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GOP Readying Plans For ObamaCare Ruling


Prior planning prevents poor performance, and the GOP seems to be taking that rule to heart while waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on ObamaCare.

If the law is upheld, Republicans will take to the floor to tear out its most controversial pieces, such as the individual mandateand requirements that employers provide insurance or face fines.

If the law is partially or fully overturned they’ll draw up bills to keep the popular, consumer-friendly portions in place — like allowing adult children to remain on parents’ health care plans until age 26, and forcing insurance companies to provide coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Ripping these provisions from law is too politically risky, Republicans say.

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Supreme Court Appears Skeptical Of Administration Immigration Claims


It’s no wonder that Obama and his fellow travelers are trying to demonize the Supreme Court, because they appear to be set to act as a brake on his power grabs.

Supreme Court justices took a dim view of the Obama administration’s claim that it can stop Arizona from enforcing immigration laws, telling government lawyers during oral argument Wednesday that the state appears to want to push federal officials, not conflict with them.

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Sorry, Associated Press, There Was No “Misunderstanding” By The Supreme Court On ObamaCare


The defense of ObamaCare is getting ever more desperate. Now they’re even turning to obvious logical fallacies (and even borderline falsehoods), trying to argue that the Justices might have “misunderstood” the oral arguments.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A possible misunderstanding about President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul could cloud Supreme Court deliberations on its fate, leaving the impression that the law’s insurance requirement is more onerous than it actually is.

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Epic Obama Fail: Supreme Court Popularity Rising


If Obama thought that his rhetoric against the Supreme Court was going to harm their popularity, he seems to have miscalculated badly.

Just before the highly publicized hearing on the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care law, ratings for the U.S. Supreme Court had fallen to the lowest level ever measured by Rasmussen Reports. Now, following the hearings, approval of the court is way up.

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Obama’s Anti-Supreme Court Rhetoric Likely To Fall Flat


At least that’s the conclusion I draw from this Rasmussen poll:

While President Obama cautioned the U.S. Supreme Court this past week about overturning his national health care law, just 15% of Likely U.S. Voters think the high court puts too many limitations on what the federal government can do.

In fact, a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that twice as many–30%– believe the Supreme Court does not limit the government enough. Forty percent (40%) say the balance is about right, while 15% more are undecided.

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Holder’s Letter To The Fifth Circuit Released


You probably recall (unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last week) that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals demanded that the Department of Justice explain to them exactly what the Obama Administration’s view of judicial review of laws was. Yesterday Eric Holder made a verbal statement about it, but now the letter has been released.

Here’s the money paragraph (misspelling of “Marbury” left intact):

The power of the courts to review the constitutionality of legislation is beyond dispute. See generally, e.g. , Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Co. Accounting Oversight Bd. , 130 S . Ct. 3 138 (20 10) ; FCC v. Beach Communications, Inc., 508 U .S. 307 (1993) . The Supreme Court resolved this question in Marbwy v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 177-78 ( 1803) . In that case, the Court held that ” [i]t is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.” Marbury, 1 Cranch at 177

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Clyburn: Obama Can Campaign Against Supreme Court If They Vote Against ObamaCare


Now there’s a recipe for electoral success:

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said President Obama should campaign against the Supreme Court, painting it as a conservative, activist institution if it rules that the administration’s healthcare law is unconstitutional.

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Justices Appear Split On ObamaCare Severability


Of course, the reliable lefties Ginsburg, Kagan, and Sotomayor want to keep it all, but critical swing vote Kennedy seems — at least right now — to be in favor of tossing it all out, according to this report.

Justices Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito said the real act of judicial activism would be to impose a risk on insurance companies that Congress did not intend. The mandate was included primarily to bring healthy people into the insurance market, offsetting the cost of requiring insurers to cover everyone.

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Ironic That Obama Is Faced With The Argument He Used Against Hillary’s Mandate


Once in a while, our cousins across the pond see things better than we do here, as in this article from the London (UK) Daily Mail.

Even more ironic is that the justices, or five of them at least, look like they might force President Barack Obama back to the drawing board partly on the basis of the argument one Senator Obama made against then Senator Hillary Clinton in 2008.

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Another Weak Argument For The Individual Mandate


On the heels of yesterday’s Supreme Court hearing, the Washington Post has whipped up what they think is an unbeatable argument for the individual mandate. The problem for them is, it’s easily beatable.

In the recent past, the Supreme Court has struck down attempts by Congress to use the Constitution’s Commerce Clause to promulgate laws that had no connection to commercial activity, including those involving guns near schools and violence against women. Yet it has upheld Congress’s Commerce Clause power to reach individuals who were not obviously involved in commercial activity — most famously, the Depression-era farmer who grew wheat for his own consumption. The court concluded that his decision to grow — rather than purchase — wheat interfered with the government’s ability to regulate wheat prices.

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Questions Asked May Signal Supreme Court Opposed To Individual Mandate


If the questions the 3 “swing” justices asked today are any indication — and, honestly, they may not be — ObamaCare’s mandate may be in deep trouble.

Even before the administration’s top lawyer could get three minutes into his defense of the mandate, some justices accused the government of pushing for excessive authority to require Americans to buy anything.

