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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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"Who will be our Paul Revere?"

We've had many like Alex Jones, Stewart Rhodes, Dr. Paul etc

Well, you may have a point but

Alex Jones has some baggage, he is not much of a speaker for me except on a few points. Other than those he is off his rocker looking for Lizard people and the like.

Ron wants us to be peaceful, Revere knew that guns were going to be involved.

Enough talk about the country of the party Kings, it's time for secessions to start for any real cure. Let the left coasts and big cities have their liberal utopias, I will move to the first State that makes a true effort to secede.

I rule the Supreme Court's

I rule the Supreme Court's ruling as UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!!


moreover the individual mandate is due to the SCOTUS unconstitutional ruling now illegal and void.
see http://www.dailypaul.com/comment/2590928

How powerful are the

insurance companies? We just found out. A windfall of our cash will soon be in the pockets of the big insurance companies...and they will still find a loop hole to deny coverage in many situations. The people celebrating this...of which there are many...are FOOLS!!!!!

The court is OWNED and has been for a very long time.

We are in deep kimshee.

So what do we do now?

Discover Costa Rica!


If you think unemployment is bad now just wait, small business will be failing at an alarming rate while big business intensifies outsourcing. Temporary workers with HB1 visas will absolutely flood the labor market taking jobs not already occupied by illegal aliens. Where is the money going to come from to pay for these never ending wars and now socialized medicine?

Where's the money going to come from?

No problem!
Start the printing presses $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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

Only Good Thing About This...

...is that the line has been crossed. Unambiguously. An issue to galvanize liberty lovers everywhere!


"The world has never known more oppressive governments or bigger governments than those which profess the cult of liberty." - Donald Sanborn

Holy Sh!t....

Now YOUR HEALTH becomes a fiscal concern of the state- vaccines could save them money down the line, ready for 400 of them?

The inevitable social engineering that will result from this monstrosity is downright terrifying. We are slowly sliding into total socialism ! And there's nowhere to escape to!

Visit https://soundcloud.com/politics-of-freedom for all recent Ron Paul interviews, speeches, debates, forums, panels, press conferences, news coverage, and Texas Straight Talk updates!

"Terrorism is the war of the poor, while war is the terrorism of


No, it's totalitariansism. Now, they can get you to do anything they want, including having a colonoscapy, a mammagram, or any other procedure because if you don't, they will tax you. They can tax people who are overweight, tax people who do not get physicals each year...it is endless. This is worse than the mandate. Talk about activist judges; Roberts just re-wrote Obamacare to make it constitutional. I feel like there is a steam roller moving over the country and no way to stop it.

And you thought the IRS was

And you thought the IRS was all over your ass before? You ain't seen nothing yet.

SteveMT's picture

Peter Schiff is slamming the mandate as a "tax"

During his program today 6/28/12:


How can it be called a Tax

When the revenues are being received by a private company. I can understand if this was a single payer system(the fed gov.) that it could be a tax but not when private insurance is involved.

Do your best have no expectations

Because big government and

Because big government and big business are now one and the same.

Why the F%^ do they even tax,

Cut out the middle man and just print the damn money. It's all so freaking disgusting it's hard to think about.

8,000 lobbyists write all the laws, all the regulations, and make all the policy decisions we are stuck following, all in the name of safety and equality. Way to go...

Such a sad day for AMERICA!

Such a sad day for AMERICA! Supreme court justices? GIVE ME A F-CKING BREAK!

SteveMT's picture

Obama: "The mandate is not a tax!!!!" (vid) Another lie.

