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Netto Azure
November 14th, 2011, 12:38 PM
Supreme Court Agrees to Rule on Health Law (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-14/supreme-court-to-review-obama-health-care-law-the-ticker.html)

http://hipsterjew.com/files/2011/06/supreme-court-justices-2011.jpg
The Supreme Court said Monday it will take the Obama health-law case in its current term, meaning a decision by June 2012. The move comes as the legal prospects for the law have improved


The U.S. Supreme Court decided today to review the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s health care reforms. The case, which the justices will hear in March and likely decide by July, will interpret the extent of federal power months before the 2012 elections.
The court will consider the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, which requires Americans to buy insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty. The law also extends coverage to an estimated 32 million Americans who lack insurance by expanding the federal-state Medicaid program and setting up exchanges for consumers to buy insurance.
The case hinges on Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce. Opponents say Congress over-extended its authority by requiring people to buy insurance even if they say they would pay their own costs or plan not to seek care. The Obama administration argues that uninsured people still need medical care, which places high costs on the system.
Federal appeals courts are divided. Two have upheld the law, a third has found it unconstitutional, and a fourth has ruled that a definitive ruling is premature.
The justices will hear arguments for a total of 5.5 hours, an unusually long time. The high court typically holds one-hour oral-argument sessions.

I am surprised, this just shows how much the justices are willing to invest in debating this very broad and sweeping Law. Still it all hinges with Justice Anthony Kennedy's tie breaking vote since a lot of the preconceived notions on the scope of Federal power that the justices believe in on highly controversial laws and topics is pretty much set in stone.

FreakyLocz14
November 14th, 2011, 01:37 PM
However you feel about the law, the mixed outcome of rulings at the lower court levels showed that this was bound to happen.

I'm hoping they overturn the mandate. Given their history of being a right-wing Court, I'm sure they will.

lx_theo
November 14th, 2011, 09:22 PM
I'm on the line on the mandate. Though I think it should be made clear that this s solely about the individual mandate, right? We dont lose all the other upsides of the bill if they overturn the mandate part, right?

Netto Azure
November 14th, 2011, 10:08 PM
I'm on the line on the mandate. Though I think it should be made clear that this s solely about the individual mandate, right? We dont lose all the other upsides of the bill if they overturn the mandate part, right?

Sadly, due to the private insurance centric model this law is based upon losing the individual mandate would make the spending aspects of the law wholly untenable as those who are healthy are not there to balance out the people who use the system.

I know it's sounds crazy but that's how insurance pools work you know, healthy people paying for the sick. o3o

FreakyLocz14
November 14th, 2011, 11:00 PM
Sadly, due to the private insurance centric model this law is based upon losing the individual mandate would make the spending aspects of the law wholly untenable as those who are healthy are not there to balance out the people who use the system.

I know it's sounds crazy but that's how insurance pools work you know, healthy people paying for the sick. o3o

The Court won't care. They're only hear the strict constitutional arguments.

Netto Azure
November 14th, 2011, 11:05 PM
The Court won't care. They're only hear the strict constitutional arguments.

Which is subject to their preconceived notions on what bounds the constitution has sadly enough.

Esper
November 15th, 2011, 08:18 AM
Which is subject to their preconceived notions on what bounds the constitution has sadly enough.
Which will boil down to a 5-4 split like so many of the Roberts court decisions, most likely against the mandate.

Netto Azure
November 15th, 2011, 12:41 PM
Which will boil down to a 5-4 split like so many of the Roberts court decisions, most likely against the mandate.

As I said it's Justice Kennedy that has the tie breaking power here.

But then again after some people threw a hissy fit over Justice Kagan, this happens:


Scalia and Thomas dine with healthcare law challengers as court takes case (http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-scalia-thomas-20111114,0,7978224.story)

http://images2.dailykos.com/i/user/6685/scotus-thomas-laughing.jpg

Justice Clarence Thomas (C) making his colleagues look uncomfortable. Other justices are (L-R) Antonin Scalia,
David Souter, Ruth Bader-Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.


The day the Supreme Court gathered behind closed doors to consider the politically divisive question of whether it would hear a challenge to President Obama’s healthcare law, two of its justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, were feted at a dinner sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court.

The occasion was last Thursday, when all nine justices met for a conference to pore over the petitions for review. One of the cases at issue was a suit brought by 26 states challenging the sweeping healthcare overhaul passed by Congress last year, a law that has been a rallying cry for conservative activists nationwide.

The justices agreed to hear the suit; indeed, a landmark 5 1/2-hour argument is expected in March, and the outcome is likely to further roil the 2012 presidential race, which will be in full swing by the time the court’s decision is released.

