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LIVEBLOG Obamacare Verdict: Open Thread

UPDATE: The Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Big loss for the liberty movement today.

In the verdict announced today (June 28), shortly after 10AM, the court upheld the individual mandate as well as almost all the rest of Obamacare.

SCOTUSBlog is covering the proceedings live at

Further updates are being added to the end of this post.


The Daily Mail reports:

Barack Obama faces one of the deciding moments of his presidency this week as the Supreme Court is set to announce whether or not his flagship healthcare overhaul is constitutional. ...

The ruling could move markets, turn economies and greatly affect the Presidential contest between Mr Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.


Meanwhile, The Atlantic Wire has a roundup of predictions and pre-written Monday-morning quarterbacking from a variety of sources:

Some are already looking back on the strategies Obama's team used to defend the Act and criticizing their choices. Did they use the right offense, the right defense, the right special teams? The Washington Post's Peter Wallsten and The New York Times' Peter Baker are both looking back and wondering what Obama could have done differently in the event the Act falls. The Times' Baker writes that the Democrats' early confidence over the bill's constitutionality might end up being their undoing.



The Supreme Court deferred announcing the Obamacare verdict on Monday, instead announcing the Arizona illegal immigration law (SB1070) verdict.

Today (Thursday, June 28), the court will announce all remaining verdicts, including Obamacare, at 10:00 AM Eastern.


While we're waiting, here's an article from the good-old Tenth Amendment Center: Obamacare and “Commerce:” Does A Include Not-A?

The Constitution grants Congress power to “regulate Commerce . . . among the several States. . . .” The word “Commerce” was designed to encompass only some designated activities: trading (buying and selling) among merchants, navigation and cargo insurance, commercial paper and finance, construction and maintenance of ports, and a few others.


SCOTUSBlog says there are 344,000 people trying to read the blog, awaiting the High Court's decision. There are a couple hundred protesters outside, a few single-issue protesters, and the rest for and against government health care.


We're a few minutes away from getting the decision. Here's a primer on the issues being decided: http://www.scotusblog.com...


The justices affirmed the appeals court ruling in re: Alvarez. This means that the Stolen Valor Act (prohibiting lying about service medals) is unconstitutional as written.



Here's the Stolen Valor decision, just in case you were thinking about lying about your medals :)


Health care decision is out. It's being analyzed by the legal beagles.


Amy Howe reports "the individual mandate survives as a tax." Wow, didn't see that one coming. Is that the Supreme's way of splitting the difference?


Another big surprise: Chief Justice Roberts joins the left side of the court for this decision.


Bottom line from Tom at SCOTUSBlog: All of the Affordable Care Act is upheld, except for some restriction on the Feds' ability to end states' Medicaid funds.


There's a guy in a patriot uniform marching in front of the Supreme Court with a "Don't Tread on Me" Gadsden Flag. Well, they just did that.

This is definitely falls in the latter half of "You win some, you lose some."


From around the web:


The Court ruled that Congress doesn't have the power to mandate health insurance under the Commerce Clause. But that doesn't matter because five justices voted to uphold the mandate under Congress's taxing power. Six of one, half a dozen of the other ...


Justice Ginsburg is farthest to the left in this ruling. She would uphold the mandate even under the Commerce Clause. She would also uphold the Medicaid portion of the act as-is, which the other justices did not.


Justice Kennedy fails to save the day, stating "In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety." But his side had only four votes.


Here's the ruling in PDF. Read it and weep, folks:


The administration had three arguments: Commerce Clause, Necessary & Proper Clause, and the taxing power. Basically, it seems they threw mud on the wall to see what sticks. Looks like the third time's a charm in this case.


It seems the Supremes ruled that the mandate is a tax for the purposes of its constitutionality, but not a tax for the purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act. If the mandate were indeed a tax, the Tax Anti Injunction Act (TAIA) might have prevented the courts from ruling on Obamacare until a taxpayer had actually paid the tax.

So, they seem to be having it both ways. Anyone care to explain that one? My head hurts. Maybe that's because I'm not a lawyer.


Wrapping up, Chief Justice Roberts provides the one-vote margin of victory for President Obama's signature health-care legislation, all the more surprising because of the President unprecedented attack on the Supreme Court during a State of the Union address. Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Kennedy all voted (unsuccessfully) to overturn the health-care law.


