Monday, November 14, 2011
The Supreme Court has granted certiorari to one of the challenges to ObamaCare which means that a decision one way or the other on the constitutionality of the individual mandate will be issued by the Court in June of next year. Conveniently, the Republican presidential primaries will be wrapping up at the same time and President Obama will begin debating the presumptive Republican nominee. While Obama is wishing he could talk about something else, next year's debate will be centered on Obama's obsession with heath care reform amidst a failing economy and rising unemployment.
All of this is bad news for President Obama. While he may have the bully pulpit, the President has no authority in the deliberations of the Supreme Court or in the process of amending the Constitution. The only influence the President has in the former is the appointment of justices. In this, his nomination of former Solicitor General Elena Kagan may come back to haunt him during the general election as her position on ObamaCare prior to its enactment is re-examined by the public after the Court's decision in June.
We cannot know how the Court will decide the case, but in some respects, it doesn't even matter which way the Court rules. The magnitude of public opinion against the ObamaCare individual mandate is overwhelming. In addition to the 28 states that have sought to challenge the law in the courts, 18 states--including, most recently, the key presidential battleground of Ohio--have enacted laws which oppose some element of ObamaCare, and no less than 45 states have proposed similar legislation.
The only states which have not mounted any challenge whatsoever to ObamaCare are the coastal liberal strongholds of California, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Predictably, the District of Columbia also has no objections to the individual mandate. With numbers like these, the states are in a position to amend the Constitution regardless of how the Supreme Court rules. History has shown that even the threat of an Article V convention has usually been sufficient to pressure Congress to respond to the will of the people.
President Obama entered office with no real leadership experience and an ideological obsession with reshaping the very essence of American life. Ironically, Obama's allies in Congress and the media who proclaimed the "historic" achievement of health care reform will be proven correct, although not in the way they had hoped. The combination of incompetence and hubris that came together in the failed ObamaCare legislation will be remembered forever as the centerpiece of Obama's failed presidency.