For those keeping score, President Obama’s health-care-reform law has a solid 2-2 record in federal courts. While, according to Justice Ginsburg, the Supreme Court is not likely to hear Constitutional challenges to the law anytime soon, Supreme Court watchers are having a jolly good time prognosticating how they believe the Court will rule. Two interesting predictions came out this week:
– Newsweek predicts that the Court’s decision will ultimately come down to which argument Justice Kennedy (the ultimate swing-vote) will find most persuasive. The individual mandate was a policy that Democrats adopted precisely in order to attract moderate Republicans like, well, Justice Kennedy. It would therefore be quite ironic if Kennedy was the key vote in striking the law down, which could then force the Democrats to once more contemplate big-government solutions, which conservatives had spent so long trying to persuade Democrats to give up.
– Meanwhile, Harvard Law School Professor Laurence H. Tribe writes in a NY Times editorial that the inevitable Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the health care law will be a slam dunk for liberals and progressives. He writes:
“Since the New Deal, the court has consistently held that Congress has broad constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce. This includes authority over not just goods moving across state lines, but also the economic choices of individuals within states that have significant effects on interstate markets. By that standard, this law’s constitutionality is open and shut. Does anyone doubt that the multitrillion-dollar health insurance industry is an interstate market that Congress has the power to regulate?”
As the health-care-reform bill makes it way to the Supreme Court, this will certainly be a fun race to watch.