Will Supreme Court Take Up ObamaCare?

By Dave Andrusko

The U.S. Supreme Court. Seated, from left, are Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., Anthony M. Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Standing, from left, are Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen G. Breyer, Samuel A. Alito, Jr., and Elena Kagan.

As the Supreme Court begins its 2011-2012 term today and considers whether to take up the battle over ObamaCare, lest we forget that awful piece of legislation passed because of subterfuge, bogus assurances, and an exercise in raw political power. ObamaCare—aka the Affordable Care Act—was conceived behind closed doors and delivered over the objections of a majority of the American public, a majority that persists to this day.

The chances that the justices will rule on the law’s constitutionality greatly increased September 26 when the Obama Administration and 26 states opposing the law filed separate appeals. Obama could have appealed a three-judge panel’s decision that declared unconstitutional the ObamaCare requirement that virtually all Americans have health insurance by 2014 ( the “individual mandate”) to the full U.S. 11th Circuit. For its own reasons, it decided otherwise.

“The department has consistently and successfully defended this law in several courts of appeals, and only the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled it unconstitutional,” the Justice Department said in a statement. “We believe the question is appropriate for review by the Supreme Court.”

The plaintiffs in the U.S. 11th Circuit Court case also asked for a review last week, arguing the entire law ought to be struck down.

Should the Court agreed to hear the case, the anticipation is that a decision would come down next year, perhaps as the presidential election kicks into high gear.

On a related note Gallup released an interesting poll this morning, showing  that the High Court’s approval ratings have dropped below 50%.

Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones shows approval has dropped 15 points in just two years—from 61% to 46%. Except for June 2005, this is the lowest figure for the Supreme Court since 2000.

And while a  plurality of Americans (42%) believe the Supreme Court’s ideology is “about right,” more believe it is “too liberal” (31%) than “too conservative (20%).”  

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