The lawyer who will stand before the court and argue that the law should be thrown out is likely to be Paul Clement, who served as U.S. solicitor general during the George W. Bush administration.

Clement’s law firm, Bancroft PLLC, was one of almost two dozen firms that helped sponsor the annual dinner of the Federalist Society, a longstanding group dedicated to advocating conservative legal principles. Another firm that sponsored the dinner, Jones Day, represents one of the trade associations that challenged the law, the National Federation of Independent Business.

Another sponsor was pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc, which has an enormous financial stake in the outcome of the litigation. The dinner was held at a Washington hotel hours after the court's conference over the case. In attendance was, among others, Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s top Republican and an avowed opponent of the healthcare law.

The featured guests at the dinner? Scalia and Thomas.

It’s nothing new: The two justices have been attending Federalist Society events for years. And it’s nothing that runs afoul of ethics rules. In fact, justices are exempt from the Code of Conduct that governs the actions of lower federal judges.

If they were, they arguably fell under code’s Canon 4C, which states, “A judge may attend fund-raising events of law-related and other organizations although the judge may not be a speaker, a guest of honor, or featured on the program of such an event.“

Nevertheless, the sheer proximity of Scalia and Thomas to two of the law firms in the case, as well as to a company with a massive financial interest, was enough to alarm ethics-in-government activists.

“This stunning breach of ethics and indifference to the code belies claims by several justices that the court abides by the same rules that apply to all other federal judges,” said Bob Edgar, the president of Common Cause. “The justices were wining and dining at a black-tie fundraiser with attorneys who have pending cases before the court. Their appearance and assistance in fundraising for this event undercuts any claims of impartiality, and is unacceptable.”

Scalia and Thomas have shown little regard for critics who say they too readily mix the business of the court with agenda-driven groups such as the Federalist Society. And Thomas’ wife, Ginni, is a high-profile conservative activist.

Moreover, conservatives argue that it’s Justice Elena Kagan who has an ethical issue, not Scalia and Thomas. Kagan served as solicitor general in the Obama administration when the first legal challenges to the law were brought at the trial court level. Her critics have pushed for Kagan to recuse herself from hearing the case, saying that she was too invested in defending the law then to be impartial now. Kagan has given no indication she will do so.

I think Justices Antonin Scalia and and Clarence Thomas should recuse themselves from this case also if people are so intent in having Justice Kagan recuse herself.

And before people say that they are just "hearing opinions" before the case, when will we see a wine and dine with the proponents of the Law? :P

FreakyLocz14
November 15th, 2011, 12:54 PM
If attending a dinner is grounds for recusal, why didn't Judge Walker have to recuse himself from the Prop 8 case?

On the contrary, I'd love for Scalia to write the majority opinion if they do do the right thing and strike down the mandate. It would be a smashing good read.

Netto Azure
November 15th, 2011, 01:07 PM
If attending a dinner is grounds for recusal, why didn't Judge Walker have to recuse himself from the Prop 8 case?

On the contrary, I'd love for Scalia to write the majority opinion if they do do the right thing and strike down the mandate. It would be a smashing good read.

Oh I don't mind dinners for the Justices, but when you are blatantly having a really expensive wine and dine, dinner WITH ONLY one side of a particularly huge and controversial plus potentially sweeping case of constitutionality...let's just say something is fishy about that.

Esper
November 15th, 2011, 01:36 PM
It wouldn't be a bad thing if they wanted to set a good example and have Scalia, Thomas, AND Kagan all recuse themselves.

If attending a dinner is grounds for recusal, why didn't Judge Walker have to recuse himself from the Prop 8 case?
Where was the perceived impropriety in that case?

FreakyLocz14
November 15th, 2011, 01:42 PM
Oh I don't mind dinners for the Justices, but when you are blatantly having a really expensive wine and dine, dinner WITH ONLY one side of a particularly huge and controversial plus potentially sweeping case of constitutionality...let's just say something is fishy about that.

I wouldn't expect a Supreme Court Justice to eat meagerly.

Anyway, we all agree that Justice Kennedy will be the deciding vote. He's seemed to move to the right lately, though. Obama's two appointments didn't really change the political composition of the Court, since he was replacing two liberal Justices.

Netto Azure
November 15th, 2011, 03:52 PM
Where was the perceived impropriety in that case?

He went out of the closet at the same time he ruled on that case that's what the impropriety was. :P

And pretty much. I wasn't relly that surprised about Citizens United when that ruling came out some time ago too. :P