The Telegraph reports that CNN and FOX both got it wrong in reporting the verdict. They reported the mandate had been struck down, and even offered analysis of that. (See link for screenshots.)

Just for the record, DP might have taken a few seconds more in reporting, but at least we got it right!


The verdict in 100 seconds by TPM:


Reactions by Messrs. Obama and Romney (progenitors of this whole mess in their own ways):



What effect will the ruling have on the economy, the election, and the Paul-Romney battle?

And does this mean the Federal government can force you to buy anything it wants, calling it a "tax"? And what will be the next thing they force you to buy? Low-fat margarine? Tofu?

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I was maybe mistakenly thinking that with refering this to states is invoking of the 10th amendment state right against feds.
In any case I strongly believe the Supreme Court used an illegal construction explicitely forbidden by the 9th amendment ("The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.") when arguing that the taxation clause applies on imposing the penalty for not buying the insurance (and in the same ruling recognizing the peoples right to do nothing and not to buy anything). So I think the ruling at all didn't answered the question whether the individual mandate penalty is constitutional or not - at least definitely not in a way which is itself not explicitely forbidden to the court by the letter of the constitution. So the individual mandate is in my opinion now not enforceable in any court, state or federal due to art. 6 2nd clause, because booth the ruling and the obamacare bill penalty statute itself aren't so binding to any judge neither as law or precedent against the letter of the constitution -as the supreme law of the land and so any court state or federal should trow any in future arising individual mandate penalty enforcement case on this basis if only the defendant invokes the 9th amendment and art 6 2nd clause against the obamacare bill and IRS as a plaintiff respectively and against this clearly anti-constitutional Independent Bussiness v. Sebelius ruling precedent which in my opinion is in any individual mandate penalty enforcement case which can arise impossible to use as guide to superseeding the 9th amendment prohibition of the legal constructions intended to disparage peoples right to not purchase the health insurance, good to note a right quite clearly recognized in the same ruling. The anti-injunction ACT is in my opinion also inapplicable, because the SCOTUS didn't ruled the application of the taxation clause in a legal with the constitution complying way, and in the bill anyway remains "penalty" instead of tax, which the court in the same ruling recognized as the reason for unapplicability of the Anti-injunction act - so nobody is bound with the rulling to generally anything - neither the courts to enforce the penalties nor people to pay the penalties and the individual mandate statute so remains unenforceable in any court, state or federal, because the people simply cannot be penalized for not complying with the individual mandate statute and not buing the insurance respectively.
It was never possible - the Constitution forbids the penalization of noncomplying with the statute from the very beginning and without the repealing of the 9th amendment it can never be otherwise. No court, supreme, federal or state ruling can change this simple legal fact. The ruling in this case recognizing the peoples right not to pay the insurance made it unwittingly only even more clear although the court's intention was clearly exact opposite when it absurdly tryied to redefine the Congress clear intention expressed by the word "penalty" to word "tax".
No court is the legislative body, it is bound by the constitution and must apply it in compliance with the same, otherwise its rulling is legally null. This applies to every court including the SCOTUS because no court is above supreme law of the land and cannot change its meaning in any way which is explicitely forbidden by the same moreover changing the meaning of the original legislator intention in the case of a particular law. This would mean total legal despocy if tolerated and used as a guide for future decisions in real cases where it is not about academic absurdity constructions changing the intention of legislator using forbidden illegal constructions, but real penalty and real money and real power of the IRS.
From the experience in EU is clear that the individual mandate there was first enacted without penalties, then financial penalties were introduced and then criminal charges - YES in most of the EU states is now the noncomplying with the individual mandate a criminal offense and you can not only be taken everything for not paying the insurance on penalties enforcement, but you can end in the jail. Simmilar end clearly could be expected in USA if it is not stopped. The USA has an advantage of the good Constitution which can help very much with stopping it.

"It is amazing that people

"It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it." ~ Thomas Sowell


plus penalties to IRS if one cannot afford all this.


I know of 3 gals from Detroit that are more American, more worthy of being called "Supremes" then these traitors in D.C. who think themselves as supreme!

