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CONSTITUTIONALACCOUNTABILITYCENTER AFFORDABLECAREACTCLIPS MARCH1529,2012

VIDEO
1. Legalchallengesforhealthcarecase,SpecialReportwithBretBaier,FOXNewsChannel,March 23,2012:http://www.foxnews.com/onair/specialreport/index.html#/v/1526975559001/legal challengesforhealthcarecase/?playlist_id=86927 2. SupremeCourttotacklehealthcare,CNN,March23,20121,2: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2012/03/23/pkgbolduanhealthcarescotus.cnn (CACat01:3301:39) 3. Postargumentbriefing,CSPAN,March26,2012:http://www.theusconstitution.org/news/tvcacs elizabethwydrasupremecourtacaday1 4. Wydra:SCOTUSMustUpholdObamaCare,FOXBusinessChannel,March26,2012: http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/1531079310001/wydrascotusmustupholdobamacare/ 5. WhytheIndividualMandateisReasonable,FOXBusinessChannel,March27,2012: http://video.foxsmallbusinesscenter.com/v/1532793920001/whytheindividualmandateis reasonable/?playlist_id=87185 6. NewsNationwithTamronHall,MSNBC,March27,2012: video.msnbc.msn.com/newsnation/46870818/ 7. SupremeCourtHealthCareLaw:JusticesComeDownHardOnTheMandate,HuffingtonPost, March27,2012:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/27/supremecourthealth care_n_1373469.html(CACat20:1022:15) 8. NFIB:ThrowOutHealthCareLaw,FOXBusinessChannel,March28,2012: http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/1534926574001/nfibthrowouthealthcarelaw(CACat00:36 01:09) 9. SupremeCourtHearsArgumentsOverHealthCareBill'sFuture,NY1(NewYorkOne),March28, 2012:http://www.ny1.com/content/news_beats/political_news/158392/supremecourthears argumentsoverhealthcarebillsfuture(CACat01:2601:40)

PerLexis,thisclipwasinCNNsrotationatleastsixtimes:1.CNNNEWSROOM6:00PMEST,March25,2012 Sunday;2.CNN,THESITUATIONROOM6:00PMEST,March24,2012Saturday;3.CNNNEWSROOM3:00PMEST, March24,2012Saturday;4.CNNJOHNKING,USA6:00PMESTMarch23,2012Friday;5.CNNTHESITUATION ROOM4:00PMEST,March23,2012Friday;6.CNNNEWSROOM10:00AMEST,March23,2012Friday. 2 Alsobroadcastaspartoflocalpackageatleaston:KARE11NBC(Minneapolis/St.Paul,MN)NewsFirst5:00AM, March26,2012Monday.(Anticipateothers.)


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RADIO
1. ThomHartmannRadioShow,March26,2012:http://www.thomhartmann.com/ 2. UNeed2Know,(SouthCarolina)March26,2012: http://www.unconflictedsc.com/2012/03/roundone.html 3. KateDelaneyAmericaTonight,March26,2012:http://www.americatonight.net/ 4. "BackgroundBriefingwithIanMasters"KPFKFM,March26,2012: http://ianmasters.com/content/march26supremecourtlitigatorreportstodaysarguments advocatesinglepayeramicusbrief 5. TheBevSmithShow,March27,2012:http://www.bevsmithtalks.com/ 6. TheBobKincaidShow,March27,2012:http://headon.headonradionetwork.com/ 7. UNeed2Know,(SouthCarolina)March27,2012: http://www.unconflictedsc.com/2012/03/roundtwo.html 8. ThomHartmannRadioShow,March27,2012:http://www.thomhartmann.com/ 9. SupremeCourt'sMedicaidDecisionCouldReachFarBeyondHealthCare,NPR,March28,2012: http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=149485784&m=149 512186(LINKTOAUDIO) 10. UNeed2Know,(SouthCarolina)March28,2012: http://www.unconflictedsc.com/2012/03/roundthreerealitysetsin.html 11. TheCarlWolfsonShow,KPOJ(Portland,OR)March29,2012: http://www.620kpoj.com/pages/kpoj_mornings.html?article=9967141

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1.http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/18/nation/lanacourthealthcare20120318