Stephanopoulos: "You Reject That It’s A Tax Increase? " Obama: "I Absolutely Reject That Notion"


The SCOTUS clearly used the interpretation that the individual mandate falls under taxation clause (art.I sec 8) - and so if you don't insure yourself you must pay anyway a tax to IRS - and of course without obtaining any health insurance this way.
The ruling on individual mandate is clearly centrally based on a legal constuction which is explicitely prohibited by 9th Amendment ("The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.")- yet the SCOTUS explicitely uses this argumentation for using taxation clause: "every reasonable construc­tion must be resorted to, in order to save a statute from unconstitutionality.” (page 38 of the ruling here)
The Congress clearly hasn't any authority given to it by the Constitution to mandate you to purchase health insurance and it was even several times suggested in the ruling against the use of the government main argument with the interstate commerce clause - so there is clearly the right of the people retained under 9th amendment not to purchase it -and this right shouldn't be disparaged using legal construction using the enumerated powers in art I sec.8 -as the power from taxation clause.
Yet SCOTUS ignored the 9th amendment completely without any particular disent and ruled that the Congress has the right to make you pay penalty (and the Congress has enacted in the Obamacare bill explicitely the word "penalty", not tax) if you don't purchase the health insurance - but which now the SCOTUS calls explicitely tax and argues with government "alternative interpretation" that it is not a penalty at all, but tax (- even from the ruling is clear the SCOTUS knows that the individual mandate tax is there to coerce you into purchasing health insurance and that the tax is there to punish you for not purchasing it.)
So indeed Obama lied big time.
Moreover SCOTUS paradoxicly used the truth about it - that it is indeed tax - to uphold the individual mandate using quite clearly unconstitutional legal construction.
So not only Obama but SCOTUS is also fraud - nobody would believe the judges there never have read 9th amendment.
This causa really shows how poor is now even the SCOTUS when it comes to applying what is actually plainly and clearly forbidden to the SCOTUS in the US Constitution.
To sum up: The ruling on individual mandate and the individual mandate part of the bill itself remain so unconstitutional and nobody is bound by them - due to Art. VI second clause ("This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.") of the US Constitution, everybody in USA so retains the right not to purchase the health insurance and the taxation for not purchasing it is void under 9th amendment of the US Constitution - the construction in the ruling which purports to "save the statute" is itself unconstitutional and so cannot be used as precedent against quite clear prohibition in the US Constitution itself. SCOTUS is not above Constitution.
I would like to know whether this explanation is clear to Americans or not. Please respond.

Denise B's picture

Not only that....

but if you can somehow buy into the absurd notion that it is a tax, it would fall under the category of a "direct tax" (i.e. it is not avoidable without being forced to do something you don't want to do); therefore, per the Taxing Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, it must be APPORTIONED (which it in no way is):

Article 1. Section 2. Clause 3: Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states...

Article 1. Section 9. Clause 4: No Capitation or other direct tax shall be laid unless in proportion to the Census and Enummeration herein dictated to be taken (i.e. apportionment).

Like I stated in an early post, the Supreme Court Injustices' role has officially switched from protector of the U.S. Constitution to the subverter of it. It is a sad day indeed.

I thought

that the aportionment clauses were abolished by 16th amendment.

Even if it is a tax the Congress has no right to impose it if it is intended (as it clearly is) to disparage peoples right not to buy something - and the SCOTUS clearly recognizes such a right in the ruling and even states that:
"Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals precisely because they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority. Congress already possesses expansive power to regulate what people do. Upholding the Affordable Care Act under the Commerce Clausewould give Congress the same license to regulate what people do not do. The Framers knew the difference between doing something and doing nothing. They gave Congress the power to regulate commerce, not to compel it. Ignoring that distinction would undermine the principle that the Federal Government is a government of limited andenumerated powers. The individual mandate thus cannot be sustained under Congress’s power to “regulate Commerce." (page 3)
Yet somehow the SCOTUS construe for the taxation clause the opposite that the Congress shall have right to tax the not doing nothing (the taxation clause is in the same section as the commerce clause and there is nothing in the Constitution whatsoever which would justify construing it differently or even as exact opposite.)

Indeed Supreme Court Injustices is a proper term - there is only one explicit prohibition adressed to lawyers and so to the Supreme Court in whole the Constitution, the 9th amendment, yet the injustices choose now again to ignore it, again pursuing their absolute power and on the expenses of the peoples rights.

Denise B's picture

No the 16th Amendment

did no such thing...it only purports to provide an exception to the taxing restrictions specific to the income tax, which, although most people don't realize it, the Supreme Court ruled in early cases that they were not successful...but that is another story...

