To summarize: Ken Cuccinelli, Attorney General for Virginia, requested that the US Supreme Court expedite its presumed-inevitable review of the Virginia Obamacare suit currently wending its way through the lower courts (this is the suit that found the individual mandate both unconstitutional, and severable, from the rest of Obamacare*). The court has declined to do so; which means that the issue will probably not be actually addressed until the summer of 2012. This decision is of note for two reasons:
- The eventual Supreme Court decision will be – no matter what it actually is – a burning issue in the 2012 Presidential election. The White House apparently thinks that this will end up helping the President; to which I respond that the White House should stop and think about its to-date track record when it comes to predicting popular opinion. Or, more accurately, that it should not, as so far said track record has been very helpful for the Republican party.
- Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan apparently did not recuse herself from this particular situation – this, despite evidence that suggests that she should recuse herself, given her possible involvement in the Department of Justice’s original plans to challenge Obamacare (remember, Kagan at that time was Solicitor General). There was a FOIA request made on these issues; it may not be wise for the White House to let that go unfilled until the summer of 2012, too.
Personally, I can’t say that I can blame the Supreme Court for not wanting to be sucked in prematurely to the issue of Obamacare; it’s bad enough that they’re already expected to at least ameliorate Pelosi, Reid, and Obama’s incompetence on full, malignant display with regard to this abomination. Personally, I would have preferred that the Democrats had never put the Supreme Court in this position in the first place; then again, I would have also preferred that the Democratic leadership had stayed away from ‘fixing’ health care and instead stuck to things more suited to their intellectual capacity, like passing resolutions honoring National Rutabaga Day.
But that’s just me.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*The Florida decision was the one that declared the individual mandate unconstitutional and not severable from the rest of Obamacare (thus making the whole thing unconstitutional, too).