad dogs at Free Republic are trying to “freep” an on-line poll at WCVB (Boston). A little pharyngulization is the best remedy. The poll is on the left-hand side of WCVB’s webpage. Scroll down a bit.

  23. 23
    Akira MacKenzie

    OK, feeling a little better now. Still think anything less than the complete nationalization of the American health care system is a bad idea, but…

  24. 24
    phud

    Nice touch by Mr Roberts who helped pull the insurance industry’s bacon out of the potentially disastrous financial fire.

  25. 25
    CT Chimako.27

    @17 You can find what’s in the ACA here

    http://www.healthcare.gov/law/index.html

  26. 26
    Ing

    @Akira

    Oh don’t worry. When Romney is elected he’ll fix that balance problem on the bench.

    Oh right you don’t care about that because WE HAS TO DO SOMETHING!!!!!!

    Piss off.

  27. 27
    DLC

    Wait. . . moving to Canada to get away from Obamacare ?
    Wait . . :spittake: moving to Canada — where they have single payer health care — To get away from the Affordable Care Act. . .
    hahahahahahah~!
    ROFL !
    my heart! Stop! Plz!
    hahaha!

    look: ACA is chock fulla holes, soaks people for health insurance they may not be able to afford, and opens a huge gaping maw of potential scams and abuses. But it does have a couple decent provisions — no dropping people for pre-existing conditions, no charging you more if you’re a woman just because you’re a woman, keeping your children on your policy until they’re 26 — all of those and a couple others. But it does nothing to address the fact that we spend tens of billions too much on health care each year.
    If we can’t go to single payer (like Canada), why not give insurance companies the choice of either reverting to Non-Profit status (as they originally were) or losing their tort protection (which they were granted in 1947 because they were non-profits). I think it would help.

  28. 28
    SnowyBiscuit

    Into the Sky:
    Out of curiosity, does the affordable care act do anything to increase access to dental health insurance?

    Not really, but dental insurance is pretty much universally mediocre-to-terrible, and fairly affordable as these things go – certainly much moreso than a decent health insurance plan.

    There are missing tooth exclusions on all the plans, and root canals are always wicked expensive. Crowns, bridges, etc, are normally paid at about 50% of the allowed amount. You should get a free cleaning 2X a year. The difference between cost and reimbursment isn’t as high as for health insurance.

  29. 29
    Ing

    @DLC

    Too true. But I think any future health care reform would be DOA if this ruling came out the other way. Much like how it died under Clinton. This is the first PUSH against the Publican ratchet we need. We can start pushing the window the other way now.

  30. 30
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    I really do worry that this means that the Court has successfully limited the powers of Congress.

    The individual mandate was something that had been pushed even by conservatives until a couple of years ago… and now it’s been held kinda unconstitutional gah..

    What I also find mind-boggling is that the Court found that the mandate is tax for constitutional purposes, but not under the Tax Anti-Injunction Act.

  31. 31
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Caerie,

    It’s not my favorite solution to the health care problem, but it’s better than it was before.

    I will begrudgingly agree. My little sister has health insurance (super helpful when she sprained her ankle a few months ago!) because she’s under 26 and still on my parents plan.

    A part of me wished that the ACA would be struck down, because that would help pave the way for single payer. Then I realized that the Democrats are a bunch of spineless nit-wits and we’d actually be worse off than before.

    I’m still loling at Gov Hairgel– he can talk shit about Obama and the ACA all he wants, but it was based on the plan he signed into law when he was governor of MA, so he’s still lookin’ like a dumbass.

  32. 32
    robro

    The next step is to make certain that Romney doesn’t get to pick the next Supreme Court justices

    Yep, it’s more the “Supreme Court Election” than the “Presidential Election,” and more than one middle-of-the-road Dem has won votes because of it. Ginsberg, the oldest (79), has been in poor health and as one of the liberals on the court, it would be good if even a pseudo-liberal president was in the White House nominating her replacement.

    Thomas is known as the quiet one. He has not posed a formal question in 6 years. He does make the case that the other justices “should shut up” and listen more, an opinion we might almost consider admirable of someone else. There is also speculation that he’s self-conscious about his accent because of his Gulla background…now there’s a ethnonym I haven’t heard since my childhood days in the cotton fields of Georgia.