DeisPickable they are ( Daffy Duck accent added )

" In Thee O Lord do I put my trust " ~ Psalm 31:1~

Chief Justice John Roberts: Anathema to the Constitution

Chief Justice John Roberts and the Affordable Health Care Act: Both Anathema to the Constitution

“In his White House memoir, ‘Courage and Consequence,’ Karl Rove recalls being the lone non-lawyer among the group of George W. Bush aides who initially interviewed John Roberts for the Supreme Court in 2005. Rove asked Roberts to go back in history to name the justice whom he most revered. Roberts’ answer, Robert Jackson, intrigued and reassured Rove. When appointed in 1941, Jackson was serving as Franklin Roosevelt’s attorney general and had been expected to be a pro-New Deal rubber-stamp on the court. But, as Rove put it, Jackson ‘instead demonstrated a fidelity to the Constitution that Roberts admired.’” So writes Walter Shapiro @ http://news.yahoo.com/john-roberts-saves-obamacare--how-does...

Jackson, it must be said, was mostly a rubber stamp for the New Deal. He was the author of the amazing Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942) http://laws.findlaw.com/us/317/111html, holding that home grown wheat that is all consumed on the farm is interstate commerce because it affects interstate commerce. For more on that monstrosity, see http://douglassbartley.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/federal-comm...

In the ObamaCare case, writing for the majority, Roberts perhaps emulating his hero, held (from the syllabus pp. 3-4):
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Part III-C, concluding that the individual mandate may be upheld as within Congress's power under the Taxing Clause.
“It is therefore necessary to turn to the Government's alternative argument: that the mandate may be upheld as within Congress's power to ‘lay and collect Taxes.’ Art. I, §8, cl. 1 [The General Welfare Clause]. In pressing its taxing power argument, the Government asks the Court to view the mandate as imposing a tax on those who do not buy that product. Because ‘every reasonable construction must be resorted to, in order to save a statute from unconstitutionality,’ Hooper v. California, 155 U. S. 648, 657, the question is whether it is ‘fairly possible’ to interpret the mandate as imposing such a tax, Crowell v. Benson, 285 U. S. 22, 62. Pp. 31-32. 4. Pp. 33- 44 @ http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/06/29/us/29healthcar...

Despite Roberts embrace of the “general welfare’ clause as a source of unlimited taxing power, the Founders regarded the clause not as a federal power but as a restraint on federal power. As Jefferson said and Madison agreed:

“[To construe the clause as providing a] distinct and independent power to do any act [congress] might please for the good of the Union . . . would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States . . . . Certainly no such universal power was intended to be given them. [The clause] was intended to lace [Congress] up strictly within the enumerated powers, and . . . without which, as means, those powers could not be carried into effect. (Emphasis added.)”

For more, please see THE GENERAL WELFARE CLAUSE: “How a Constitutional Restraint Was Transformed Into a Constitutional Power @ http://wp.me/sD41z-7.

It's over...

Sectarian myopia has led to defeat. Obamney Care is here to stay and all the political wishful thinking of libertarians will not change that reality.

I can't tell if you are

I can't tell if you are pleased or displeased with Obamacare?

I am

displeased that we chose to subsidize insurance companies instead of creating a public, affordable, quality basic care system for all supplemented by private insurance and individual pay for coinsurance and catastrophic care. This could have been done with real market pricing for services rendered except that we decided it was a winner take all deal or no deal at all thing. The unwillingness to find constructive compromise resulted in lowest common denominator compromise. The best hope is that Obamacare evolves into something like they have in Germany. That would be acceptable though not what I would have recommended. Let's see if the kinks can be worked out rather than try to repeal it.

Nah. Let's repeal it and let

Nah. Let's repeal it and let market forces respond to consumer demand for once. You might be pleasantly surprised by the results.

At work today,

I was talking with co-workers who are generally Obama supporters. They are very ANGRY with the Obamacare tax, since they don't have health insurance coverage for their families and only minimal coverage for themselves. Many just pay cash when their spouse or child gets sick, and it works out to much less to buy the care than the tax penalty will be. We had a 5* conversation about Ron Paul for the first time (usually, I get the "he can't win" and eyes-glazed look before I even get to the three minute mark).

Maybe there's a silver lining to this cloud.

I am starting to hear a get sucking sound

from everyone back pocket whether we like it or not.

