Can we stop pretending the Obamacare decision is in doubt?
It’s a wonderful chance for theater, including requests to put the arguments on teevee for the first time, and there’s a lot of public angst and debate, but I reckon we all know, in our heart of hearts, how it’ll come down. The Court will listen to hours of legalisms, will deliberate long enough to get everybody on the edges of their seats, and then will issue a multipage opinion with multipage dissents attached, all of which will be an attempt to obfuscate the plain conclusion: Of course we can do that! We’re the Government!
If I were privileged to present anything before the Supremes, I would ask them to help me out. Here’s the deal: I would like to do something that isn’t subject to regulation by the Congress and/or the Executive agencies to which the Congress has delegated its powers. Never mind why; think of it as a hobby or an idle entertainment. Here in Texas, there are people who have a lot of fun trying to visit all the County Courthouses — there’s no real point to it, but they find it enjoyable. Same here — I’d just like to check that box on my bucket list.
So, Mr. Roberts, what might that be? Consult your colleagues as necessary. There are some things that can be eliminated a priori. I can’t buy anything, because that’s commerce and under present doctrine all commerce is “Interstate” and subject to regulation. I also can’t refrain from buying anything I don’t want, because that, too, “affects interstate commerce” and is thus subject to regulation. Can I breathe? Well, as far as I can tell I can inhale, but if I exhale I emit carbon dioxide, which the Court has ruled can be regulated (under what pretext I don’t pretend to understand). Anything else? Bueller?