SupremeCourttoweighkeyconstitutionalissueswithhealthcarelaw
Legalscholarsontherightandleftagreethecase,whichcomesbeforethecourtinaweek,is momentous.JusticeswilldecideonwhatlimittheConstitutionplacesonCongress'power.
March18,2012 LosAngelesTimes[frontpageofMonday,March19edition] ByDavidG.Savage ReportingfromWashingtonWhentheSupremeCourthearsargumentsonPresidentObama's healthcarelaw,whatwillbeatstakeisnotjustwhetherAmericanscanberequiredtohavehealth insurance,butwhethertheConstitutionputsanylimitonCongress'powertoregulatetheeconomy. Since1936,thejusticeshavenotstruckdownamajorfederalregulatorylawonthegroundsthat Congresswenttoofar.Thecourt'sforbearanceonmatterstouchingCongress'authoritytoregulate commercehasallowedWashington'spowertogrow,toprotectcivilrightsandtheenvironment,to ensuresaferautomobilesanddrugs,andtohelpboostthewagesandbenefitsofworkers. Allthewhile,however,conservativesandbusinessgroupshaveinsistedtheremustbealimit. Otherwise,theysay,anallpowerfulfederalgovernmentwouldbefreetowriteitsownrules. SuchalimitiftheConstitutionindeedsetsoneisattheheartofthehealthcarecasethatcomes beforethecourtMarch26. Legalscholarsontherightandtheleftseethecaseasmomentous. "Itgoestowhoweareasapeopleandwhatkindofgovernmentwehave,"saidIlyaShapiroofthe libertarianCatoInstitute. Thecourt"isatacrossroads,"saidDougKendall,presidentoftheprogressiveConstitutional AccountabilityCenter.Ifthecourt"strikesdownthelaw,we'rebacktotheNewDealerawitha progressivepresidentatwarwithaconservativecourt." ToPresidentObamaandtheDemocratsinCongress,theneedforthePatientProtectionandAffordable CareActwasobvious.Nearly50millionAmericanslackhealthinsurance.Whentheygotoahospital, thecostsarebornebyothers,includingthetaxpayers.Andallfacealossofinsuranceiftheyloseajob orhaveaseriousillnessorotherpreexistingcondition. Theonlywaytopreventthoseproblemswastobringeveryoneintothesystem,Obamaargued, guaranteeingcoverageforall,prohibitinginsurancecompaniesfromexcludingpeopletheydidn'twant tocoverandrequiring,inexchange,thateveryonegetinsurance.Thosewhocouldnotpaythefullcost wouldbeofferedsubsidies.

Critics,however,saythe"governmentmandate"tobuyinsurancegoestoofar.Itcrossesaline,they say,fromreasonableregulationofcommercetoadictatefromWashingtontoengageincommerce. "Thisreachesintothelivingroomofaguywhoishealthyanddoesn'twanttobuyhealthinsurance," saidPaulD.Clement,theformerGeorgeW.Bushadministrationsolicitorgeneral,whorepresents Republicanofficialsfrom26states.Hewilltrytopersuadeaconservativeleaninghighcourtthatit shouldbreakwithdecadesofprecedentandvoidtheentirelaw. TheSupremeCourt,signalingtheextraordinarynatureofthecase,agreedtohearsixhoursof argumentsoverthreedays,ratherthantheusualsinglehour.Thecourtagreedtoalsoconsider Clement'sclaimthatCongressexceededtheConstitutionwhenitpressedthestatestoexpandthe Medicaidprogram. Progressives,notsurprisingly,seethecourt'sinterventionasominous.TheysaytheConstitutioncreated anationalgovernmentto"promotethegeneralwelfare."Itdidnotauthorizethecourttovetolawsthat regulatebusinessandcommerceinthepublicinterest,theysay. Theissuealsoposesadilemmaforthecourt'sconservativemajority:Justwhattypeofconservativeare they?Dotheyseektoreimposeconservativeprinciplesonthetwoelectedbranchesofgovernmentor dotheyhewtotheideaofalimited,restrainedroleforthecourts? SinceatleasttheRonaldReaganera,conservativeshavearguedthatelectedlawmakers,notunelected judges,shoulddecidethemajorissuesofgovernment.ChiefJusticeJohnG.RobertsJr.echoedthis themewhenhetoldsenatorsduringhisconfirmationhearingsthathesawamodestroleforjudges, morelikean"umpirecallingballsandstrikes"thanastarplayer. AsconservativeJudgeLaurenceH.SilbermanoftheD.C.CircuitCourtofAppealswroteinupholdingthe healthcarelawinNovember,theConstitutionleftCongress"freetoforgenationalsolutionstonational problems." Severalotherwellknownjudicialconservativeshavetakenthesameposition,includingJ.Harvie WilkinsonIIIoftheU.S.4thCircuitCourtofAppealsinRichmond,Va.,whowroteinarecentoped articlethatitwas"temptingtoshoutstates'rightswhendeeplyflawedfederallegislationisenacted,but themomentarysatisfactionsofthatexercisecarrylongtermconstitutionalcosts." Otherconservativesargue,however,thatdeferencetotheelectedbranchesofgovernmenthasgone toofar,allowingCongressandsuccessivepresidentstoenlargethefederalrolefarbeyondwhatthe Constitutionintended. #

