Thursday, June 28, 2012

ACA Upheld!

What, you didn't hear? (Oh, by the way, the Stolen Valor Act was struck down too).

Now, I haven't read the opinions yet. But it's not like that's stopping anyone else from opining. And I know the basics: The 4 liberal justices vote to uphold on commerce clause grounds, Alito, Thomas, Scalia, and Kennedy vote to strike down the entire law, and Roberts votes to uphold the law as an exercise of the tax power (there's a minor hiccup regarding how medicare funding is allocated that I'll ignore for now). Scattered thoughts below:

* I agree that the dissent's simultaneous assertions that the whole of the ACA must be struck down because the mandate and funding conditions are unconstitutional, and that the mandate is not "necessary and proper" to Congress commerce clause authority, are completely inconsistent with each other.

* I also agree that Justice Ginsburg repeatedly citing Justice Scalia's Raich opinion is a thing of beauty.

* Revenge of the tax power! That was the issue that everyone kind of forgot was an issue, even though that's really what the mandate most closely simulates. I don't know enough about tax law to understand why it isn't a tax for the purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act, though.

* Conservatives might claim a minor victory in that the opinion may further cabin the commerce clause power a bit, but ultimately I don't think that changes that much.

* People who say they're moving to Canada after this really need to rethink their strategy.

* UPDATE: I separately give my thoughts on why Chief Justice Roberts voted the way he did.

No comments: