March 27, 2012

ASSOCIATED PRESS: ObamaCare Has Disastrous Day In Court. “The fate of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul was cast into deeper jeopardy Tuesday as the Supreme Court’s conservative justices sharply and repeatedly questioned its core requirement that virtually every American carry insurance. The court will now take up whether any remnant of the historic law can survive if that linchpin fails.”

Well, who trusts the AP anymore? But here’s a summary of the arguments by Hans van Spakovsky.

UPDATE: The Hill: Rough day for Obama health law: Kennedy among mandate skeptics.

Also: “Constitutional Thunderdome”: Day Two of Obamacare Oral Arguments.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Audio: Scalia lectures Verrilli on enumerated powers. You know, this is beginning to remind me of the Lopez argument. In that case, most observers thought the key point was when Solicitor General Drew S. Days III couldn’t advance any sort of limiting principle with regard to the government’s commerce power. That’s very much like what happened here. Could the non-infinity principle apply again?

Heck, even Mother Jones is calling it a “disaster.” “Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. should be grateful to the Supreme Court for refusing to allow cameras in the courtroom, because his defense of Obamacare on Tuesday may go down as one of the most spectacular flameouts in the history of the court.” Ouch. From Mother Jones?

MORE: Jeffrey Toobin: “This was a train wreck for the Obama administration. . . . This law looks like it’s going to be struck down.” With commentary like that from the left, well . . . .

How bad is it? Did the Solicitor General take a dive? If I were him, I’d encourage that take.

STILL MORE: How bad is it? The Justices handed him one of these when the argument was over. . . .

But another reader emails: “After the seemingly wonderful news of today’s Supreme Court proceedings, it seems an apt time for one your ‘Don’t Get Cocky’ Warnings. Just sayin’.” Good point. And, actually, although I think the Court ought to knock the whole thing down and tell Congress to try again (or better yet, not) I actually think that Obama would be better off losing here in terms of November. ObamaCare is wildly unpopular and will be a drag on him and all the Democrats. If the Court kills it, it won’t get any more popular, but the unpopularity will be less . . . urgent. And Obama can tell his base that he tried, and that if they want to win on this they need to reelect him so he can appoint new Supreme Court Justices.

Meanwhile, reader John Steakley writes: “With expectations set this low by the left, almost any ruling can be called a ‘victory’ of some sort for the Obama Administration. Hey . . . wait a second . . .”

EVEN MORE: On the other hand, there’s this.

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