Friday, March 25, 2011

Catron: Obamacare and the Law's Delay

In today's AmSpec, David Catron updates us on the Obama Administration's attempts to delay the consideration of challenges to ObamaCare. Ostensibly, they claim that the various rulings against their health plan have no legal merit.

But in his piece, "Obamacare and the Law's Delay", Catron puts his finger on their real reasons:
So, if Obamacare is going to wind up before the Supreme Court sooner or later -- and there is virtual unanimity among constitutional scholars that it will -- what does the administration hope to gain from its transparent delay tactics?

First and foremost, it gives the health "reform" law time to metastasize. If Obamacare has another year and a half to spread throughout our health care system, the justices may well decide that it would be too disruptive to strike down the entire law. This consideration certainly figured in Judge Hudson's December ruling, in which he ignored the absence of a severability provision in the law and chose to strike down only the mandate. Likewise, the Supreme Court has already demonstrated in a recent ruling on the Sarbanes-Oxley accounting law that severability is situational.

Beyond buying time for Obamacare to put down roots, the DOJ may be hoping to put off the day of reckoning until the President has the opportunity to adjust the left-right balance of the Court.

At present, it doesn't look like any of the conservative justices are planning to retire, but Justice Scalia just turned 75 and younger men than he have unexpectedly left the Court for a higher tribunal. In 1953, Chief Justice Fred Vinson died suddenly at 63. This, as it happens, is the age of Clarence Thomas...
(Read the full text of "Obamacare and the Law's Delay".)

I had heard of the first reason, but had never considered the second reason -- but it makes perfect sense once pointed out.

As Catron reports in his blog HealthCareBS, the Supreme Court will meet soon to consider the Virginia attorney general's request for expedited action.

And although Supreme Court judges are theoretically immune from politics, they can't help but be influenced by the overall political climate.

So this is all the more reason for Americans to keep up the political pressure on their legislators (especially some of the wavering Republicans) to oppose and defund ObamaCare.