Thursday, June 28, 2012
SCOTUS' PPACA Decision
Chalk another one up for Unforeseen Contingencies. "Our" Prediction Number 5, that the mandate would be upheld, has come to pass. I doubted that the Supreme Court would interfere with the mandate in PPACA. I'm not happy about this, but not surprised.
What's interesting -- and extremely important -- that the Commerce Clause argument was rejected. So too the "Necessary and Proper" argument. Contrary to the blatherings of progressive "experts," had these arguments stood, it would have been a massive expansion of Congressional power. As it is, it is bad enough that we can be taxed if we don't conform to government social engineering schemes. But the expansion of the Commerce Clause would have been much worse.
But there's a big problem.
What I don't understand is this: if the mandate is a tax, the Tax Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) should have prevailed, shouldn't it? Under the AIA, a case cannot be brought against a tax until after it has been collected. In that case, SCOTUS should have had no authority to decide the case now -- this was the first set of issues to be decided, the ones presented on the first day of the arguments. How can the mandate be a tax for purposes of testing its Constitutionality, but not for purposes of the AIA? I've not read the full set of opinions yet, just skimmed 'em, but the opinions seem as convoluted as the frickin' act itself.
Another good part of the decision is that States cannot be penalized for refusing to participate in the Medicaid expansion.
And finally, one more thing that's good about this is that libertarians, conservatives, and Republicans are now going ballistic. Here's hoping that this galvanizes the opposition to the Obama regime.
The full set of Supreme Court opinions on PPACA is available here.