2.http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/760475

SupremeCourtOralArgumentsontheACA,Part1:Wheat,Guns,and Yes,HealthcareReform
March19,2012 MedscapeMedicalNews ByRobertLowes Foryears,manyphysicianshavegrousedaboutwhattheycallBigGovernmentanditsroleinhealthcare. OnMarch26,theSupremeCourtwilltakeupthatsubject,andmore,duringoralargumentsinthecase overtheconstitutionalityofhealthcarereformand,inparticular,itsrequirementthatindividualsobtain insurancecoverageorelsepayapenalty. Inlightoftheseseeminglyincongruentstances,ObamaadministrationattorneyDonaldVerrilliJr"will havetoengageinaverydelicatedance"ontheAIAquestion,saidElizabethWydra,chiefcounselfor theConstitutionalAccountabilityCenter,aprogressivethinktankandlawfirminWashington,DC. Verrilli,thegovernment'ssolicitorgeneral,"hastoarguethattheAIAdoesnotapplytothepenalty, eventhoughthemandatecanbeconsideredataxlaw,"WydratoldMedscapeMedicalNews. [snip] IftheSupremeCourtweretoagreewithLongandthrowouttheACAcasebecauseoftheAIA,the Obamaadministrationcouldcountthatasavictoryofsorts,saidWydra.Arulingthattreatsthe mandatepenaltyasatax,sheexplained,buttressestheadministration'sargumentthatthemandateis justifiedmerelyundertheconstitutionalpowerofCongresstolevytaxes.Forthatreason, "conservativesareafraidof[thepenalty]beingruledasatax." Allthepartiesinthecase,aswellasphysicians,consumers,andstatelegislatures,preferimmediate closureontheACA,however,saidWydra."They'dratherknowinJunethan3yearsfromnow." [snip] ElizabethWydrasaidsheexpectstheSupremeCourtjusticestopressadministrationattorneyDonald VerrilliaboutalimitingprincipletoitsCommerceclausetheory.However,thejusticesalsoarelikelyto challengetheattorneysfortheACAopponentsonaweaknessintheirposition,shesaid.Theyassert thattheindividualmandateerrsinregulatingcommercialinactivity,yetwheredoestheConstitution speakofactivityvsinactivity? "Thereisnotextualsupportforthat,"Wydrasaid,notingthatonefederalappellatejudgeaReagan appointeewhoruledinfavorofthemandatereachedthesameconclusion. #

3.http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/760564

SupremeCourtOralArgumentsontheACA,Part2:MedicaidOffers YouCan'tRefuse,andSeverability
March20,2012 MedscapeMedicalNews ByRobertLowes BeginningnextMonday,theSupremeCourtwillconduct3daysoforalargumentsinalandmarkcase aboutalandmarklawtheAffordableCareAct,thehotlycontestedblueprintforoverhaulingthe nation'shealthcaresystem,orlackofasystem. Thefirstday'sargumentscouldbedescribedasprecautionarydottinglegal"i's,"sotospeak.They centeronwhetherthehighcourtcanreviewtheACA'sconstitutionalitythisyear,orwhetheritmust waituntilafterthelaw'smandateforAmericanstoobtainhealthinsurancecoveragetakeseffectin 2014. [snip] ElizabethWydra,chiefcounselfortheConstitutionalAccountabilityCenter,aprogressivethinktank andlawfirminWashington,DC,believestheObamaadministrationenjoystheupperhandonthe severabilityissueintheSupremeCourtcase. "There'sastrongpresumptioninthecourtthatcongressionalargumentsareconstitutional,"said Wydra,echoingFarr."It'snotthecourt'sbusinesstorewritelegislation. "Ifthecourtstruckdownthemandate,itwouldlimittheimpactontherestofthelaw,"Wydra predicted. ACaseAboutCongressionalPower,NotHealthcare Duringtheoralargumentsonseverability,WydraexpectstheSupremeCourtjusticestoquestionthe partiescarefullyabouthowtheACAisstructuredandhowitisintendedtowork.However,thejudges willhavemorethanhealthcarepolicyontheirminds. Thequestions"areaboutunderstandingthelawandidentifyingwhatisseverableratherthanjudgingits wisdom,"saidWydra. [snip] #

4.http://www.businessweek.com/news/20120320/insurersatriskinchallengetohealthcarelaws medicaidplan

InsurersatRiskinChallengetoHealthLawsMedicaidPlan
March20,2012 Bloomberg/BusinessWeek ByAmandaJ.Crawford ASupremeCourtdecisionstrikingdowntheU.S.healthcarelawsexpansionofMedicaidmightexpose environmentalandeducationallawstolegalchallengeswhilehurtingstocksthatsurgedanticipating morethan$600billioninnewspendingoverthenextdecade. InthecaseagainstPresidentBarackObamashealthsystemoverhaul,tobeheardbyjusticesMarch26 28,26statesarguetheplantocover17millionuninsuredAmericansbyexpandingthecareprogramfor thepoorisunconstitutionaleventhoughthefederalgovernmentwouldpickupmostofthetab. Thechallengetotheprogramsexpansionhasreceivedlessattentionthanthedisputeoverthe requirementthatallAmericanscarryhealthinsuranceorfacetaxpenalties.Whilealowercourtupheld theMedicaidplanevenasitstruckdowntheindividualmandate,reversalmightchangetheprogramfor goodandalsoexposelawssuchastheCleanAirActtotheNoChildLeftBehindeducationlawtojudicial challenge. Iftheybuythemorefundamentalclaimbystatesthatthisiscoercive,notonlywouldthatcastdoubt ontheconstitutionalityofMedicaidasweknowit,itwouldalsocastdoubtonahugenumberofother spendingprograms,saidI.GlennCohen,anassistantprofessoratHarvardLawSchoolwhowroteabout thecaseintheNewEnglandJournalofMedicine. ManagedCareCompanies ManagedcarecompanieswithlargeMedicaidbusinesses,suchasCenteneCorp.(CNC)ofSt.Louis, Missouri,haveseentheirstockpricesmorethandoublesinceMarch2010ontheexpectationthat stateswithrisingcaseloadswillturntothemtohelpcontrolprogramspending.Anadversedecision mightaffectthosegainswhilealsohurtinghospitals,nursinghomesandotherhealthproviders. ThedecisionbytheSupremeCourttoreviewtheconstitutionalityoftheMedicaidexpansioncameas asurprise,saidElizabethWydra,chiefcounselfortheWashingtonbasedConstitutionalAccountability Center,whorepresentsstatelawmakerssupportingthehealthcarelaw.Itwasupheldbythe11th CircuitCourtofAppeals. TheMedicaidexpansionissueistherealsleeperissueofthehealthcarechallenge,Wydrasaidina telephoneinterview.ThestatesargumentshavethepotentialtoopenPandorasBox.Whilethey onlywanttolimittheirargumentheretoMedicaidexpansionintheAffordableCareAct,Ithinkthe consequencesoftheirargumentaremuchmoreextremethanthat. $627Billion