They will start the chipping of the sheeple as soon as the election is stolen. This was all predetermined by someone other than the courts.

Gold standard: because man can not be trusted to control his greed

one small step for socialism

one giant leap for revolution

The Federal gov't now will force you into commerce with

this ruling. Now you are forced to defend a "negative" in all transactions. This means unlimited power of tyranny through invasive confiscation, another words slavery where you have no control over your body or purse. This was not only another example of a clear perversion of the commerce clause, it turned it over 180 degrees from its original meaning. In addition to repealing the 17th & 16th amendments to the Constitution, we need an amendment to remove the President's (thus the Federal) power to appoint the so called Justices. The 9 jurists need to be appointed by the states via voting by delegation weighting (senate / house – elector votes) and none of these "Electors" may have ever held a Federal office of any (elected or non-elected) kind or some other form of execution of power from the states only, in this process. This will remove more power from the central gov't, which we desperately need.

“The insurance mandate clearly exceeds the federal government’s powers under the interstate commerce clause found in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution,” writes Ron Paul. “This is patently obvious: the power to ‘regulate’ commerce cannot include the power to compel commerce! Those who claim otherwise simply ignore the plain meaning of the Constitution because they don’t want to limit federal power in any way.”

“The commerce clause was intended simply to give Congress the power to regulate foreign trade, and also to prevent states from imposing tariffs on interstate goods. In Federalist Paper No. 22, Alexander Hamilton makes it clear the simple intent behind the clause was to prevent states from placing tolls or tariffs on goods as they passed through each state — a practice that had proven particularly destructive across the many principalities of the German empire.”

With the love of liberty :^)


America is gone. Only a miracle, like the election of Ron Paul will save it. Failing that, the system will financially crash and burn, eventually and then who knows what comes from the ashes.

Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don't have brains enough to be honest. - Ben Franklin

This Was Posted On Ron Paul Forums

Jun 27 2012 - 6:33 PM ET
by Greta Van Sustern

"One of the great things about being the ONLY prime time cable news show anchored in Washington is that you can spend lots of time on Capitol Hill talking to people, learning information etc. Today we went to Capitol Hill to interview Rep Michele Bachmann and ran into Rep Ron Paul."

It's like saying "I went to interview Dennis Rodman and ran into Michael Jordon." (No offense to Dennis Rodman).

No country for it's own people.

This health care ..... is direct taxation on Small Businesses and individuals.

Simple outcome would be - health care would cost more, out of the pocket will cost more. Insurance companies drinking Champlain now having all of a sudden extra 50Mil + customers. The price of the health care businesses will triple.

The only positive outcome I see it'll wake up more people to join Ron Paul Revolution only voice that talks sense.

i wonder what they call socialist on this

In Cuba there's no health insurance whatsoever, the country is poor, health care pays the state and it is accessible for everybody, yet somehow it has better price/performance ratio than in US.
I would nevertheless chose to live in US, have no insurance mandate whatsoever and pay cash. Why it is not possible, why I should have solidarity with ill people feeding themselves with toxic food and pills commandeered to them by corrupt stupid government they vote for? (I don't live in USA, I live in EU, where we have this individual mandate for decades, the penalties for not buying insurance are now small fortunes which infallibly ruin all poor people on the end and also the FDA like agencies everywhere.)

This Is the Coward Who Refused to Debate Judge Gray

Judge Gray, the LP's VP candidate, ran for Senate a few years ago, and she and the Republican held a debate at the Museum of Tolerance, and refused to let the Judge participate, so when it comes to democracy, she's not a very good Democrat.

June 28, 2012
Dear Friend:

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act is a victory for America’s families, who deserve affordable health care.

The ruling is great news for the millions of Californians who have already seen the benefits of this law – including the six million who now have access to free preventive health services, 355,000 young adults who now have coverage on their parents’ health plans, and 320,000 seniors who have received help in paying for their prescription drugs.

Now Americans will have the certainty of knowing they won’t be denied coverage because of a preexisting condition. Women won’t be charged a higher premium because of their gender. And families struggling with serious illnesses will not face lifetime limits on coverage.

We will continue to fight Republican efforts to repeal these important health benefits while we work to make sure every American has access to quality, affordable health care.