  33. 33
    SnowyBiscuit

    DLC::
    If we can’t go to single payer (like Canada), why not give insurance companies the choice of either reverting to Non-Profit status….

    Unfortunately, many of the insurance companies are already registered as non-profits. It seems strange that a Blue Cross CEO makes hundreds of millions of dollars, working for a non-profit.

    “Non-profit” seems to mean “No profits for members or healthcare providers”. It certainly doesn’t mean “no profits for the insurance companies”.

    (Full disclosure notice: I worked for the Blues for fifteen years and have worked in insurance for over twenty years. It’s a foul industry.)

  34. 34
    kassad

    Seems like a great thing for the US. And it’ll end up reducing the debt.

    Do Scalia and Thomas ever vote differently? I think they should merge into one being, Scaliomas [...]

    Isn’t that the mythical that will start the Armaggeddon, the Last Omen, the Harbinger of Doom?

  35. 35
    violet

    @Chuck

    Thomas has disagreed with Scalia one time that I know of and it revealed that he’s actually better off just parroting his idol. The one time I know of that he disagreed was when deciding whether violent video games are protected speech. His opinion was that there is no right of free speech toward minors because they are the property of their parents and their parents have the right of entire control over what they do and who speaks to them. He cited no law, but rather Locke, Rousseau and a bunch of ancient texts regarding child-parent relationships from the dawn of time (ie the birth of our nation).

    He revealed himself to be so originalist that he seems to think our laws should be interpreted based on how people lived in the 1700s. If his opinion reveals his legal reasoning when left to his own devices, I’d actually he rather just follow Scalia.

    His opinion is here, starting on pg. 38 if you want a laugh: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/08-1448.pdf

  36. 36
    A. R

    [A. R. opens a Magnum of 1945 Dom Perignon]

    Finally, the Supreme Court does something right! Now about Citizens United

  37. 37
    TonyJ

    How long until we get a single payer system?

  38. 38
    marilove

    As someone used to not having health care, I expect the rug to be pulled out from under me at any moment. Is this a dream?

  39. 39
    Christopher

    Do Scalia and Thomas ever vote differently? I think they should merge into one being, Scaliomas, and have the remaining spot filled by someone with a functioning, independent brain.

    Check out Thomas’ dissent in Gonzales v. Raich

  40. 40
    Akira MacKenzie

    Ing,

    As opposed to Barry, who will be getting around “fixing” that less-than-pefect health care bill any minute… any minute now… yup, just you wait and see… any minute…. Well, when is corporate masters on Wall Street let him, that is.

    Fuck off.

  41. 41
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    The only other situation that comes to mind of Thomas disagreeing with Scalia was (IIRC) about if cross-burning is protected under the First Amendment.

    Scalia said that it is.

    Thomas disagreed, because he is not entirely a moron.

    Please hold, hunting a citation.

  42. 42
    iknklast

    I don’t like the healthcare plan; I think it turns those who are already struggling over to the health insurance companies (and I speak from experience, having not been able to afford health care, copays, or even food through much of the 90s). But I’m glad to see the decision, because I believe it is constitutional, and knocking it down would open up a huge window for knocking down a lot of other things that are definitely necessary.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    Ing

    @Akira

    The desire “TO DO SOMETHING” without regards to what said doing will actually do is a character flaw. It’s a common one of youth but it is still a flaw. Courage is the balance between recklessness and cowardice. I call for radical change but I don’t sacrifice important short term battles that do not have a clear gain for the long term goal.

    You just now have an example of us shifting the dialogue and culture. You can either throw that all away by throwing a political hissy fit, or continue pushing the democrats in the right (ie left) direction. Remember that it is the small things that cause the pot to boil over.

    I’m not saying to lose passion or compromise, I’m saying to be strategic and acknowledge the realities of polysci. The system is already rigged but you can’t just turn over the game board. The system is rigged to PUNISH people like you who want to go to a third party because it marginalizes their voice. Playing into that system will not beat it.

