The Waiting Game and the Pre-Emptive Freak Out

So, anything going on this week?  I’m away most of this week in Ashland, Ohio, teaching my annual summer course in the Ashbrook Center’s master’s degree program in history and government for teachers (this year on the history of American foreign policy).  Since I’m in the classroom four and a half hours every day, I’m a bit pinched for time to keep up my posts here.

What’s that?  The Supreme Court?  You don’t say.  The chalk line continues to be that the Court will strike down the individual mandate, but leave the rest of the law intact.  While it would be a victory to rediscover some limit to the power of the federal government through the Commerce Clause, it will leave behind a political and policy mess, as Edmund Wright explains over at

Separate from the mandate, the rest of the bill is awful.  It is unworkable, and it hands over our collective futures with respect to life and death to an army of bureaucrats whom we did not elect, cannot defeat, and will never see.  In fact, it is elsewhere in the bill — not in the mandate — where the Sarah Palin “death panels” reside.  When you think it through to its unavoidable conclusion, the entire bill is signing us all up for a ride on the death panel train eventually, and this has nothing to do with the mandate per se.

Why might the Court strike down the whole thing?  Because Obamacare will keep coming back to them in successive cases if they don’t.  My old pal Jonathan Adler and Michael Cannon explained the problem in USA Today yesterday.  The biggest legal vulnerability involves the state insurance exchanges Obamacare mandated (but which many states may decline to set up) is ripe for legal challenge.  Read the whole thing for the reasons why, which are difficult to summarize briefly.  This point wasn’t argued in the current case.

Meanwhile, I predicted some months ago that if Obamacare went down, the Left would revive FDR’s court-packing scheme.  They’re not even waiting for the decision.  The pre-emptive freakout is fun to watch.  Jonathan Turley argued a few days ago that the Supreme Court should be expanded to 19 justices.  James Fallows is wringing has hands over what he initially called a “coup” (he later changed the headline after the sober adults at The took the tin foil off his head).  But there’s no denying that the Left is lost in “coup-coup” land over this.

Meanwhile, mark your calendar for Thursday, not merely for the final Obamacare ruling, but because I’ll be guest-hosting Bill Bennett’s “Morning in America” radio show again from 6 – 9 am.  I’ll have a post up tomorrow with the guest line up, but you already know one of the topics for discussion.


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