Well, SCOTUS made its big ruling today, and the key point of contention — the individual mandate — was upheld. I haven’t read the opinions yet, but it seems the IM was ruled not to be permissible under the Commerce Clause, which was what pretty much everyone thought the decision would hinge on, but was declared nevertheless to be constitutional under Congress’s power to tax, presumably under the General Welfare Clause.
I suppose come conservatives will look for positive spin in the Court’s limitations of the Commerce Clause, but there isn’t much to be happy about there. Congress may not be able to force you to buy broccoli on Commerce Clause grounds, but it now seems it can single you out for a $50,000 tax if you don’t. Any hopes that any of us may have had about this still being a limited government of carefully enumerated powers can now be abandoned.
So, it’s a happy day in the White House (tempered, perhaps, by the fact that the President repeatedly insisted that the individual mandate was NOT a tax, and in weeks and months to come tempered perhaps by the effect of this news on the economy).
If you thought this election campaign was already bitter and highly polarized, you ain’t seen nothing yet. But I suppose this decision would have had that effect no matter which way it had gone.
More, perhaps, later, after I’ve had a chance to read the opinions.