Saturday, March 31, 2012

How the Fear of Their Own Lie Causes the Very Lie That They So Feared

Watch Colbert explain the Republi-con psyche with this example: How "[t]he fear of not being able to buy guns during a second Obama term leads to Americans buying so many guns that now they can't buy any guns, just like they feared." Watch The Colbert Report, Barack Obama-Gun Control Conspiracy:

The Republi-cons are "always one step ahead of where [Obama] is not planning to go. . . and the total lack of evidence is all the evidence [the Republi-cons] need."

Health Care Lawsuit Update, the Supreme Court Edition

UPDATE VII: "If the individual mandate goes, the government is going to put its hands all over your health care.

The individual mandate requires consumers to purchase health insurance in order to eliminate the problem of free riders — people who don’t purchase insurance until they get sick or injured or those who never purchase insurance and end up passing on to the rest of us the costs of care they can’t afford. Detractors argue that the mandate unconstitutionally infringes on personal liberty by forcing Americans to purchase health insurance. But compare it to three ways of addressing the free- rider problem in health care that are clearly, indisputably, constitutional."

Read the Washington Post, There was a reason conservatives once supported the individual mandate.

UPDATE VI: It's all about politics. So says "Charles Fried is a professor of law at Harvard University. From 1985 to 1989, he served as President Ronald Reagan’s solicitor general. He specializes in constitutional law and is the author of many books on the subject, including 2004’s 'Saying What the Law Is: The Constitution in the Supreme Court.' He also wrote a brief on behalf of 104 law professors arguing that the individual mandate is constitutional." Read the Washington Post, Reagan’s solicitor general: ‘Health care is interstate commerce. Is this a regulation of it? Yes. End of story.’

The article includes this question and answer exchange:

EK: To focus on Barnett’s argument, however, is it possible that the government can buy us insurance using our tax money but can’t compel us to buy insurance using our own money?

CF: I’ve never understood why regulating by making people go buy something is somehow more intrusive than regulating by making them pay taxes and then giving it to them. I don’t get it. It was comical to read the Heritage Foundation’s brief attempting to explain why they were changing their position on this. Something needed to be done about this problem. Everyone understood that. So, the Heritage Foundation said let’s do an individual mandate because it keeps it within free enterprise. The alternative was single payer. And they didn’t want that, and I’m in sympathy with that. So now all of a sudden the free-market alternative becomes unconstitutional and terribly intrusive where a government imposition and government-run project would not be? I don’t get it. Well, I do get it. It’s politics.

EK: On that, there’s been a real change from early on, when almost all Supreme Court observers thought this case was a joke, to now, when it seems truly up in the air. Did people underestimate the seriousness of the constitutional questions here, or did they underestimate the politicization of the judiciary?

CF: Politics, politics, politics. You look at the wonderful decision by Jeff Sutton, who is as much of a 24-karat gold conservative as anyone could be. He is a godfather to the Federalist Society. Look at his opinion. Or look at Larry Silberman’s opinion. I don’t understand what’s gotten into people. Well, I do I’m afraid, but it’s politics, not anything else.

As I stated before, this case should not be decided by "the justices’ politics." I've said since the start of the court challenges, and the parties and outcomes so far (with few exceptions) have reaffirmed my belief, the case involves a political question ("a question of whether or not the court system is an appropriate forum in which to hear the case"). The Supreme Court should simply dismiss the challenges as beyond "its judicial authority" to decide.

UPDATE V: The Supreme Court heard "two hours of oral arguments on the most-contested part of the nation’s health-care law: The requirement that Americans purchase health insurance or pay a fine. The individual mandate is easily the Affordable Care Act’s least popular provision, and the rallying cry of those who want to repeal the law. Here’s a Wonkblog guide to what it does, why it matters and where it came from." Read the Washington Post, Individual mandate 101: What it is, why it matters.

UPDATE IV: If you don't have time to listen to the complete court arguments, visit SCOTUSBlog, We listen to the whole AIA argument, so you don’t have to.

For a more in-depth review, visit the SCOTUSBlog Health Care page.

UPDATE III: A reporter that frees herself from the journalistic convention that there are two identifiable sides to a story and fresh from reading the main briefs in the case to be argued before the Supreme Court next week believes that that the "constitutional challenge to the law’s requirement for people to buy health insurance — specifically, the argument that the mandate exceeds Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause — is rhetorically powerful but analytically so weak that it dissolves on close inspection. There’s just no there there." Read The New York Times, Never Before.

I posted the following comment:

"I'm just an attorney in NW Florida who has never had any success in convincing the local federal courts (or the 11th Circuit for that matter) to impose any Commerce Clause limitations in federal criminal cases. But I think there is an easy way for the Court to decide this case 9-0 (OK, maybe 8-1, the one being Thomas) and to show that this case will not be decided by "the justices’ politics." I've said since the start of the court challenges, and the parties and outcomes so far (with few exceptions) have reaffirmed my belief, the case involves a political question ("a question of whether or not the court system is an appropriate forum in which to hear the case"). The Supreme Court should simply dismiss the challenges as beyond "its judicial authority" to decide.

UPDATE II: "The survival of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law may come down to wheat, pot, guns — and a nagging question about broccoli." Read Politico, Health law may hinge on wheat, pot and broccoli.

I posted the following comment:

You forgot body armor/bulletproof vests. See Alderman v. United States (09-1555, 1/10/2011).

UPDATE: "On March 26, the Supreme Court will begin three days of oral arguments over President Obama's health-care overhaul, pitting the Obama administration against 26 states that say Congress exceeded its authority by requiring Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty. [For a] look at the issues the Supreme Court will be considering — and how they fared under the lower courts", see the Washington Post, Obama health-care law before Supreme Court.

If you've been following the health care lawsuits, you know that several are now pending before the Supreme Court.

"If the Supreme Court decides to review President Barack Obama’s health reform law, it will also have to choose which issues it wants to hear — and that decision could have a significant impact on the law’s final fate.

There are four lawsuits pending before the court, and the Obama administration and five opponents of the law — a group of 26 states, Virginia, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Thomas More Law Center and Liberty University — have all filed competing petitions asking the court to take their cases and their issues.

All six certiorari petitions ask the court to review a key question: Is it constitutional for Congress to require nearly all Americans to buy health insurance? But several of them also ask the court to review other pieces of the law, too, such as the Medicaid expansion and requirements for employers.

The Supreme Court is expected to decide as early as next month which case or cases it will accept and which issues it wants the parties to argue. It could decide to hear only the challenge to the individual mandate or combine pieces of the other cases.

Here are six issues the Supreme Court could decide to hear:

The individual mandate . . .

Severability . . .

The Anti-Injunction Act . . .

The Virginia law . . .

Medicaid . . .

Employer mandate . . ."

Read Politico, High court zeroes in on health care.

And remember you can check the status of any of "the 22 cases challenging the health-care law" at the Kaiser Health News scoreboard.