    The Teaparty showed us that the “silent majority” of a party can exercise amazing power when organized. We need to do the same for the democrats AND seize the opportunity to exploit the cracks the Teaparty are forming in the Republican base.

  45. 45
    marilove

    Akira MacKenzie,

    What do you suggest we do? Do we vote for someone else? Romney? For Pete’s sake, don’t say Romney.

    In all your ranting, you’ve made not one suggestion.

  46. 46
    Ing

    @Marilove

    It’s an extension of a spat we had earlier. He wants to move to a 3rd party and I think that’s not productive due to how the system is set up. I’m right of course but the dislike of Obama is strong. It’s a matter of seeing the actual options you have and taking the better one and stubbornly refusing to do so. It is a no brainier to me. Romney shares all of Obama’s cons but Obama does not share all of Romney’s. When you do the math and cancel out the variables from each side Obama>>>Romney

    Akira thinks that a Democrat loss will push them more to the left. I think he’s ignoring serious issues an the reality that that is unlikely due to the amount of control a President has over the course of public debate. Democrats will try to be more like the victors rather than the losers of an election.

  47. 47
    Amphiox

    Oh, it’s a fine day for outraged conservatives and libertarians, screeching about “OUR FREEDOMS

    The FREEEEDDDDOOOOMMM to die slowly and horribly from otherwise preventable diseases, bankrupt.

  48. 48
    Kagehi

    Actually, in a way, the fact that they couldn’t find any ground to appose any part of it is almost sad. Because it means the part that most pissed certain people off (never mind that the Rethuglicans invented it), is fundamentally broken. To put it in terms of a different sort of situation, imagine if the “mandate” was a parking ticket, and the fee was intended to cover the expense of calling a tow truck:

    1. Initially, its decides that a) you need to pay $100, b) can be arrested if you fail to pay, or c) taxed.

    2. A big stink is raised.

    3. Its decided you won’t be taxed or arrested if you don’t pay the ticket.

    4. The stink doesn’t go away, so its decided that you can’t be taxed for it either.

    6. Hmm. Still smells. Lets lower the **needed** fine of $100 to $10, where it is completely useless, doesn’t do what its supposed to (which is actually pay for the equivalent insurance you would have had, if you had bought it).

    So, now you have a so called “mandate” which can’t be made up via taxing the person, and for which you can’t be arrested, if you fail to pay it. And, the cherry on top being, even if you do pay it, it doesn’t matter, because its insufficient to pay the actual cost that it was intended to offset.

    If ***anything*** other than health care was “fined” in this manner there wouldn’t be a liberal, never mind a conservative, who didn’t think it was stupid, idiotic, pointless, and ask, “Why the hell don’t you fix this, so people actually pay the fine, and its high enough to matter?”

    But, oh no, we can’t “fine” people for failing to follow laws, apparently. Meanwhile, the other side, is whining, “Even suggesting me voluntarily pay a tiny, useless, fine, is infringing on out liberties!!!!”

    :head-desk:

    Yeah, bring on the single payer system. There is a tiny possibility that, under that, we would at least be able to simply ignore the stupidity involved in protesting it, without having to stare with our jaws on the floor, at the stupidity of the provision being protested, at the same time.

  49. 49
    Amphiox

    Romney shares all of Obama’s cons but Obama does not share all of Romney’s. When you do the math and cancel out the variables from each side Obama>>>Romney

    Exactly. There is not one area wherein Obama has been criticized, where he actually deserves that criticism, where Romney is not either exactly the same, or worse. Whereas there are lots of areas where Obama is clearly superior to Romney.

    Simply put, in all the areas where progressives criticize Obama, the criticism cannot be seen as a valid reason to vote against Obama, because there is no better alternative on the table other than Obama to vote for instead in 2012.

    If you want to effect change in these particular areas in the United States, you only have two options. 1) Beat back the regressive powers behind Romney that want to make things even worse by voting for Obama in 2012, and then work within the system to improve things in the period after 2012, or 2) Reject American democracy itself and start working on that armed insurrection.