TheCongressionalBudgetOfficeprojectsthattheexpansionofMedicaidsettotakeeffectin2014will leadto$627billioninnewfederalspendingoverthenext10years. Itissignificantlymorerevenuethaniscurrentlyinthesystemrightnow,saidMattBarry,healthcare analystteamleaderforBloombergGovernmentandauthorofanewstudythatlooksattheimpacton businessesinstatespressingthecourtchallengeiftheMedicaidexpansionishalted.IftheAffordable CareActisstruckdown,whichincludestheMedicaidexpansion,thenthereisgoingtobealostbusiness opportunityformanagedcarecompanies,hospitals,nursinghomesandotherproviders. Morethan$207billioninnewfederalspendingfrom20142018,slightlymorethanhalfofthetotal nationwide,willgotostatesthathavechallengedthehealthcarelaw,theBGOVstudyfound.Fiveof thestatesTexas,Florida,Pennsylvania,OhioandGeorgiaaccountformorethanhalfofthat spending. MosttoGain ManagedcareprovidershavethemosttogainintheexpansionandtoloseiftheSupremeCourt stopsit.Inthelitigantstates,thosehealthinsurersareexpectedtogain$46billioninthefirstfiveyears oftheexpansion.Investmentsthathaveoccurredinpreparationforthenewlaw,suchasMolina Healthcare(MOH)Inc.s$135millionacquisitionofUnisysCorporation(UIS)shealthinformation managementbusinessin2010,maynolongermakefinancialsenseifitisstruckdown,accordingtothe BGOVstudy. SinceMarch1,2010,sharesofCentenehavesurged146percent;WellcareHealthPlansinc.ofTampa, Florida,jumped145percent;AmerigroupCorp.(AGP)ofVirginiaBeach,Virginia,increased134percent; andMolinaHealthcareofLongBeach,California,rose122percent. Theyarethemostvulnerable,PaulHeldman,seniorhealthpolicyanalystforPotomacResearchGroup inWashington,saidinatelephoneinterview.IftheSupremeCourthaltedthenewspending,itwould beabigsurprisetoWallStreet. HealthProviders Hospitals,nursinghomesandotherprovidersalsoareexpectedtobehelpedbytheMedicaid expansion.Dependingonhowthecourtrules,adecisionagainsttheexpansioncouldbeadouble whammyifreductionsinMedicaidandMedicarepaymentsandothercutsthatarepartofthelaware leftintact,Heldmansaid. ThefederalgovernmentsaysstatesparticipationinMedicaidisvoluntaryiftheydontlikethe requirementstoexpandcoveragetheycanoptoutofMedicaidaltogether.Thestatesarguethatthe federalgovernmentismakingstatesanoffertheycouldnotrefuseandthatdroppingoutofthe programthatisinplaceinall50statesandlosingfederalfundingtheynowgetisnotpractical.Theyare beingcoercedtoaccedetoonerousnewfederaldemandsthatwillleadtosignificantoutlaysofstate cash,theysay. TheU.S.wouldpaythefullcostoftheMedicaidexpansioninthefirsttwoyears,asharethatwould declinegraduallyto90percentin2020andthereafter.Still,Florida,whichisleadingthestates challengetothelaw,estimatesitsshareofMedicaidspendingwillincreaseby$1billionannuallybythe 8

endofthedecade.Otherstates,suchasNewHampshire,havesaidtheywillsavemoneyunderthenew law. FiscallyUnreasonable DougHoltzEakin,presidentoftheAmericanActionForumandformerdirectoroftheCBO,thinksthe federalgovernmentsdemandsonthestatesarefiscallyunreasonablebuthedoesntbelievejustices willstrikedowntheMedicaidexpansioneventhoughhehasjoinedothereconomistsinurgingthem todoso. Iftheydid,therulingwouldbeveryimportantandwouldchangedramaticallythefederalstate relationships,hesaid. Attheleast,arulingagainsttheAffordableCareActmightleaveMedicaidasitexiststoday.Itcouldalso providethepoliticalpushtodowhatHoltzEakinandmanyRepublicanshavecalledfor:significant changestohealthcarefundingthatgivestatesmoreflexibilityandcontaincosts. Thisisanenormousfiscalandregulatoryinitiativeandhasenormousimplicationsforallthe participantsinthehealthcaresectors,HoltzEakinsaid.Whichwaythewindsblowonthismattersa lot. #