To read more about how the Affordable Care Act will benefit you and your family, please click here and here.


Barbara Boxer
United States Senator


To respond to this message, please click here. This link will take you to a webpage where you can reply to messages that you receive from Senator Boxer’s office. http://boxer.senate.gov

What do you think? http://consequeries.com/


Of course, few in the media and elsewhere really understand that "regulate" means to "make regular" or "encourage" or "prevent obstacles" to commerce.

It doesn't mean "tell people exactly how to conduct commerce."

What do you think? http://consequeries.com/


it is indeed funny. One sometimes doesn't believe its own eyes. -for example:
"First, and most importantly, it is abundantly clear the Constitution does not guarantee that individuals may avoid taxation through inactivity" (written by US Supreme Court judges, page 47 of the ruling)
To this day I thought that if I don't work and have so no income that this no income cannot be taxed, I also thought that if I do nothing and do not purchase a house I must not pay the property tax.
Perhaps from now is "abundantly clear" that it is not as I thought so far.

What Happens

What happens if you aren't employed and don't pay the taxes to the IRS?


I just read


Who's Exempt?

The law makes a number of exemptions for low-income persons and hardship cases.

"Individuals who cannot afford coverage": If an employer offers coverage that would cost the employee more than 8 percent of his or her household income (for self-only coverage) that individual is exempt from the tax.

"Taxpayers with income below filing threshold": Also exempt are those who earn too little to be required to file tax returns. For 2011 - as previously mentioned - those thresholds were $9,500 for a single person under age 65, and $19,000 for a married person filing jointly with a spouse, for example. The thresholds go up each year in line with inflation, so those cut-offs will be higher in 2014, when the tax first takes effect.

"Hardships": The Secretary of Health and Human Services is empowered to exempt others that she or he determines to "have suffered a hardship with respect to the capability to obtain coverage."

Other exemptions: Also exempt are members of Indian tribes, persons with only brief gaps in coverage, and members of certain religious groups currently exempt from Social Security taxes (which as we've previously reported are chiefly Anabaptist - that is, Mennonite, Amish or Hutterite).

from here: http://www.cafemom.com/group/416/forums/read/16842802/A_Deta...

I guess

that's when you get their "free" healthcare and you help pull the system down.

I don't want their free healthcare

And I have paid enough income taxes to own a freaking hospital. I was looking for a reasonable answer. Not an insult. I really want to know if they plan to just send out tax bills to everyone whether they file income taxes or not.


I'm not planning on voting for Romney...

...so I'm not sure what you're suggesting I will be "falling" for. All I'm saying is we shouldn't discourage improvement in the face of angst and vindictiveness. There are two competing beliefs in the liberty movement: one that suggests we can change the system from the inside, the other that suggests we must destroy the system and rebuild. I support the goal, and do not know for sure which path is the right one. What I do know, is I will support measures that bring us closer to the end game. I don't know that I want to see the world burn so we can start over after the ashes settle.

F--k all their BS! Thoreau –

F--k all their BS!

Thoreau – Civil Disobedience




“It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds”
-Sam Adams

Minor Observations

This is outrageous tyranny. We are sold out at the executive, judicial and legislative levels. It feels like three strikes and you are out without a miracle, but I don't believe in giving up.
Now for the minor observations - notice how they suckered us into believing this wouldn't pass and then delayed letting us know the outcome until now. Meanwhile Romney, who few trust to not flip on what he already authored in his state, consolidated his fraudulent position of "nominee". Even more perfectly take all the news up with this story so Ron Paul's Audit the Fed victory today will be lost in the editing room.
Now is the time to take it back! Find out who your delegates to the RNC convention are and tell them about rule #38! Romney will cheat us. I t looks to me like the powers want Romney, so they are slapping us with this to vote for Romney. I hope we surprise them! I still haven't given up - The only answer - Ron Paul 2012!

Ron 2012

is the best answer, but not the only answer.

This should be our April 5th 1775. On April 18th, the Kings Troops (the IRS) will come after our territory. Who will be our 'Paul' Revere?

Will April 19th come upon us and will we answer the call to Lexington and Concord once again? When we are told to lay down our arms, how will the nation respond? Will a shot ring out around the world or will the silence be deafening?

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