    Of course, if you just vote for Obama in 2012 and do not do the next step of working within the system for change afterwards, then you can’t honestly say that you are serious about wanting to work for progressive change. All that will do is lock the system in the current status quo, and you’ll be faced with the same poisoned chalice choice in 2016.

  50. 50
    grantcomeau

    “Somebody must have stuffed Scalia in the closet for this one.”

    Yeah, Roberts. And if you read the dissent from the right wing of the court and realize how close we came to THAT being the decision you may want to go track him down and hug him. They wanted to rule the *entire bill* null and void and go a good ways beyond that in the process. The dissent reads like it was written by Grover Norquist or something.

  51. 51
    Amphiox

    The way to the single payer system will have to be from the ground up. Progressive blue states will have to take the initiative to institute their own single payer systems (opting out of Obamacare in the process – which IIRC, Obama indicated in a speech that he was fine with). These single-payer systems will then have to demonstrate their superiority to other systems both financially, administratively, and in health outcomes.

    Surrounding states, seeing the effectiveness of these systems, will adopt them, until there is enough groundswell of support among the states for the governors to get together and demand that the federal government chip in the help them all establish single-payer systems in their states.

    Negotiations follow, ending with a nation-wide single payer system.

    This is, in fact, how single-payer, universal healthcare became established in Canada. A single province bucked the status-quo to initiate its own single-payer system (amidst intense opposition from various entrenched interests)*. That single province system proved itself so effective that soon enough all the other provinces decided they wanted to adopt something similar, and demanded that the federal government get on board.

    *There as a bitter, division doctor’s strike in that province, Saskatchewan. In the next province to try to adopt a single-payer system, Quebec, there was another bitter divisive doctor’s strike, which in this case only ended with the FLQ hostage crisis after the FLQ terrorists threatened that their next kidnapping/murder victim would be a doctor, unless the doctor’s strike immediately ended, after which the doctors caved.

  52. 52
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    That process is already starting, Amphiox. Vermont has either enacted single-payer or will soon.

  53. 53
    screechymonkey

    I’m wondering if this leaves an opening for instituting a single-payer system, paid for by taxes, like other civilized countries.

    Legally speaking, that opening has always been there. Even the conservative legal scholars who championed the attack on the ACA have admitted that Congress has the power to enact single-payer. Medicare and Medicaid have been around for decades, and single-payer could essentially be an extension of those (which is why some people want to try to sell it politically as “Medicare For All”).

    What I also find mind-boggling is that the Court found that the mandate is tax for constitutional purposes, but not under the Tax Anti-Injunction Act.

    It’s not quite as strange as it sounds. The Anti-Injunction Act is just an act of Congress, so Congress can exempt something from its scope either explicitly or implicitly (as Roberts held) by calling it something else. When it comes to statutes, Congress can use whatever definitions it pleases. When it comes to the Constitution, though, it can’t, and so Roberts invoked the “if it quacks like a duck” principle. Also, courts are supposed to interpret Acts of Congress in a way that renders them constitutional, so a little bending-over-backwards is not unusual.

  54. 54
    Gyeong Hwa

    I’m just loving all the Conservative tears over the ruling. Seriously, they absolutely hate the thought that people other than them can now afford health care.

  55. 55
    Randomfactor

    Akira thinks that a Democrat loss will push them more to the left.

    More likely to the right. Democratic “strategists” always seem to think that you beat the Republicans by being mostly like them.

  56. 56
    Amphiox

    Remember that the individual mandate was a Republican idea, and Obama was initially in favor of Single Payer. He accepted the individual mandate as part of a compromise in an attempt to get some bipartisan support.

    So for the Republicans to turn around and attempt to overthrow the whole law on the grounds of the individual mandate being unconstitutional either constitutes the most unabashed and shameless flipflop imaginable, or a deliberate dishonest play at forcing the democrats to swallow a “poison pill” which they intended from the start to try to use to destroy the act.

  57. 57
    mattand

    @56 Amphiox:

    It is beyond frustrating that more people don’t recognize this. The GOP essentially rejected their own 20 year policy on HCR as soon as Obama endorsed it. Their own frigging POTUS candidate enacted it when he was governor of MA.

    Talk about cognitive dissonance.