5.http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/lanacourtleave20120321,0,7754047.story

SupremeCourtvoidspartofmedicalleaveact
TheSupremeCourtrules5to4thatstateworkerswhoaredeniedunpaidsickleave,asrequired bytheFamilyandMedicalLeaveActof1993,cannotsuethestates.
March20,2012 LosAngelesTimes ByDavidG.Savage Stateworkerswhoaredeniedunpaidsickleaverequiredbyfederallawcannotsuethestates,the SupremeCourtsaidinavictoryforstates'rightsthatsomeliberaladvocatessawasabadomenfor PresidentObama'shealthcarelaw. The54decisionisasetbackformillionsofemployeesofstateagenciesandstatecolleges,anditvoided inpartaprovisionintheFamilyandMedicalLeaveActof1993.Amongotherthingstheactsaidthat employeeshadarighttotakeupto12weeksofunpaidleavetorecoverfromanillnessorchildbirth. Therightsofemployeesofprivatecompaniesareunchangedbytheruling. Inthiscase,DanielColemanwasfiredfromhisjobwiththeMarylandCourtofAppealsafterhisrequest forsickleavewasdenied.Hesuedfor$1.1millionindamages,allegingthathisrightswereviolated underthefederalFamilyandMedicalLeaveAct. TheNationalPartnershipforWomenandFamiliescondemnedthehighcourt'sdecisionas"appalling anddangerous."It"effectivelyputsstateworkersandtheirfamiliesatriskwhenworkersbecome pregnantorillnessstrikes,"saidDebraNess,thegroup'spresident. Thecourt'smajorityminimizedtheeffects,however,notingthatmoststateandlocalemployeesare givensomepaidsickleave. Themedicalleaveactalsoprovidesforunpaidleavetodealwithafamilymedicalemergency,butin Tuesday'sdecision,thecourt'sconservativemajorityfocusedonthepersonalmedicalleaveprovision. Itsaidlawsuitsbystateemployeespermittedunderthelawwouldviolatetheconstitutionalrulethat the"states,assovereigns,areimmunefromsuitsfordamages."Useofthisrule,whichwasdevisedby theRehnquistcourtinthemid1990s,hadrecededinrecentyears.ItreappearsintheopinionbyJustice AnthonyM.Kennedy,justdaysbeforethecourthearsthe26statechallengetoObama'shealthcare law. OnMarch28,onthethirddayoforalargumentsondifferentaspectsofthehealthcarelaw,lawyersfor FloridaandotherstateswillmaketheircasethattheplannedexpansionoftheMedicaidprogramfor lowincomepeopleviolatesstates'rightsbecauseitputsanundueburdenonthestates. Thatwastheargumentthatprevailedinthesickleavecase.DougKendall,presidentoftheliberal ConstitutionalAccountabilityCenter,notedthesimilarityandsaidthatthe"majority'sfailuretogive duedeferencetoCongress'expressconstitutionalpowersistroubling." 10

JusticeRuthBaderGinsburgdeliveredherdissentinthecourtroom.ShesaidCongresshaddecidedthat "thebestwaytoprotectwomenagainstlosingtheirjobsbecauseofpregnancyorchildbirth"wastogive themarighttotakeunpaidsickleavefor12weeks.Thelawgaveequalrightstomen,shesaid. GinsburgnotedthattheLaborDepartmentcouldstillsuestateagenciesthatrepeatedlyviolatedits provisions.Butthecourt'srulingbarssuitsfromindividualemployeesiftheyarefiredforhavingtaken anextendedpersonalmedicalleave.Theycansueiftheyarefiredfortakingfamilyleave. TheConstitutionmakesnomentionofstateshavinga"sovereignimmunity"iftheyviolatefederallaws, buttheRehnquistcourtsaiditwasanimplicitprincipledatingtothe18thcentury.Beginningin1996, thecourthandeddownaseriesof54decisionsthatshieldedstatesfromvariousfederallaws. Butin2003,tothesurpriseofmany,ChiefJusticeWilliamH.Rehnquistwrotea63decisionupholding theFamilyandMedicalLeaveActasitappliestofamilybutnotpersonalleave.Hereasonedthat Congresshadactedtoendsexdiscriminationagainstfemaleworkers,whobecauseofpregnancyleave weremorelikelytolosetheirjobs.ThethreedissenterswereJusticesAntonioScalia,ClarenceThomas andKennedy. TheissuereturnedwiththeColemancase. Kennedy,inthemajorityopinion,dismissedthesuitandsaidthatCongresscouldnotsubjectstatesto suitsoverpersonalsickleavebecauseithadnothingtodowithremedyingapatternofsex discrimination.ChiefJusticeJohnG.RobertsJr.andJusticeSamuelA.AlitoJr.agreedandwerejoinedby ThomasandScalia. #

