Thursday, June 28, 2012

Supreme Court ACA Ruling

When the Chief Justice made a majority
To uphold the Prez' priority,
It wasn't because
Of the old commerce clause,
But the Congress' taxing authority.

In a landmark decision that delighted liberals, enraged conservatives and gave everybody something to ponder, the Supreme Court upheld President Obama's Affordable Care Act 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the majority - sort of. The rejectionists, led by usual swing voter Justice Kennedy, found the ACA "invalid in its entirety." The more liberal justices, led by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, sided with the President and his Solicitor General on the basis of Congress' ability to regulate interstate commerce. The Chief Justice, perhaps splitting hairs, would not validate the "commerce clause" argument, but did reason that the individual mandate in the ACA amounts to a tax, which the Congress has broad powers to impose. Part of the Court's ruling may be read as enabling the states to opt out of funding the expanded Medicaid coverage mandated by the ACA, which means that - even assuming the President is re-elected in the fall - we're not done fighting over Obamacare.

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