Obamacare Ruled Constitutional by Supreme Court; Sorry, Pam Bondi

Categories: Politicks
pambondi200.jpg
Pam Bondi's challenge is shot down by the court
In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court has upheld President Obama's health-care mandate, with Chief Justice John Roberts casting the surprising, deciding vote that the sweeping reform is constitutional. The ruling is a blow to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who spearheaded the first national court challenge to Obama's legislation.

The ruling is complex -- for instance, the court has ruled that the feds can't withhold Medicaid money from states that don't comply with the plan -- but here's the root of the decision: The Affordable Care Act, as the legislation is officially known, is constitutional.

Justices Ginsberg, Sotomayor, Breyer, and Kagan wrote an opinion joined by Roberts that the act is constitutional as a form of tax.

Here's how the Scotusblog explains the ruling "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.
In other words: The ruling is a big victory for Obama and a big loss for Republicans like Bondi who challenged the law.

We'll continue updating this post as more information comes to light on what the Supreme Court's decision means for Florida.

Update: CNN -- and the Miami Herald's Twitter feed by extension -- got the ruling wrong in the moments after it was released. Here's the Herald's first tweet on the decision:

Followed quickly by some backtracking:

Finally followed by the correct report:

The lesson being: Follow Scotusblog, not CNN.

Update 2: For the serious policy nerds out there, the New York Times has uploaded the court's full decision. It's 193 pages long, so let's hope you have a long lunch break to peruse it. Check it out in full here.  

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12 comments
David Kearns
David Kearns

Should the governor fail to impliment federal law in his state he becomes a lawbreaker. This is grounds for immediate impeachment. Which should have happened as soon as we discovered the rigged election which brought him into office, and should have happened when he destroyed public records, and should have happened when he attempted to intimidate and confuse voters toward their disenfranchisement - doubly so in that he broke civil righs laws in descriminating based on race. If the governor doesn't want to implement federal law he should be impeached for breaking federal law. The U.S. Department of Justice should intervene of course. If he and all those following him won't vacate their positions, I should think the National Guard would do just fine to come in and physically remove him. We must insist that laws are enforced. A law unenforced is no law at all.

Brandt Hardin
Brandt Hardin

  Republicans would have us believe this is bad for America.  Is there any doubt that a Romney administration would favor the rich and increase the income gap in our country while leaving millions of our citizens uninsured and unprotected?  Mitt is a pariah in Mormon Clothing and will stop at nothing to expand an empire of greed for the rich in this country.  Can his sacred Mormon underwear gain him enough donations to buy this election?  See for yourself as Mitt dons his tighty-whities sent from the Good Lord Himself at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/05/mitt-romneys-magic-mormon-underwear.html

KaeiserLaw
KaeiserLaw

If this was a tax, then so was Romney's Massachussetts plan.

JDE
JDE

Unconstitutional under the commerce clause which is a good thing but constitutional as a tax.  It sounds like Roberts is punting back to the people and to the congress.  Now that this is a tax, the republicans will be fired up to paint this as the largest tax increase while airing ads where Obama states the mandate is NOT a tax.  Democrats better do some damage control in this department.  

Blackpanther
Blackpanther

Love how the Herald calls its mistake "conflicting reports." 

Neil Fritz
Neil Fritz

I think John Roberts may have just joined John Marshall in the history of this nation.  Long live the USA! 

Neil Fritz
Neil Fritz

Surprising?  Beyond belief! I think John Roberts may have just joined John Marshall in the history of this nation.  Long live the USA!

Natalie
Natalie

Too bad for anti-American GOP scum like Bondi, Bohner, and all of their women-hating, moral-bating, bible-thumping suppository visions of their America. Kock brothers and that despicable prick Adleson included. 

KaeiserLaw
KaeiserLaw

I wonder how much of our money the Republicans in charge of our state wasted on legal fees in this unsuccessful attack.

JDE
JDE

Yep.. and the people responded by voting for Scott Brown!

Drake Mallard
Drake Mallard

 How come Politician complain about obama health care when taxpayers are paying for there family socialized medicine?

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