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6.http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2012/0320/DoesSupremeCourtdecisiononsickleave hintathealthcarelawruling

DoesSupremeCourtdecisiononsickleavehintathealthcarelaw ruling?
ThesickleaveprovisionandhealthcarelawrelyondifferentsectionsoftheConstitution,but SupremeCourtwatchersnotedwithinterestthatthejusticesfoundCongresshadoverstepped itsauthority.
March20,2012 ChristianScienceMonitor ByWarrenRichey WASHINGTONTheUSSupremeCourtruledTuesdaythatCongressoversteppeditsauthorityinpassing afederallawthatauthorizedstateemployeestosuetheirstateemployerforsickleave. Inadecisionthatsharplydividedthecourt,afourjusticepluralitysaidTuesdaythatfederallawmakers hadfailedtoidentifyenoughevidenceofdiscriminationtojustifyakeypartofthe1993Familyand MedicalLeaveAct(FMLA). ThecaseisColemanv.CourtofAppealsofMaryland(101016). Inall,fivejusticesagreedwiththeoutcome,sidingwiththeStateofMarylandandagainstanemployee whosoughttosuethestatefordamagesoverMarylandsrefusaltograntunpaidsicktimeunderthe federallaw. HowmuchdoyouknowabouttheUSConstitution?Aquiz. ThedecisioncomesaweekbeforethehighcourtissettohearoralargumentsoverwhetherCongress oversteppeditsauthoritywhenitpassedthePatientProtectionandAffordableCareAct. Whilethehealthcarelawandfamilyleaveactareauthorizedunderdifferentsectionsofthe Constitution,manylegalanalystsarequestioningwhetherthecourtsconservativewinghasthe stomachtoinvalidateanactofCongresswidelyviewedasPresidentObamasmostsignificantdomestic policyachievement. TheFMLAdecisionwasauthoredbyJusticeAnthonyKennedy,whoisconsideredbymanyanalystsas theconservativejusticemostlikelytojointhecourtsliberalwinginupholdingtheAffordableCareAct. OnTuesday,JusticeKennedysidedwiththeconservatives. Itwasadevelopmentthatdidnotgounnoted. Onthecuspofthehistoricargumentonthepowersofthefederalgovernmentinhealthcare,and withchallengestotheVotingRightsActhurtlingtowardsthecourt,theColemanmajoritysfailureto giveduedeferencetoCongressexpressconstitutionalpowersistroubling,DougKendall,president oftheliberalConstitutionalAccountabilityCenter,saidinastatement. 12

ThedecisionleavesFMLAinplace,butundercutsanemployeesabilitytosuehisorheremployerfor damageswhentheemployerisastategovernment. ThekeyquestioninthecasewaswhetherCongresshadidentifiedasignificantpatternofdiscrimination thatitwasseekingtorectifyviaFMLAsselfcareprovision. MarylandofficialsarguedthatCongressfailedtofollowtheproperconstitutionalprocedureswhenit enactedthefederalleavelaw. FivemembersofthecourtagreedwithMarylandthatCongressexceededitsauthorityinpassingthe selfcareprovision. #

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7.http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/23/politics/scotushealthcarepreview3

Justicestotackleepicdebateoverconstitutionalityofhealthcare reform
[March23,2012]updatedMarch25,2012 ByBillMears CNN.com(printstoryaccompaniesvideoabove) Washington(CNN)MostofusgoaboutourdailybusinessneverthinkingabouttheU.S.Supreme Courtorthecasesitdecides.Butsometimes,itgetsacasesobigandcouldaffectyourlifesomuch yousimplyhavetotakenotice.Thisweekisoneofthosetimes. Thehighestcourtinthelandispreparingtotackleperhapsthemostimportantappealstoreachitin morethanadecade:themassivehealthcarereformlegislationchampionedbyPresidentBarack Obama. Thecourtwillsoonhearsixhoursoforalargumentsoverthreedaysonthelaw'sconstitutionalityand yourhealthandyourfinancescouldbeontheline.Theireventualrulingsinanelectionyearwillnot onlyguidehoweveryAmericanreceivesmedicalcarebutwouldalsoestablishprecedentsetting boundariesofgovernmentregulationoverarangeofsocialareas. "Theimplicationsinthehealthcarelitigationareimpossibletooverstate,"saidThomasGoldstein,a prominentWashingtonattorneyandpublisherofSCOTUSblog.com."Ithastremendousconsequences forPresidentObama'sreelectionbecauseit'sasignatureachievement.Butintermsoflaw,thiscaseis reallygoingtodecidehowmuchpowerCongresshastoregulatespheresthatwe'veoftenthoughtofas thejobsofthestatesorofjustindividuals." Acenturyoffederaleffortstoofferuniversalhealthcareculminatedwiththe2010passageofthe PatientProtectionandAffordableCareAct.Aftermonthsofbareknuckledfightsoverpoliticsand policy,thelegislationsignedbyObamareached2,700pages,ninemajorsectionsand450some provisions. Thepartisandebatearoundsuchasweepingpieceoflegislationhasencompassedtraditionalhot buttontopics:abortionandcontraceptionfunding,stateandindividualrights,federaldeficits,endof lifecareandtheoveralleconomy.Thehighcourtnowgetsthefinalword. "Theseissuesarereallycentraltowhetherthefederalgovernmentcanregulateanythingitwantsto,or whethertherearesomethingsthatonlythestategovernmentscanregulate,"saidPaulClement,the attorneywhowillargueagainstthelaw,onbehalfofacoalitionof26states. OntheothersideareprogressiveswhobacktheObamaadministrationanditscongressional supporters.
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GoogleNewssearchon3/29showsatleast86reprintsofthisarticlethatincludeourquotes:http://is.gd/hAUsuf