  58. 58
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Screechymonkey,

    thank you. That actually makes sense. Though apparently Scalia makes the same point in his dissent..

  59. 59
    thisisaturingtest

    A lot of the far-right screaming is centering now around the “tax” formulation that Roberts used to Constitutionally justify the individual mandate. I’m just going to repeat here a comment I left at Ed’s site:
    The phrase I think we’ll be hearing a lot of is Palin’s “He [Mr Obama] said it wasn’t a tax. Obama lies; freedom dies.” This is going to be the new meme- “OMG!!!!!11!!111!! New tax!!!” I guess I understand the Constitutional need to frame it as such, but I think that nuance will be lost on far-right trogs who think Grover Norquist is god. To me, a penalty for failure to comply with the individual mandate, pragmatically given to the IRS to collect, and applied only to those who fail to comply, is most emphatically not the same as a tax. A tax is the necessary price you pay for being a part of a functioning society, to support that society, and spread as evenly and fairly as possible across all of that society’s members; this is a penalty paid for refusing to support that society, and paid only by those who do so.
    And I’ll add- this might sound like semantic hairsplitting, but it’s not- the essential difference between the two is quite basic in their definitions- everybody pays taxes, one way or the other; and the only people who will pay this “tax” are those who refuse to comply with the law. It’s not a tax, it’s a fine (that doesn’t even imply a crime).

  60. 60
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    matand,

    I made the same point in 30.

  61. 61
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Very interesting, some people suggest that Roberts switched sides at the last minute:

    http://www.salon.com/2012/06/28/did_john_roberts_switch_his_vote/

  62. 62
    lpetrich

    violet, post #35, about Clarence Thomas:
    He revealed himself to be so originalist that he seems to think our laws should be interpreted based on how people lived in the 1700s. If his opinion reveals his legal reasoning when left to his own devices, I’d actually he rather just follow Scalia.

    Does this extend to pre-Civil-Rights-Movement race-relations law? He has a white wife, and their marriage had been illegal in several states for several decades.

    Or Colonial-era laws about Catholicism? Several of the colonies forbade “papists” holding public office, because they are idolators who are subjects of a foreign power.

  63. 63
    coffeehound

    @ 59,

    It’s not a tax, it’s a fine (that doesn’t even imply a crime).

    A fine that if unpaid, is not even allowed to be collected by the IRS according to changes in the law made by DEMOCRATS. IIRC they are also specifically not allowed to jail anyone for not paying the fine which makes the whole “loss of liberty” thing laughable(no penalty= no real mandate).
    In related news, the Texas braintrust Louie Gohmert is now calling for Kegan’s impeachment for voting on the case after serving as soliciter general. He’s not saying when he’ll be calling for the impeachment of Thomas for voting and being married to Ginny; I’m holding my breath in anticipation.

  64. 64
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Also today the SC struck down the “Stolen Valor” act (which outlawed lying about receiving a military medal).

    This is several times now that I’ve learned of some dreadful law only when it was struck down, and been shocked that it ever existed.

  65. 65
    Geral

    I have mixed feelings today. I am happy Obama’s law did not get struck down by a conservative court, however I don’t even like the law. I would far prefer the single payer system. This only requires us to give our hard earned cash to some insurance company… only for them to screw us over somehow when we need it…

    The conservative tears feel good, but I think the liberal joy is too much…

  66. 66
    gworroll

    I’m floored that it was Roberts being the swing vote on this one. I don’t think anyone was really expecting that.

    There are rumors that he did it to energize Republicans to vote for Romney so this could be repealed, and a risk that overturning it would motivate Democrats to try to find another way to get it passed. Also I’ve seen even more crazy rumors that he was blackmailed by Obama and Axelrod. The right wing seems genuinely shocked that one of their own is occasionally capable of thinking for himself.

    Glad it survived. Maybe when we see the world doesn’t explode, they’ll take another crack at this problem and come up with a better solution. At least we’re in a better place than we were.

  67. 67
    Kalliope

    Hey to be the bubble burster here, but one of the strong thoughts here is that Roberts used this decision to dismantle 50 years of precedent on the commerce clause.

