… about the Supreme Court ruling today.
So, the SCOTUS has ruled that PPACA (ObamaCare) is legal in almost every particular. Specifically, they ruled that the individual mandate is legal because it is a tax. They ruled against the individual mandate on Commerce Clause grounds, but since it is a tax that doesn’t matter. Simplified (probably overly so)*, Congress cannot make you buy health insurance under the Commerce Clause. However, they CAN tax the living hell out of you and let the IRS ream you until you die of sepsis unless you do – just so long as they call the penalty a tax.
Thus they say it is constitutional. Or rather, five of them say it is. The deciding vote was not Kennedy, but Roberts. It should not come as a surprise that a man appointed by a President who believed in ever-expanding powers of government in general (and of the Presidency in particular) ruled in favor of ever-expanding government intervention. The surprise is that Alito did NOT so rule. No doubt the Bush Family is disappointed in Alito, but you will recall that he was not their first choice for that position. And once again Bush pulls ahead of Obama in the race for the title of Worst President Ever.
Some are making a case that this is a partial victory for conservative leaning folks, as Roberts’ opinion limits Congress’s powers with regards to use of the Commerce Clause and spending powers. But that is grasping at straws and also bullshit. What Roberts’ sophistry does is show Congress how to enact almost anything without having to go looking for the authority somewhere in the Constitution. Just follow Roberts’ reasoning in this decision, and there won’t even be any point in taking the matter to court.
I have seen in argued that The People will limit Congress in this matter, as The People hate new taxes. The only problem with that is that The People had the wool pulled over their eyes this time, and there is no reason to think The People will be any less stupid the next time around.
At this point in time, Congress can now force Americans to do anything they can pass through Congress (just call the penalty for NOT doing the thing a tax, and sick IRS agents on anyone that doesn’t comply), and the President now has the power to assassinate American citizens anywhere at his whim, with no recourse for the doomed.
We owe a collective apology, much belated, to the ghost of George III.
* Via Althouse, more about the case:
In III-B, Roberts tells us that we need to shift from thinking about the individual mandate “as ordering individuals to buy insurance, but rather as imposing a tax on those who do not buy that product.”
The quotes indicate Roberts wording in the opinion. So I didn’t oversimplify at all.