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"Congressthoughtitnecessarytoregulatethenearly20%ofournation'seconomythatmakesupthe healthcareindustryandtomakesureinsurancecompaniesdidnotdiscriminateagainstpeoplewith preexistingconditions,forexample,"saidElizabethWydra,chiefcounselattheConstitutional AccountabilityCenter."ThatissquarelywithinCongress'authority." Debatecomesdowntofourkeyissues Despiteitscomplexity,thehighcourthasnarroweditsfocustojustfourkeyissues: One:Constitutionalityoftheindividualmandate(alsoknownasthe"minimumcoverage"requirement), thekeyfundingprovision. Two:Whethertheindividualmandateisa"tax,"therebylimitingauthorityofthecourtstoimmediately decidethemandatequestion. Three:Whetherotherpartsofthelawcansurviveifthemandateisstruckdown. Four:Federalvs.stateconflictoverexpansionofthecooperativeMedicaidprogram. Itisthe"individualmandate"thathassparkedthemostcontroversy.ItrequiresnearlyeveryAmerican topurchasesomelevelofinsuranceorfaceataxpenaltyofuptoabout$700ayear. Typicaloftheideologicaldivide,theopposingsidesdonotevenagreeonwhattheindividualmandate wasdesignedtoaccomplish.Supportersseeitawayofspreadinghealthcarecoststoalargerpoolof individuals,ensuringaffordable,qualitymedicalcare.Theysayregulatingcommerceandtheeconomy haslongbeenafederalprerogative. TheJusticeDepartmentwilltellthehighcourtthatsinceeveryAmericanwillneedmedicalcareatsome pointintheirlives,individualsdonot"choose"toparticipateinthehealthcaremarket.Federalofficials cite2008figuresof$43billioninuncompensatedcostsfromthemillionsofuninsuredpeoplewho receivehealthservices,coststhatareshiftedtoinsurancecompaniesandpassedontoconsumers. Butopponentsseeafundamentalconstitutionalviolation,anintrusionintocitizens'personallives, forcingAmericanstopurchaseacommercialproducttheymightnotwantorneed.Thestatesequate sucharequirementtoaburdensomeregulationof"inactivity." Onefederalappealscourthasfoundtheactunconstitutional.Twoothershavehassaiditisaproper exerciseofcongressionalmandate.Athirdcourthasruledagainstthestatesontechnicalgrounds, sayinglocalofficialslackauthoritytoevengointotocourtandarguetheindividualmandateissue. Twentyeightstatesandcountlessindividualsandgroupshavesuedtheadministration. Whatthereformisdesignedtodo Healthcarereform,atopDemocraticprioritysincetheTrumanadministration,waspassedbythe previousCongressinaseriesofclosepartylinevotes.ObamasignedtheactintolawinMarch2010. 15

Amongotherthings,themeasurewasdesignedtohelpmillionsofuninsuredandunderinsured Americansreceiveadequateandaffordablehealthcarethroughaseriesofgovernmentimposed mandatesandsubsidies.Thefederalgovernmentwilltellthecourtthat45millionAmericanslastyear lackedhealthinsurance,roughly15%ofthecountry'spopulation. Criticshaveequatedthemeasuretosocializedmedicine,fearingthatabloatedgovernment bureaucracywillresultinhighertaxesanddiminishedhealthcareservices. Opponentsderisivelylabeledthemeasure"Obamacare."Republicanleaders,whocapturedtheHouse ofRepresentativesinthe2010midtermelections,havevowedtooverturnorseverelytrimthelaw.All themajorGOPcandidatesforpresidenthaveechoedsimilarcalls,especiallyintheirTVcampaignads. Thathasconcernedsomeliberallegalanalysts. "Itseemswhattheconservativestateattorneysgeneralandthegovernorsweretryingtodowasseek adooveroftheactinthecourts,toachievewhattheycouldn'tinthelegislature.Anditreallyhas becomeabitofpoliticaltheater,"saysWydra."IftheSupremeCourtandespeciallysomeofthe conservativejusticesupholdthemandate,anddeliverthemessagetotheteapartythattheir constitutionalvisionisfundamentallyflawed,thatmakesitmuchharderforteapartycandidatesand theirsupporterstohavetheirconstitutionaltheoriestakenseriouslybytheAmericanpeople." Butthestatesworryhowfarthefederalgovernmentwouldgointhefuture,allinthenameof regulating"commerce,"ifthehighcourtfoundthelawconstitutional. "Ithinkaboutjustacoupleofyearsagowhentheautomobileindustrywassuffering,andCongresssaid: we'regoingtogivepeopleincentivestobuynewcars,"saidClement."Well,itwouldhavebeeneven moreeffectiveandevenbetterforthecarindustryifCongresshadjustsaid:ifyoumakemorethan $100,000,youneedtobuyanewcar.Theyhaven'tdonethat,maybeit'sselfrestraint,maybeit's becausethe[sweeping]powerreallydoesn'texist.That'sreallywhatthecourtisgoingtodecide." Howthejusticescouldrule Theentirecourtofninejusticeswillhearthecase,despiteseparatecallsforClarenceThomasandElena Kagantorecuse.Theywillhaveseveraloptionsbeforethemwhenissuingopinionsinthesecases. TheycouldseparatelystrikedownorupholdtheindividualmandateandMedicaidprovisionsandrule whethertheentirelawmustbescrapped.Ortheycoulddeclarealegal"timeout"concludingthe constitutionalquestionsmustbepostponeduntilthemajorprovisionsgointoeffectin2014,whenany real"harm"fromthefinancialmandateswouldpresumablybefelt. Theopportunitytoruleonalandmarkcasebringswithitprecedentsettingopportunitiestoeither expandordeflatenotonlythepowerofCongressandtheexecutivebutalsothejudiciary'sownprestige andauthority.Insomeways,itisaperilouspath,sincethecourtshaveincreasinglybecomeapolitical football. 16