    There is also something very, very troubling (not to mention untoward) about basing the decision on an argument not under primary argument from the advocates before the bench.

    This is pure political manipulation on the part of Roberts.

    For an example of how he operates, I recommend everyone read this article on the Citizens-United decision.

    Because it’s some radical stuff.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/05/21/120521fa_fact_toobin

  68. 68
    consciousness razor

    A tax is the necessary price you pay for being a part of a functioning society, to support that society, and spread as evenly and fairly as possible across all of that society’s members; this is a penalty paid for refusing to support that society, and paid only by those who do so.

    What do you think the money they pay as a “fine” (in lieu of not paying for the mandated coverage, not as a penalty like it’s some kind of punishment) will be, or at least should be, used for? Supporting their society? Will it go toward destroying the already-broken healthcare system? Starting another war? Hookers and cocaine at the IRS Christmas party?

  69. 69
  70. 70
    pelamun, the Linguist of Doom

    Kalliope,

    this is exactly why I look at the verdict with mixed feelings. Cenk Uygur, who I quoted in 18, saw right through Roberts’ game..

  71. 71
    nonny

    I’m sorry if this is a stupid question but why was the “Stolen Valor” act a bad thing? Is there a good reason to lie about receiving a military medal?

    Congratulations, Americans, on your slightly improved healthcare.

  72. 72
    imthegenieicandoanything

    And, in a plot twist no one saw coming, the Wicked Witch of the West helped Dorothy and Toto return to Kansas.

    Roberts????????

    I just don’t get it. Not at all!!! If it’d been Thonas, well, I’d be surprised but,… the guy’s certifiably nuts, so it’d be his last decision before he started drooling and shitting in the coutroom. If he doesn’t do that now.

    I’d love to hear Souter and Roberts’s chat over coffee for the next few weeks.

    Oh, and thank you for this, Chief Justice, but you are still a tool of evil until further proof is delivered.

    Justice Souter: FUCK OFF!

  73. 73
    Amphiox

    I’m sorry if this is a stupid question but why was the “Stolen Valor” act a bad thing? Is there a good reason to lie about receiving a military medal?

    Well, since anything actually harmful that could arise from someone lying about their military service is already covered under existing fraud laws, the addition of the “Stolen Valour” laws is simply an egregious limitation on free speech for the sake of glorifying militarism, which makes it a textbook example of a heavy-handed, impractical, and unnecessary law.

  74. 74
    thisisaturingtest

    #68, consciousness razor:
    Oh, the coke and hookers, I’m sure. What do you think?

  75. 75
    petzl20

    To whichever side Kennedy defects, he always gets to write the major decision; its the bribe they dangle in front of him as payment.

    Not this time. Roberts gets sick of it, so he defected, in order to get some visibility on a major issue.

    Its a game of preening egos.

    And it’s funny that kennedy “took his toys and went home,” siding with Scalitomas, even though it doesn’t buy him anything.

    Thought experiment: can you imagine any of the conservative justices striking down the mandate if it had been republican-sponsored (which it was in the republicans’ 1994 counterproposal to clinton)?

  76. 76
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    @nonny #71

    I’m sorry if this is a stupid question but why was the “Stolen Valor” act a bad thing? Is there a good reason to lie about receiving a military medal?

    There’s no good reason to lie about receiving a medal, but there’s also no good reason for the federal government to arrest, try, and fine/imprison people for a self-aggrandizing lie, absent the commission of another crime. I’m an American veteran, from a family of veterans, and I respect the service of my fellow veterans. I have more respect for our Constitution, including the messy freedom to speak falsehoods.

  77. 77
    consciousness razor

    Oh, the coke and hookers, I’m sure. What do you think?

    Alright, I guess I’ll go with coke and hookers too. That was easy enough.

  78. 78
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    I’m sorry if this is a stupid question but why was the “Stolen Valor” act a bad thing? Is there a good reason to lie about receiving a military medal?

    Amphiox said it better than I could, but I’ll just add: not all bad things should be outlawed (fuzzy dice come to mind). People who lie about getting medals will get all the ridicule they deserve; there’s no need to criminalize that particular kind of lie.

