UPDATE 10:17 am: @SCOTUSblog says – “…entire ACA is upheld, with the exception that the federal government’s power to terminate states’ Medicaid funds…”
UPDATE 10:19 am: SCOTUSblog tweets: “From the Court: The mandate max be regarded as a tax. ‘That is sufficient to sustain it.'” Also, “CJ Roberts’ fifth #SCOTUS vote saved the #ACA” and “#SCOTUS upholds #ACA individual mandate.”
UPDATE 10:24 am: @AmandaMarcotte tweets: “Wait, it’s 5-4? That means Kennedy broke to the right and Roberts to the left?” Yep, that seems to be what happened. Craaaaazy, did NOT expect that!
UPDATE 10:27 am: Shoq tweets, “BREAKING: Millions of Americans with serious pre-existing health conditions just exhaled.”
UPDATE 10:28 am: According to SCOTUSblog, “The Court holds that the mandate violates the Commerce Clause, but that doesn’t matter b/c there are five votes for the mandate to be constitutional under the taxing power.” Also, “Justice Ginsburg makes clear that the vote is 5-4 on sustaining the mandate as a form of tax. Her opinion, for herself and Sotomayor, Breyer and Kagan, joins the key section of Roberts opinion on that point. She would go further and uphold the mandate under the Commerce Clause, which Roberts wouldn’t. Her opinion on Commerce does not control.”
UPDATE 10:29 am: According to SCOTUSblog, “In opening his statement in dissent, Kennedy says: ‘In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.'”
UPDATE 10:31 am: @SCOTUSblog tweets “Bottom line from #SCOTUS, Obama Administration wins. Challenge to #ACA fails.”
UPDATE 10:33 am: According to SCOTUSblog, “In Plain English: The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn’t comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.”
UPDATE 10:39 am: Here is the electronic version (PDF) of the Supreme Court decision. Read it and weep, Kookinelli!!! LOL
UPDATE 10:43 am: By the way, I need to add that as much as I’m impressed (and pleasantly surprised!) with the overall ruling by the Roberts Court, I strongly disagree with Chief Justice Roberts’ reasoning on the Commerce Clause. As do many leading conservative judges and scholars. Yet another reason to reelect President Obama, to hopefully replace a couple of the radical right-wing, confederalist justices (Scalia, in particular) with sane, sober constitutionalists.
UPDATE 10:52 am: Our fanatic, wildly misguided Attorney General calls the Supreme Court ruling “a dark day for the American people, the Constitution, and the rule of law…a dark day for American liberty.” As usual, with Ken Kookinelli, take the EXACT OPPOSITE of what he says and it’s very close to the truth.
UPDATE 10:55 am: Bob McDonnell says “Today’s Supreme Court ruling is extremely disappointing for Virginia and for America.” Uh, no.
That’s right, back in 2006 (ancient history, apparently), Willard “Mitt” Romney said:
With regards to the mandate, the individual responsibility program which I proposed, I was very pleased to see that the compromise from the two houses includes the personal responsibility principle, that is essential for bringing health care costs down for everyone, and for getting everybody the health insurance they deserve and need. So I was very pleased with that development.
So, remind me again why 6 years later, Romney and his fellow Teapublican’ts are suddenly against the individual mandate that they came up with, and which has been a cornerstone of their “personal responsibility” view of health care reform for decades?
Also, please feel free to use this as an open thread on the ExxonMobil/Koch Industries Supreme Court’s@copy decision on the Affordable Care Act, including the conservative “individual mandate,” around 10 am. The big question: will the Supreme Court definitely prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are a bunch of radical right-wing political activists in robes, or will they shock us and actually do their jobs? I’m guessing the former, how about you?