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ACA - a different take..

From Jonathan Adler in National Review Online Bench Memos (a good place to check when things like this hit):
Lose Battle, Win War?
By Jonathan H. Adler
June 28, 2012 10:36 A.M.


It’s unfortunate that Chief Justice Roberts joined the liberal justices to uphold the individual mandate as a tax. Yet as I understand the ruling, the opinion does very little to enlarge the federal government’s power and, in key respects, reinforced federalism limitations on federal power. According to SCOTUSBlog, while Chief Justice Roberts concluded the mandate is a tax, he also rejected the Commerce Clause arguments in favor of the mandate. This is significant, because it will limit the ability of Congress to adopt additional mandates in the future. No one will be able to claim such requirements are not a tax, and this will make such requirements more difficult to enact.

Equally important, the majority narrowed the Medicaid provisions substantially in a way that reinforces the principle that Congress’ power to impose conditions on the receipt of federal spending. Specifically, the Court held that Congress may attach conditions on the receipt of new money — in this case the Medicaid expansion, but that Congress may not condition the receipt of funds for separate, pre-existing programs on compliance with the conditions for the new program. In other words, if states refuse to go along with the Medicaid expansion, they don’t lost existing Medicaid funds. If my understanding is accurate, this opinion would mark the firmest limit on use of the spending power in decades, and could constrain lots of future mischief.
Me, I dunno.  I'm not a constitutional scholar, so I've got to parse through lots of opinions to get a sense of things.  Damn the job thingy, anyway... it gets in the way!

4 Comments

There are actually some positives from this. Romney will be able to beat Obama senseless with this until the election. The decision also sent a clear message to Congress that expansion of federal control through expansion of the Commerce Clause isn't in the cards. Also, the Dems can no longer argue that their mandates are not taxes.

Hopefully this thing will be resolved when President Romney and the majority GOP Congress repeal it in 2013.
 
CG, I wonder if Mittens will be elected. Mittens is a progressive himself and being Obamacare's granddaddy I think Obama can beat him about the head and shoulders.

This farce of a decision muddies the water a bit. The entire thing is unconstitutional as the constitution gives FedGov no authroity to legislate on the matter. SCOTUS is as much as scoff law as the rest of government is. Roberts, like his predecessors, is a contemptible individual.
   
This is going to make life interesting.

ID required to vote? No problem, its just a tax, a poll tax. Go Florida The South shall rise again.

Now isn't that stupid.