Archive for June, 2012
This is the first edition of Reëlection Watch after the Supreme Court decision on Obamacare. It’s too early to see any significant effects, though. And, being the last day of June, it’s the last day in which I use the broadest ranges for tossups. In electoral vote land, a couple of states changed columns in the past two weeks.
So, how are things going for the President lately? Let’s dive in. (more…)
An enormous week! The Supreme Court declared that it cannot be a crime in any state to look Hispanic and not carry papers to show that you were born in the United States. Nor is it a crime to falsely claim that you received a valor medal. The Court also ruled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate to be constitutional, thanks to an unexpected vote by Chief Justice John Roberts (and a correspondingly unexpected dissent by Justice Anthony Kennedy). The House of Representatives, for the first time in American history, voted to hold a sitting Cabinet member in contempt of Congress. Much of Colorado is ablaze, in some of the worst wildfires in many years. Debby did Tampa. Ann Curry left the Today show. Spider-Man got a reboot. And Spain will meet Italy in the Euro Cup final on Sunday, after Italy thanked Germany yesterday for its financial bailout by defeating the two-ton Teutons two-one.
What would you like to talk about? Any of these things catch your fancy? Anything else? Grab a keyboard, and let’s talk.
Don’t see an article on a particular topic, but want to talk about it somewhere? This is Open Mic. Talk about whatever you want, but stay respectful.
We create a new Open Mic every week to give a clean slate, but feel free to add to this topic at any time.
Ever since the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, “Obamacare”) individual mandate, pundits have been predicting that the mandate is dead. The remaining question would then be: will the Supreme Court find the law severable, that is, can the mandate be ruled unconstitutional but the rest of the law stands? Or does the whole thing go down because of an unacceptable mandate?
The Supreme Court finally answered today. By a five-to-four vote (Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan, and Sotomayor dissenting), the individual mandate was technically struck down as a violation of the Commerce Clause, but by a different five-to-four vote (Justices Alito, Kennedy, Scalia, and Thomas dissenting) the fine for being uninsured was not. In that regard, the Court threaded the needle, objecting to the “illegality” of being uninsured, while leaving the relevant penalty in the Act unchanged.
This decision is certainly a huge win for the Obama administration at first blush. But it may prove to be less of a win for Obama himself.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to read its last decisions of the 2011–2012 term today, starting at 10:00 am EDT. That means that sometime this morning, the world will finally have an answer on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, or “Obamacare”).
If you want to participate in the liveblog at SCOTUSblog, use this link. Amy Howe of SCOTUSblog has an excellent rundown of the arguments “in Plain English”.
Shortly after the decision is announced, we will post up an article outlining the key points in the decision. Any comments made here will be transferred to the new article, so if you want to start an argument now, or lay down a marker on the anticipated outcome, do that here.
Update 10:13 am: It looks like the PPACA was upheld in its entirety, by a 5–4 vote (Alito, Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas dissenting), with some limitations on Medicaid funding to states. Michael is working on the full article that will replace this one. Stay tuned.
- Quick Poll: What will Supreme Court Rule? (chilmarkresearch.com)
- Cloud looms over Obamacare decision (wnd.com)
- This Week’s Court Action is Just a Preview (leavenfortheloaf.com)
The Big Decision isn’t until tomorrow, but the Supreme Court has had a busy and productive session, with a plethora of cases that will have significant impact in the coming years.
One of the cases I previewed, Knox v. Service Employees International Union, will affect the ability of unions to involve themselves in the democratic process in America. If corporations are people, because people own corporations and get dividends from them, then surely unions are people, since the point of unions is to represent the interests of their members. That being the case, if corporations can provide unlimited funding for campaign contributions, under the assumption that they represent the interests of their shareholders, it seems reasonable for unions to do so as well. Or does it? (more…)
Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued an opinion in Arizona v. United States, regarding the legality of Arizona’s SB1070 immigration law. The gist of the opinion is twofold. First, immigration law is the jurisdiction of the federal government, not the state governments. Second, the federal government does not consider being in the country illegally to be criminal activity. (more…)