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calendar   Sunday - March 25, 2012

From the outside, looking in

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us
An foolish notion




UK Telegraph: How 9 Supreme Court Justices Hold Health Care and Barack Obama’s Future In Their Hands



They are six men and three women, aged between 51 and 79, and two of them have been in the same job since Ronald Reagan was in the White House.

They and their predecessors have handed down decisions that have changed the course of US history, from rulings on slavery to judgements on the Florida ballot recount which confirmed George W Bush’s victory in the disputed 2000 presidential election.

Now President Barack Obama’s political legacy is in the hands of the nine justices sitting on the US Supreme Court as it begins to consider, tomorrow, the legality of his health care reforms.

As the downfall of communism was to Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and Pope John Paul II, so the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known by its critics as Obamacare, is to Obama.

Obama staked everything on forcing the law through Congress, against strident opposition. It enshrined, he said as he finally signed it, “reforms that generations of Americans have fought for and marched for and hungered to see”.

But this second anniversary may be its last: it may yet all be undone.

Beginning on March 26, three days of oral arguments will be heard before the Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of Obamacare. In legal challenges brought by 26 of the states there are four questions being considered.

Interesting reading. But gosh, old chums, if more than half the States are bringing suit before the main portions of the law even go into effect, doesn’t that tell you just about all you need to know right there?

At the heart of all the complex legal arguments lies the continuing debate in America about the proper role of government.

Opponents ask: if the government can force citizens for their own good to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty, what’s next? Could they be required to purchase green vegetables, green vehicles, or even green tea?

If Washington can force such laws upon America’s protesting states, what was the point of all that fuss throwing off the rule of King George III, 236 years ago?

Where the lines should be drawn between such necessarily conflicting forces as individual liberty and governmental control, and between the power of the federal government and the power of the states, are not simple matters to decide. Ask anyone in Britain what they think of laws handed down from Brussels and you have an idea of it.

At first glance I figured this was yet another bash-job of us stupid and brash Yanks on this side of the big pond, but the more I read, the more impressed I was with the author’s insightful understanding of the issue, and his clear and concise presentation. I’d never seen the like in an English paper covering a distinctly American situation. Amazing.

I got down to the end of the short essay and found that the author is a former campaign strategist for Bush and McCain. So I guess it’s not from the outside at all, after all. My apologies to Mr. Burns’ long ago Louse.

Though the appointed-for-life justices on the Supreme Court should be blind to the polls and the politics behind the legal arguments, four members of the court are perceived as leaning in a conservative direction, four as being liberals (including both women appointed by Obama), and one is viewed as a swing vote.

These six men and three women will have a voice in determining not only Obama’s long-term legacy, but also his short-term future as the November election looms.

Yeah, just think of that. Should the Nine give the whole thing the toss, since the very core premise it’s all built on is in error, then that means that the entire first year and a half of his term was wasted. You know, when he wasn’t playing golf or taking vacations. All the man did was go on about the health care bill, every damn day. Every. Damn. Day.  It will not bode well for November.

Have we a prayer? I know I’ll be making mine.  And yet, it so upsets me to realize that I can’t with any faith say what the black robes will decide. It’s a crapshoot, and that’s very upsetting.




h/t to Peiper, who only had time to send me the link. His wife is somewhat improved, but not out of the woods yet, so we won’t be hearing much from him for the time being.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/25/2012 at 01:51 PM   
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