Patterico's Pontifications


Breaking: The Thing All Us Lawyers Agreed Would Happen Has Happened

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:06 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing. Follow me by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

That thing being the Supreme Court deciding to review Obamacare. This means the Supreme Court could render its verdict on the law months before the election.

Which raises the question: how would that influence the outcome of the election? For instance, if it is struck down, doesn’t that take away one argument for throwing Obama and the Democrats out of office? Or will the implied condemnation that they have been found to have violated the Constitution drive the debate? Or even simply the fact that they wasted so much time on something they didn’t finally get?

And of course in the opposite scenario—that the law is upheld—doesn’t this add to the need to remove them from office?

And there are also scenarios in between. For instance, what happens if the mandate is the only part that is struck down, leaving in other parts such as the pre-existing condition rule? The Obama administration itself has admitted that if you don’t have a mandate, a rule like the pre-existing condition rule will actually bankrupt the insurance industry. So in that scenario, Congress would have to immediately swing into action and solve this problem, creating the possibility of another legislative showdown. I am hopeful that the Court will decide that the law is non-severable, but there is no guarantee on this point.

So, stay tuned. I haven’t been following every decision in the circuits since we got a split among them, but you can be sure we will be following oral arguments, etc.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Shocking News Disseminated

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:11 am

I’m afraid I have some rather shocking news for you. I want you to sit down first. Are you sitting? Yes? Good.

Remember that Congressional committee charged with figuring out how to reduce the deficit? Well, it turns out they’re looking to delay the tough decisions until next year:

With a little over a week left to reach a deal, members of the Congressional deficit reduction panel are looking for an escape hatch that would let them strike an accord on revenue levels but delay until next year tough decisions about exactly how to raise taxes.

About “how” to raise taxes.

Under this approach, the panel would decide on the amount of new revenue to be raised but would leave it to the tax-writing committees of Congress to fill in details next year, well beyond the Nov. 23 deadline for the panel itself to reach an agreement. That would put off painful political decisions but ensure that the debate over deficit reduction stretched into the election year.

Looks like Mr. Aloof remains mostly aloof:

President Obama, who has kept his distance from the deficit reduction panel, called the co-chairmen on Friday and urged them to reach a deal. He said he would not accept legislation overriding the cuts that would occur automatically if the panel fails.

So how will our taxes be raised?

Republicans said their latest proposal would raise $300 billion by limiting deductions and other tax breaks that primarily benefit higher-income households.

“We would structure it so the top two brackets pay $250 billion more than they’re paying today,” a Republican Congressional aide said.

The story goes on for paragraph after paragraph about all the discussions the deficit-reduction panel is having about raising taxes: how much will taxes be raised; how will they be raised; who will pay more after they’re raised; etc.

There is hardly a word about cutting spending. Just one quote from Joe Lieberman at the end that brings to mind the term “lip service.”

Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue start reading the news again.

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