Another train wreck at the court for Obamacare
The Kansas City Star
The Supreme Court session Tuesday on the constitutionality of the individual mandate was described by several commentators as a train wreck for the government. Wednesday’s arguments on severability — whether the rest of the law can remain if the mandate is yanked — went about as well. Or maybe worse, judging by Jennifer Rubin’s iluminating post.
In the key bit, Scalia asks ones of the lawyers whether — if the mandate goes down — he expects the court to go through the entire 2700-page law to decide, section by section, which part to keep and which to toss.
JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA: Mr. Kneedler, what happened to the Eighth Amendment? [On cruel and unusal punishment] You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages?
SCALIA: And do you really expect the Court to do that? Or do you expect us to — to give this function to our law clerks? Is this not totally unrealistic? That we are going to go through this enormous bill item by item and decide each one?
Rubin closes: “I’ll be candid: Until reading the briefs on this issue, I thought this was a long shot for the challengers. It seemed a stretch to take down the whole statute. After reading the briefs and the transcript of the argument, I think this is among the easier issues in the case.”
We’ll see. We’ve been reminded that the justices don’t always vote the way they hint in their questions. But even commentators on the left have observed that the government’s arguments were repeatedly attacked. Which means this whole thing, this 2700 pages of leftwing central planning, could well go down in flames.