Monday, March 26, 2012

Department of Health and Human Services v Florida

Today, the Supreme Court started its first day of arguments surrounding the individual mandate in the wildly unpopular Obamacare (ACA will not be used, as the name, like most other legislation by this regime, is wildly misleading). Full audio and transcripts can be found here.

My impression? I didn't think that many of the Justices bought that the mandate was a tax. Or a "tax penalty", as the Solicitor General "Milli" Verrilli put it. Even Kagan and Breyer were confused with the government's definition. Said Justices noted that the definition provided seemed to keep changing, and they repeatedly remind council that they were interchanging the words. See the wonderful Althouse for details. Comment of the millennium goes to TosaGuy, who in response to the government slight-of-hand stated:

"This isn't law, it's Calvinball."

Damn right. And the score is oogey to boogey.

My personal opinions of the mandate align with the earlier decision by Judge Vinson; especially when it comes to the broccoli example (see Vinson decision at p. 46) and the limits of Federal Government. Follow the link and read some really awesome judge-snark. For example, the footnote on page 76 of the decision is a pretty good reminder on where candidate Napoleon stood on the issue.

If nothing, take away from today the great words of Justice Alito: "Today you are arguing that the penalty is not a tax. Tomorrow you are going to be back and you will be arguing that the penalty is a tax."

The fight isn't over, but if the mandate is ruled a penalty and not a tax (or a "tax penalty", whatever that means), that's one battle lost for the regime.

Also head over to the Volokh link. Awesome interpretation of today's events. For the newest information on the case, check out ScotusBlog.

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