Wrote conservative columnist Tyler O’Neil after this week’s oral argument in the SCOTUS case of California v. Texas, “While the resolution of California v. Texas remains unclear, it is likely that the Court will preserve most of Obamacare. Such a decision would expose Democrats’ shameless fearmongering about Amy Coney Barrett as a disgusting political ploy.”
Wrong. It was a disgusting and unethical political plot no matter how that case comes out, but hey, it probably won a lot of votes for Joe Biden from the brick-ignorant public, so it’s all good, right? The ends justify the means.
During the confirmation hearings for Barrett, Democrats warned that Barrett would destroy the Affordable Care Act, joining with the other intractable right-wingers on the Court to finally strike down the law for all time. Yet when the Supreme Court heard arguments on the Obamacare case last week, the Associated Press reported that the tenor of the questions from the Justices made it clear how unlikely it was that the Court would strike down the health care law. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh signaled that they were unwilling to invalidate the entire law just because the individual mandate forcing people to purchase health insurance was unconstitutional.
The Court’s three liberal justices, Sotomayor, Kagan (who was a member of the Obama administration and assisted in the vetting of the law) and Breyer will likely vote to uphold Obamacare in its entirety, and with Kavanaugh and Roberts are likely form at least a 5-4 majority to cut away only the mandate, which Congress eliminated out in 2017.
“Would Congress want the rest of the law to survive if the unconstitutional provision were severed? Here, Congress left the rest of the law intact,” Roberts mused during the oral arguments. “That seems to be a compelling answer to the question.”
Kavanaugh said the Court’s recent decisions on the matter suggest “that the proper remedy would be to sever the mandate and leave the rest of the act in place.”
“The Court did not express even the slightest interest in setting aside the entire Affordable Care Act,” Constitutional law professor Josh Blackman observed in commenting on the session.
During her confirmation hearings, Barrett suggested that severability would be the key issue in California v. Texas. “It’s designed to effectuate your intent, but you know, severability is designed to say, ‘Well, would Congress still want the statute to stand even with this provision gone? Would Congress have still passed the same statute without it? So, I think, insofar as it tries to effectuate what Congress would have wanted, it’s the Court and Congress working hand-in-hand,” Barrett explained.
The extent of the Democrats’ false smearing of Barrett and the blatant fearmongering regarding the consequences of her confirmation are put in sharp perspective when one goes back and re-reads the New York Times editorial of the week before headlined, “The Republican Party’s Supreme Court.” Indeed, the Times editorial shows us much more: the utter dishonesty of the mainstream media and its willingness to mislead rather than inform the public; its deliberate employment of false history to advance its partisan ends, and perhaps most damming of all, the weak powers of reasoning and analysis the alleged cream of the journalistic crop applies to its craft.
Then there are the repeated reminders that the Times is so deeply in bed with the Democrats that it can count its moles. And the disturbing reminders that these arrogant people who presume to indoctrinate the public with their world view just are not very smart.
As we shall see in Part II…