  79. 79
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    …coke and hookers.

    Oh, ye of little experience. Please, learn the proper patois. It is properly “hookers and blow” if you don’t mind. :)

  80. 80
    billygutter01

    @Improbable Joe #79

    It is properly “hookers and blow” if you don’t mind. :)

    Thank you, Joe. I do hate it when people get that wrong. *chortle*

  81. 81
    petejohn

    Moving to Canada because of “Obamacare” is like someone in Salt Lake City moving to Milwaukee to get away from beer.

    Heh.

    I too saw some members of my social network making ludicrous comments like that. I wanted to mention that Canada had a universal health care system but I didn’t want to make their heads explode. I’m not into murder.

    I did look at FoxNews.com earlier today and the reaction was a collective “NNNNOOOOO!!!! FFFUUUCCKKK!!! HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN!!!???” Hilarious for people like me who generally dislike the politics of this nation, with an extra dose of hate loaded onto the party on the right and it’s “Fair and Balanced” stenographers, microphone holders, and television talking heads.

    I also enjoyed seeing Representative Bachmann on CNN try to argue that ACA was unconstitutional when the Supreme Court, with five conservatives including CJ John Roberts (a conservative appointed by Dubya) who wrote the fucking opinion, just fucking said it WAS constitutional. I then remembered that Bachmann probably got a C in Civics and has a permanent F in “Having a Damn Clue 1001.” She fits right in with the Army of Dumbfuckistan that passes for the GOP, circa 2012.

  82. 82
    Jadehawk

    As opposed to Barry, who will be getting around “fixing” that less-than-pefect health care bill any minute…

    you know what duyde? I don’t even fucking care whether he’ll try to fix it. As it is right now, I’ll have insurance in 1 1/2 years, for the first time in a decade. And so will many other people in my situation.

    So how about you fuck off?

    I don’t even like the law. I would far prefer the single payer system.

    ditto, but that doesn’t make me in the slightest conflicted about the current decision, because declaring the AHA unconstitutional would not have paved the way for single payer. The country is in many ways becoming more, not less, conservative, after all. Meaning, whatever would be introduced in the future as a replacement for the AHA would be even worse than the AHA; whereas, on occasion, patches on existing laws manage to be improvements of sorts. Not always mid you, and the sort of “compromises” that tend to happen in the US always combine the worst aspects of Republicans and Democrats.

    Still, I can’t at all imagine how, realistically speaking, the US would have been better off if this had been declared unconstitutional.

  83. 83
    Fern

    Chuck @ #2:

    Do Scalia and Thomas ever vote differently?

    They actually disagree with each other more often than people think. I don’t have recent statistics, but as of 2004, they only agreed with each other 73% of the time. Granted, that’s a lot of agreement, but in contrast, according to the same article, Souter and Ginsberg were in agreement 85% of the time. There’s a lot to loathe about Scalia and Thomas’ (particularly Thomas’) voting records, but the criticism that they vote in lockstep is both untrue and, I think, somewhat beside the point.

  84. 84
    Kagehi

    So for the Republicans to turn around and attempt to overthrow the whole law on the grounds of the individual mandate being unconstitutional either constitutes the most unabashed and shameless flipflop imaginable, or a deliberate dishonest play at forcing the democrats to swallow a “poison pill” which they intended from the start to try to use to destroy the act.

    I had someone less than 40 minutes ago, at work, pull the, “Since the bill didn’t fail, and I am turning 75, according to some right wing synopsis of the bill (I will bet dollars to donuts they didn’t read the actual bill), Death Panels will decide if I get treated for illnesses from now on.

    Of course, the content of the bill, according to everyone that isn’t Republican, is that Insurance companies ***cannot*** get in the way of you, and your doctor, in determining, what, how much, or if, you receive treatment, when you are ***actually dying***. But, you know… ‘death panels’.

    I think that, if they stopped lying for more than ten seconds, about damn near everything, their heads would explode, or something.

  85. 85
    scooterskutre

    Here’s my six minute take for airplay tonight. Got some of the ideas here, thanks
    http://acksisofevil.org/audio/obamacourt.mp3

  86. 86
    Ing

    If they seriously believed in those death panels there would be fuck riots in the street.

    Yes fuck riots. People would be fucking in protest…atop a burning bus

  87. 87
    Amphiox

    I think that, if they stopped lying for more than ten seconds, about damn near everything, their heads would explode, or something.

    Implode.

    Definitely implode.

    Nature abhors a vacuum and all that.

  88. 88
    julietdefarge

    I’m not sure why everyone is so surprised at the ruling. The people who put the bill together did their homework with legal precedents first, and Obama is a constitutional scholar.

    I mean, if you can’t make somebody buy health insurance, you surely can’t take a kid fresh out of high school and make them sign up to risk their life for some dubious foreign policy.

  89. 89
    violet

    Lpetrich,

    “Does this extend to pre-Civil-Rights-Movement race-relations law? He has a white wife, and their marriage had been illegal in several states for several decades.

    Or Colonial-era laws about Catholicism? Several of the colonies forbade “papists” holding public office, because they are idolators who are subjects of a foreign power.”

    I would love to ask him those questions and more. Many of the people he quoted in his decision would not have believed him to be a person or to have any rights due to his skin color.

  90. 90
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    …and of course, the Militant Milquetoasts at TVTropes won’t allow real-life examples under “even evil has standards…”

  91. 91
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    I have mixed feelings today. I am happy Obama’s law did not get struck down by a conservative court, however I don’t even like the law. I would far prefer the single payer system. This only requires us to give our hard earned cash to some insurance company… only for them to screw us over somehow when we need it…

    The conservative tears feel good, but I think the liberal joy is too much…

    Do you fail to understand that if the Thugs had gotten their way, there would be no hope of ever instituting a single payer system, at least in the foreseeable future?

  92. 92
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Amphiox said it better than I could, but I’ll just add: not all bad things should be outlawed (fuzzy dice come to mind). People who lie about getting medals will get all the ridicule they deserve; there’s no need to criminalize that particular kind of lie.

    Except that I suspect a whole bunch of right-wing kooks running for legislatures are about to start falsely claiming to be Medal of Honor recipients and their base will just eat it up…

  93. 93
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    The warm fuzzy I got from this was more a vitamin shot of schadenfreude while watching the news tickers that showed ‘OBAMACARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!’ then having the full story show up a few moments later. Watching the trend of the GOP whackos making comments on various news threads go from gloating to exploding heads seriously made my year, as far as anything political goes.

    In the back of my mind I still don’t consider this a victory as there are a whole lot of knocks against the bill if it is compared to the ‘medicare for all’ or ‘single payer system’. I am lucky that I have healthcare in two countries, to compare quality vs. cost. I have Alberta health care, which became fully paid for by the government a year and a half ago, there are zero premiums (other than provincial income tax, there’s no sales tax in Alberta). My California Blue Shield is slightly over $400/month.

    The result of a couple of recent illnesses has put me in favor of the Alberta system. In one California instance I was misdiagnosed and given a surgery it turns out I didn’t need. In another case, a doctor in California requested I go for tests for TIA seizures. It seemed pretty damned pressing, by the doctor’s tone, but the closest appointment I could get in OC was 4 weeks away. I phoned my Alberta doctor and he got me in for CT scans in 4 days. This is purely personal anecdotal stuff, but for me that old term ‘you get what you pay for’ is not remotely true, when it comes to medical care. The ‘best things in life are free’ has been my experience. I would genuinely love if everyone had the kind of care I have experienced up North, and the disgustingly selfish GOP would quit lying like fucking carpets and ‘fess up that there are things that paying extra taxes for that are, not just worthy, but humane and far more ‘Christ-like’ than they can ever dream of being.

  94. 94
    sachatur

    The schadenfreude was nice while it lasted.
    The only way this act can be preserved is if the Dems do not lose the Senate majority along with the WH.
    Since the penalty was ruled in as a tax, the thugs can use reconciliation to avoid a filibuster and repeal the ACA if Romney wins the WH and the thugs retain the House and gain majority in the Senate(Even a 50-50 split works in their favor, since they will have the VP to break a tie).

Comments have been disabled.