The Affordable Health Care Act

by Bob Murl Bearden
Wm. Hennessy Jr./

The Supreme Court will soon decide the constitutionality of the Affordable Health Care Act, ObamaCare if you will. The question is whether they will go by the constitution or whether they will, as they have so many times recently reach a divided ruling by strict ideological lines and strike down either all or part of the law based on their political leanings.

The Roberts Court is the most politicalized court we have ever had. They have rendered most of their landmark decisions based upon strict political ideology and nothing else. Conservatives on the right have long decried judicial activism of what they have perceived as left leaning judges throughout the federal judiciary, since the landmark decision by the Warren Court in 1954 to (by unanimous decision) strike down the separate but equal school and desegregate our schools.

Earl Warren a republican when he came to the court, appointed by Dwight Eisenhower, as Chief Justice, was vilified by the right-wing and he along with the court he lead was branded as liberal. The Warren Court issued a number of landmark decisions including upholding the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act passed into law by Lyndon Johnson and a congress that included a large number of republicans who voted for both Acts.

The Warren Court was accused of strict left-wing ideology, despite the fact that many member so congress from the Republican side of the isle were supporters of the court’s major decisions. But, beginning in the early 70’s those on the right had become so rabidly anti-social because of the gains of the Civil Rights Movement that they formed a group whose sole purpose was to stack the supreme court with right-wing ideologues.

It took them a couple of decades to succeed in their purpose but today’s court is the result. Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito, Jr. are the end result of their quest to stack the court with political animals whose purpose is to strike down every progressive social reform enacted by past courts over the last 50 plus years. Justices Roberts and Kennedy while not as vocerfiously right-wing as Scalia, Thomas or Alito are sufficiently right leaning as to make the court exactly into what deeply right conservatives have long envisioned.

How they will rule on the health care issue is still not known, but if they strike down all or parts of the act it will have a far-reaching, long-lasting effect upon our nation and its citizens.

Is the act unconstitutional? There are wide variances of opinions from constitutional scholars on this, but when you look at laws that were enacted in the past that included mandates you would be of the opinion that the Affordable Health Care Act’s individual mandate passes the muster of constitutionality, It also passes muster under the commerce clause that is often what justices use to see whether a law passes the constitutional muster.

In the final analysis it will come down to whether or not Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy agree. If they agree that ObamaCare meets the requirement of constitutionality, then you will see a 6 – 3 decision to uphold the law. If they go with the ‘dirty three’ Alito, Scalia and Thomas then the Affordable Health Care Act will be struck down, either in part or in its entirety by another ideological lines vote of 5-4!

Whichever way it plays out this decision will define the Roberts Court for all time. Chief Justice Roberts will either go down in history as one of the worst Chief Justice’s ever or be remembered as a Chief Justice who when the chips were down stepped up and did the right thing and redeemed himself as a person who saw the welfare of the nation as more important than his own ideology. We can only hope he will rise above politics and do the right thing.” —– Bob Bearden


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