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Obamacare Ruling: Chief Justice Roberts . . . His path from conservative traitor and goat to conservative genius and hero?

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... conservative hero and savior?

 

 

Could Robert's supposed abandonment of 'conservative" principles actually be more effective in killing the law than any complicated, roundabout majority opinion striking it down on obscure reasoning?

 

Could this explain his obvious yet inexplicable change of heart?

 

 

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“Obamacare” looks increasingly inevitable, but one lawsuit making its way through the court system could pull the plug on the sweeping federal health care law.

 

A challenge filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation contends that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional because the bill originated in the Senate, not the House. Under the Origination Clause of the Constitution, all bills raising revenue must begin in the House.

 

The Supreme Court upheld most provisions of the act in June, but
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. took pains in the majority opinion to define Obamacare as a federal tax, not a mandate
. That was when the Sacramento, Calif.-based foundation’s attorneys had their “aha” moment.

 

“The court there quite explicitly says, 'This is not a law passed under the Commerce Clause; this is just a tax,’” foundation attorney Timothy Sandefur said at a Cato Institute forum on legal challenges to the health care act. “Well, then the Origination Clause ought to apply. The courts should not be out there carving in new exceptions to the Origination Clause.”

 

 

.

 

Could Robert's ruling be so diabolically simple and be so fatal and final and impossible for Obama's lawyers to work around?

 

The case for now is titled SISSEL v. UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES; KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, the filing is HERE (100kb pdf)

 

More from the entity that filed suit, the Pacific Legal Foundation:

 

 

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The Origination Clause requires “all bills for raising revenue” to “originate” in the House of Representatives. But the Obama Administration’s health care law did not originate in the House; it originated in the Senate, when Senator Harry Reid “amended” a bill the House had passed by striking out all of its text and replacing it with the Senate-written bill that eventually became Obamacare. At that time, Congress claimed that the bill was not a tax—and indeed, the Obama Administration continues to insist that it is not a tax—but this summer the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision ruling that while Congress had no power to force people to buy health insurance, it did have power to tax them for not buying insurance. The justices did not address the question of whether such a “tax” was constitutional under the Origination Clause, because none of the lawyers raised that issue—until now.

 

The founding fathers wrote the Origination Clause because they were deeply suspicious of government’s power to tax. Knowing how liable it was to be abused, they wanted that power kept as close to the voters as possible. The Senate—which at the time was not even elected by the people at all—could not be trusted with a power that could, in the words of one of the Constitution’s detractors, “light upon the head of every person in the United States,” shouting “Give! Give!” Conscious of such concerns, the founders provided that all bills for raising revenue would have to originate in the House most responsive to the voters.

 

Congress ignored this rule when it passed what became the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. As we explain further in this litigation backgrounder, the Senate used a “shell bill” procedure instead, scooping out the entire contents of a bill the House had passed, and replacing it with language the Senate had concocted. (Of course, they had to do this, since Congress was struggling to get the bill passed before anyone had time to read it.)

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The original bill as entered in the house was titled, "Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009" - HR-3590 and it was totally replaced by the Senate written, "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" with the origination designation surviving, HR-3590 . . . Thus the term "shell bill" being used to describe it.

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In order for it to pass constitutional muster, it had to be considered a tax. Now in order for it to pass constitutional muster, it must not be considered a tax. It will be interesting to see if the supreme court is going to consider it a tax for the sake of getting it past commerce clause and simultaneously "not a tax" to circumvent the origination requirement. Sounds like something a liberal would be comfortable doing, but are there enough liberals on the supreme court to prop up this pile of crap?

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The original bill as entered in the house was titled, "Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009" - HR-3590 and it was totally replaced by the Senate written, "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" with the origination designation surviving, HR-3590 . . . Thus the term "shell bill" being used to describe it.

 

Shell bill or not... it seems to have started in the House. I am not aware of the constitution distinguishing shell bills from "real" bills.

 

There must be something here or the suing organizations would not waste tons of money bring suit.

 

Perhaps the issue being litigated is whether a "bill" is the number, or the content/wording.

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Perhaps the issue being litigated is whether a "bill" is the number, or the content/wording.

 

Zactly! would you be happy to buy this:

 

1000

 

thinking it was this:

 

1000

 

just going by a "shell" VIN number?

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In order for it to pass constitutional muster, it had to be considered a tax. Now in order for it to pass constitutional muster, it must not be considered a tax. It will be interesting to see if the supreme court is going to consider it a tax for the sake of getting it past commerce clause and simultaneously "not a tax" to circumvent the origination requirement. Sounds like something a liberal would be comfortable doing, but are there enough liberals on the supreme court to prop up this pile of crap?

 

Actually, it is better than that.

 

In the first part of the Obamacare decision, they decided it wasn't a tax for purposes of federal jurisdiction (i.e., the Anti-injunction Act);

In the second part of the decision, they decided it was a tax, for purposes of determining that Congress had the power to pass the act.

 

And, now, it could not be a tax for purposes of the origination requirement?

 

Too funny.

 

(I don't know a damn thing about Supreme Court jurisprudence on the origination requirement).

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Neither do I. Interesting argument....I don't think it will be successful, because I suspect that the bills that must originate in the House are those considered general revenue matters, as opposed to something as specific as this. I doubt that the Supreme Court will conclude that Reid's dubious slight of hand amounts to a Constitutional problem.

 

Be interesting to see. IMHO the most likely route to the mass failure of Obamacare is also the slowest; the various economic assumptions in it may simply Not Work. If it fails to deliver cost savings over time, it may collapse even if it still delivers health care to those who didn't really have it before. It'll take ten years for it to become even a partial success or failure, though.

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I don't know Brian.

 

I believe the individual mandate tax will become part of our income tax return in one way or the other next year. The tax will be collected by the IRS, as a general tax. I don't think there is anything in there that puts the money into a specific account.

 

So, clearly, it is a tax, in the sense that it is intended to raise revenue.........

 

"If an individual does not maintain health insurance, the only consequence is that he must make an additional payment to the IRS when he pays his taxes," . . . "the mandate is not a legal command to buy insurance. Rather, it makes going without insurance just another thing the government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning an income."

 

 

Agree that it is an interesting argument.

 

I just think it is funny that it is not a tax, but it is a tax, but it's not a tax.......

 

But I agree with you that this is probably not going anywhere. My reasons are more cynical.

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