Supreme Court agrees to hear Obamacare

This morning the United States Supreme Court granted the various Petitions for Writ of Certiorari filed by the parties in what has become known as the “Florida case”.  In plain English, that means that the Court will hear oral arguments in each of the cases.  You can find the link to the Order here at page 3.

Of interest, in Case No. 11-398 (HHS v. Florida), the Court directed that the parties brief the question of whether the penalty for failure to purchase insurance is really a “tax”, and thus no suit can be brought to challenge it until the tax has to be paid.  This was the “Anti-Injunction Act” issue relied upon by the dissenting judge in the recent opinion issued by the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia who found that it was too early to bring any action against the law.

The reason this is interesting, at least to me, is that before passage of Obamacare we were assured by everyone from the President on down that the penalty for failure to have government approved insurance was, in no uncertain terms, not a tax.

Then, when the various challenges to Obamacare were filed, the government defended the claims by arguing that the penalty was, in fact a tax.  However, as the cases advanced through the courts, the government suddenly abandoned the tax argument.  And, in its petition for Writ of Certiorari in HHS v. Florida, the government didn’t even raise the issue.

The Supreme Court has also agreed to hear the severability issue raised by the various states and the National Federation of Independent Business (Case Nos. 11-393 and 11-400).  The question here is whether all of Obamacare must be thrown out if the individual mandate is deemed unconstitutional.  So far, in all of the cases decided by the courts, only Federal District Court Judge Roger Vinson of the Northern District of Florida found the entire law to be unconstitutional.

The parties will now file the requisite briefs, and, once that is done, the oral arguments will be scheduled.


29 replies
      • crystal4
        crystal4 says:

        Dimsdale, Ginni thomas had been on Tea Party speaking tours around the country (speaking about repeal of the healthcare Bill) as head of Liberty central, a group funded by undisclosed donors,
        She previously worked for the heritage Group and the republican leadership, Hillsdale College (Rush’s fave) ..she made $680,000. This income was not disclosed By Justice Thomas until he was caught.

      • Dimsdale
        Dimsdale says:

        I have to agree with Gillie: what does that have to do with Justice Thomas?? Are you saying that Thomas is somehow beholden to his wife and her sources of income?? Does this trump Kagan’s direct involvement in previous healthcare decisions?
        As for someone “supported by undisclosed donors”, I still await the FEC report on the real identities of contributors to ?bama’s 2008 campaign.

  1. RoBrDona
    RoBrDona says:

    I am deeply concerned that Judge Kagan will not recuse herself from this. The O’s appointees have happily ignored anyone that gets in the way of their appointed tasks, so I assume she will stonewall and render her opinion regardless of the weight of evidence. She was intimately involved with O-care as Solicitor General.? 28 USC 455 spells conflict of interest and recusal out very clearly.? Just my 2 cents….

  2. SoundOffSister
    SoundOffSister says:

    From?my understanding of a judges responsibility when it comes to recusal, it does not appear that either Justice Thomas or Justice Kagan should recuse him or herself.? As to Justice Thomas, for recusal to apply, he would need a financial interest in the outcome of the decision, and he does not have such an interest.? As to Justice Kagan, she would have had to have?been involved in either drafting the law, or developing the government’s strategy to uphold the law.? She insists that she has done neither.

    • GdavidH
      GdavidH says:


      Who wrote the law? when was it written? who in the administration?defended it to congress during the “debate” process? All questions with dubious responses.

      Sorry, and no offense,?SOS but I feel she wears the stink of this that?a clothespin of legaleze won’t hide.?A conspiracist might say that she was? put on the SCOTUS for just this purpose.?

      Much different than the alleged conflict justice Thomas might have.? ?

    • crystal4
      crystal4 says:

      But, SOS< Thomas did profit financially from his wife!
      “From what we have already seen, the line between your impartiality and you and your wife’s financial stake in the overturn of health-care reform is blurred. Your spouse is advertising herself as a lobbyist who has ‘experience and connections’ and appeals to clients who want a particular decision — they want to overturn health-care reform. Moreover, your failure to disclose Ginny Thomas’s receipt of $686,589 from the Heritage Foundation, a prominent opponent of health-care reform, between 2003 and 2007 has raised great concern.”
      (Statement from House Dems.)

      • SoundOffSister
        SoundOffSister says:

        The question is not whether Mr. Justice Thomas profited from the passage of the law, but whether he would profit from the repeal of the law.? But, let’s follow that logic…Mrs. Thomas is a lobbyist who “profits” from companies who “want to?overturn health-care reform”.? Consequently, Mr. Justice Thomas would want to leave the law in place so that his wife (and he) could continue to “profit from its continuing existence”.
        Why then do those on the left who want to leave the law in place, continue to call for Mr. Justice Thomas’s recusal?
        Your logic would dictate that Mr. Justice Thomas?will affirm the law.