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Supreme Court Justices Seem Ready To Rule On ObamaCare


The first question before the Supreme Court this morning was whether or not they could even rule on ObamaCare, because of an old and somewhat obscure law that might stand in the way. Heritage explains:

The 145-year-old Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) provides that courts may not hear most cases to block tax collections until the challengers first pay the tax and seek a refund.  The individual mandate in Obamacare doesn’t kick in until 2014, and one court ruled that no one may challenge it until they pay the penalty for not buying insurance in 2015. The United States no longer takes that position; it thinks the AIA doesn’t apply to the mandate penalty because it is not a tax. The challengers argue there are four other reasons why the AIA doesn’t apply.

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Get Ready For ObamaCare Before The Supreme Court


Back from a long weekend, and ready to start blogging again! And today Obama’s signature achievement, ObamaCare, goes before the Supreme Court in the first of three days of hearings. The Heritage Foundation has a great timeline of the hearings. I’ll just give their headings, so the emphasis is from the original:

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Supreme Court Rules Homeowners Can Sue EPA


President Obama’s imperial administration through Executive Branch agencies like the EPA got a big setback today, courtesy of the Supreme Court (emphasis in original).

The Supreme Court has sided with an Idaho couple in a property rights case, ruling they can go to court to challenge an Environmental Protection Agency order that blocked construction of their new home and threatened fines of more than $30,000 a day.

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Non-Church Religious Charities Free To Staff According To Religion


A victory for religious freedom from the Supreme Court:

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court denied review in an important religious freedom case called Spencer v. World Vision.

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SCOTUS to ACORN: Nuts!


The Supreme Court decided not to hear an appeal of ACORN’s funding cut-off:

Congress cut off ACORN’s federal funding last year in response to allegations the group engaged in voter registration fraud and embezzlement and violated the tax-exempt status of some of its affiliates by engaging in partisan political activities.

ACORN sued, but the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City upheld the action. The high court refused to hear its appeal.

Of course, this is probably largely moot, because the lefties can just set up different organizations and continue the same old same old, but still, it’s a small victory for the forces of light and goodness.

Tip For WI Dems: Hang Up Before Saying You Want To “Smack Around” A Voter


I know Twitter can be hard to work well, but an answering machine?

A Wisconsin democrat [Fred Clark-ed.] running in a recall election left a message on a woman’s answering machine. The democrat said he ought to smack her around in a message he didn’t know was being recorded.

Okay, Mr. Clark, here’s a tip. Make sure the phone is completely hung up (for a landline, that usually means either the handset is firmly in the cradle and/or the “line” light goes off; for cell phones, there will usually be a “call ended” message) before saying you’d like to smack a voter around.

H/T Hot Air

Supreme Court Denies Expedited Review of ObamaCare


The Supreme Court says, in effect, that the cases against ObamaCare have to take the normal path, through the appellate courts:

Choosing, for now, to remain on the sidelines of the national constitutional debate over the new health care law, the Supreme Court refused on Monday to put Virginia’s challenge to the law on a fast track with review by the Justices ahead of any appeals court decisions.  There were no dissents noted, and there was no comment. The Court granted no new cases.  (The full Order List is here.)

The legal side of the health care controversy will now revert to six federal courts of appeals where challenges are unfolding; the first hearing in one of those cases will be May 10 at the Fourth Circuit Court in Richmond, Va.

This isn’t really as much of a blow as it would appear, there’s still plenty of time for at least one case to work its way through the appellate courts and to SCOTUS before the 2012 elections.

H/T Volokh

SCOTUS Says Tax Credits For School Vouchers Constitutional


Good news for school choice fans!

The decision, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy and joined by the court’s more conservative members, preserves Arizona’s school voucher program that is funded by tax credits offered to state taxpayers. Most of the students who use the voucher money attend parochial schools.

Opponents of the Arizona system filed a lawsuit claiming the $500 tax credit violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause that prohibits the government-backed endorsement of religion. The high court in 1968 said taxpayers could bypass the prohibition against lawsuits if they lodge an Establishment Clause claim.

But on Monday the court ruled that taxpayers could not sue based on a generalized First Amendment complaint but rather need to show specific individual harm to get into a courtroom. “The [Arizona] tax credit is not tantamount to a religious tax or to a tithe and does not visit the injury identified in [1968],” Kennedy wrote.

The distinction between a tax credit and an actual tax or appropriation from general income tax revenues was a key factor in the case, with Kennedy writing that “awarding some citizens a tax credit allows other citizens to retain control over their own funds in accordance with their own consciences.”

Cato has a good explanation:

As Andrew Coulson explained in detail earlier, the Court ruled that education tax credits are not government funds, and the plaintiffs therefore have no standing to bring suit in the first place. They were not harmed because none of their money was collected and then disburse by the state.

Sorry, public education unions, you lose again.

More Of The “New Tone” From The Left


Now they’re calling for the death of Clarence Thomas, or worse:

Granted, the cameraman is trying to get the people to say something outrageous, but he also doesn’t have to try very hard. He asks people at the rally what “we” should do after impeaching Clarence Thomas to get justice for Anita Hill, and he gets some mighty interesting answers:  Send him “back to the fields.” “String him up.” “Hang him.” “Torture.”

“[B]ack to the fields”? Would that mean condemning him to slavery, like in the deep south?

“Torture”? Really? I thought lefties were against torture, even stretching the definition to include waterboarding.

It just shows, once again, that when the left accuses the right of fomenting violence, all they’re doing is projecting their own feelings onto their opponents, and that they’re really the ones with the violent tendencies.

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