Yeah you're right 16th amendment is only about fed income tax

it is even more complicated stealing scheme than the Obamacare
Larken Rose discusses it in detail:

But the point about the individual mandate is that the Congress called in the Obamacare bill the punishment for not insuring yourself indeed "penalty" not tax and it indeed is a penalty, because when you don't pay the insurance, the IRS comes for your money anyway, not giving you any insurance for it.
Next time Congress can say that you should buy only yellow cars, and if not, the IRS comes again and if you don't pay they take your red car.
It is absurd to call it tax.
It is clearly by definition a fine for not obeying their socialist policies - which is unconstitutional to impose due to 9th amendment and therefore unapplicable in court of law due to article VI second clause. I think we should insist on this and by no means legitimize the "taxation" construction after the commerce clause construction government primarily argued with to conceal the unconstitutional taxation scheme was rejected.

Denise B's picture

In fact they may

have just handed us another route in which to attack it. They have delcared it to be a tax and it is a direct tax not being implemented via the taxing restrictions spelled out in the Constitution. Maybe the states could refile their suits based on this presumption alone...

I agree

I think the states should refile it and argue that the ruling is unconstitutional under 9th amendment.
But I would be careful with the tax, because the bill in fact calls it correctly - that it is penalty - because what else it is when you don't purchase health insurance and the IRS taxes you instead without giving you any benefits of the insurance. That's clearly a punishment not a tax and any absurd and unconstitutional constructions from the poor legal firm called SCOTUS can't change it.

Denise B's picture

I agree that it is absurd

to call it a tax, but that is what they did. Can you imagine going before SCOTUS with this on the basis that it is a direct tax that is not being apportioned and they would then have to turn around and say it is not a tax....you could just read back to them their own ruling word for word that it was in fact a tax. I don't see the wiggle room there...

problem is

that some even argue with the direct tax clause in the ruling (page 4, 46), but then the court rules that the tax is not direct: "A tax on going without health insurance does not fall within any recognized category of direct tax." (page 47), so it is impossible to reintroduce the case on this base, because the decision whether it is the direct tax or not was in this ruling already judicated by SCOTUS - so they would rightfully throw any case on this basis.
You must find something else, and I think 9th amendment is a good choice which together with the fact that in the bill is actually written "penalty", not "tax" - and clearly it IS penalty not tax in meritorial sense - has the potential to completely destroy their absurd and patently unconstitutional taxation clause argumentation. They hardly can throw the case - because the individual mandate would be simply unapplicable in court of law due to art. VI until they eventually find some other absurd interpretation overcoming the 9th amendment prohibition (the 9th amendment explicitely prohibits any legal construction of enumerated rights - as is the taxation clause right of Congress - to punish somebody for exercising the rights retained by people -including the right to not purchase the health insurance) - which I think would be really hard because they already recognized the peoples right to do nothing and not pay any health insurance in this ruling. Th SCOTUS entrapped itself into its own sofismas.

I would bet

every piece of gold I own that this was all just a act so that the supposed Judges could collect more money. What better way to extort more money then to hold a bill like this on the knifes edge. Clearly the Obama constituents paid the most. Once again the supreme court proves that it is bought and paid for.


The South did not "succeed," although they did "secede." Let's do it better than they did this time.

There is no higher end than the total liberation of the human being: mind, body and spirit.

What a Wierd Looking Tax

If the court has defined ObamaCare as a tax, then are they saying that it is OK for the President to unilaterally give waivers of tax's to his donors?

Gene Louis
Supporting a Needed Tool for Government Feedback:
A Citizen-Operated Legal System.


rewrote the mandate? Isn't that Congresses job to write law, not the Supreme Court? Isn't their job to interpret the Constitution? If the 'law' was rewrote by Kennedy and all those Congress people and Obama saying it is NOT a tax prior to their voting on it, in essence, lied to the American people, shouldn't they ALL be impeached? This feels like a huge hit in the gut. Slowly they shred the Constitution before our eyes. This makes me sick.