  3. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    Just my opinion, but I think the brilliant Judge Roger Vinson should be renamed Judge Roger Vision.? He is advocating to put a stake in the heart to end it all. Thank Goodness!

  4. crystal4
    crystal4 says:

    Anyway, I will bet anyone here that they will not find the ind mandate unconstitutional.
    The individual mandate is a bonanza of $$$ for insurance companies. The “Citizens United” Court won’t mess this up for them. Don’t forget, it was the White House that asked (last week) that they decide this issue.

  5. Anybody but Obama
    Anybody but Obama says:

    Crystal? the states wanted expedited to SCOTUS last year the wh wants them to decide after the fact

  6. JBS
    JBS says:

    Pardon me for being cynical but, having three lower courts rule in favor of OCare, wouldn’t the SCOTUS follow their lead? The WH lawyers have crafted this mammoth health care bill to be indestructible. As with everything this regime does, it is built to further the socialist policy aims of the Zero. Passage of OCare will put the citizens of this nation in hock to the (government’s and insurance companies’) company store forever. Only the political class and their minions will be healthy and wealthy.
    This health care law will raise the poverty line to such a figure that there will be only two classes in this country, the haves and never will have. We will devolve into a feudal state.
    Will this health care mandate be the final action to forever bankrupt this country?

  7. crystal4
    crystal4 says:

    Gotcha SOS! However, I am not an expert on lobbying but I do have 2 friends in that biz (for real).
    (Fictional names)? Mary works as a lobbyist for an organization. John (my other friend has started a lobbying firm w/ a partner. John will lobby for anyone who pays him.)
    Don’t you think John will tout on his resume that an issue he lobbied for that has passed (or was defeated) and take any credit he can for that for getting future clients?
    Mary does work for 1 organization, but don’t you think she is tallying up her “wins” in case she is let go? (for her resume)?? No lobbyists lasts forever in 1 organization… I would think (once the organization’s? goals are reached).

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      And what does this have to do with Justice Thomas?? Mrs. Thomas can “tally up her wins” any way she wants, but the Justice only has to justify his vote in accordance with the Constitution and his professionalism.? Your insinuation is that Thomas coordinates his decisions with his wife for profit.? I welcome your evidence.? You may question whether Thomas (or any other justice) has “a horse in this race”, but Kagan’s role in the creation and subsequent support of ?BAMACARE is undisputed, as is her bias.? She worked *for* the administration whose legislation she will be judging.? If you are honest, and you object to Thomas because of his wife’s work, then your demand for Kagan’s recusal should be a “no brainer”.

  8. crystal4
    crystal4 says:

    And it gets better..
    ‘The day the Supreme Court gathered behind closed doors to consider the politically divisive question of whether it would hear a challenge to President Obama?s healthcare law, two of its justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, were feted at a dinner sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court.’,0,7978224.story
    Know what? These guys have made a mockery of the court and they just seem to be rubbing our noses in it.

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      I think Ginzberg’s membership on the board of directors of the ACLU, and marriage to a prominent tax attorney is a bigger mockery.? Let’s discuss that.

      • crystal4
        crystal4 says:

        It’s a mockery…you got me!
        Imagine, a career where she championed equal rights under the constitution…unconscionable for a justice!? She doesn’t have a background of sexual harrassment and is not being wined and dined by the Koch brothers and the lawyers who will be arguing cases before her.
        Compared to Thomas and Scalia, she is? a “Mockery” of this SCOTUS!

      • Dimsdale
        Dimsdale says:

        I don’t recall anyone on the court being convicted of sexual harassment, at least in a court.? I do know that the ACLU defends the likes of NAMBLA, though I doubt Ginzburg had much to do with that.
        The NYTimes had an article on just this topic in which it was stated:

        “Of course, it?s also true that the more liberal justices speak to liberal audiences. As conservative critics have pointed out, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has taken part in Aspen Institute seminars, which receive some financing from George Soros, the b?te noire of Glenn Beck. Justice Stephen G. Breyer has turned up at Renaissance Weekend, the conclave that the Clintons put on the map in the 1990s.”

  9. Anybody but Obama
    Anybody but Obama says:

    Crystal you need to go back and actually read and comprehend. Below is a paragraph that explains that they can go to the dinner.

    “It?s nothing new: The two justices have been attending Federalist Society events for years. And it?s nothing that runs afoul of ethics rules. In fact, justices are exempt from the Code of Conduct that governs the actions of lower federal judges.”

  10. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    Dimsdale, If I’m ever in legal trouble, I want you on my side.? With the exception of SOS you have the best legal mind of anyone I know. (Well OK, I don’t associate with a lot of lawyers)

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