"We'reinalittlebitofapoliticaldeathspiralfortheSupremeCourt,asideologuesontheleftandright attackjusticeswithwhomtheydisagree,maybedecreasingthepublic'sconfidenceintheSupreme Court,"saidScotusblog.com'sGoldstein."Andastheytakeuphealthcare,abortioncases,immigration allofthoseissuestherearegoingtobemoreexcusestoattackthejustices." Soexpectnineunelectedjudgesandthetrickyissuessuchashealthcaretheyconfronttobemajor talkingpointsinthisyear'sstateandfederalelections.Theirvotescouldultimatelydecidewhom AmericanschooseonElectionDay2012. "Ourjobonthecourtistodecideandcontrolourstress,"JusticeStephenBreyertoldCNNacoupleof yearsagowhilediscussinghowtomanagepersonallyandprofessionallythebiggest,mostpolitically explosiveSupremeCourtappeals."Keepyourselfundercontrol.Anddoyourbestonthedecision." That'swellnessadvicethatcouldservetheninememberbenchandanyonepassionatelyfolllowing thecaseinthedaystocome. #

17

8.http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0312/74429.html

Howthehealthcasewentmainstream
March25,2012 POLITICO ByJoshGerstein WhenPresidentBarackObamasignedthehealthcarebilltwoyearsago,thelegalchallengestothelaw werewidelybelittledaslongshotsatbest. ButasthecasesheadtotheSupremeCourtthisweek,whatlookedtomanylikefaroutlegalarguments toundoObamacaredontseemsozanyanymore. Ifyoudontlikeit,repealitoramendit.Butdontaskthecourtstodothejobforyou,becausethey wont,HarvardLawprofessorCharlesFried,whoservedassolicitorgeneralintheReagan administration,toldFoxNewssGretaVanSustereninApril2010. Pressedonwhetherhemightbewrong,Friedreplied:Well,IsupposeIcould.ButIlltellyouwhat,I wouldbehappytocomeonthisprogramandeatahatwhichIboughtinAustralialastmonthmadeof kangarooskin. Friedsofferwasextreme,buthisskepticismwasnt.Manylegalscholars,includingrespected conservatives,poohpoohedtheideathatthecourtsmightactuallystrikedownthelawortheindividual mandaterequiringmostAmericanstogethealthinsuranceorpayafine. YetonMonday,threedaysoforalargumentsaboutthelawbeginatthehighcourtthemosttime justiceshavedevotedtoasinglelawsince1966. Thechallengersjourneyfromthenearfringeoflegalthoughttocomingwithinstrikingdistanceof knockingoutObamassignaturelegislativeachievementhascoupledanintenselegalassaultwitha communicationsdrivetoconvinceelitesandthepublicthatthelawviolatestheConstitution. OncetheSupremeCourtgrantsreviewofthecaseandsetssixhoursofargumentsoverthreedays,it becomesablockbustercasewhere,eitherway,theresgoingtobealandmarkruling,saidDoug KendalloftheConstitutionalAccountabilityCenter,aliberallegalgroup. Mostpeoplethinkthegovernmentislikelytowinmorethanfivevotes,buttheargumentsthat seemedoffthewallnowseemonthewall,seemplausibleand,forsomepeople,evenpersuasive,said NeilSiegel,aDukelawprofessorwhohaswrittenextensivelyinsupportofthelaw. Formostof2009,asCongressbegantodraftanddebatethehealthcarebill,theindividualmandate drewlittlecriticismletaloneasustainedargumentthatitwouldbeunconstitutional. Thedebateabouttheindividualmandatedidnotevencomeupuntilverylateintheprocessofthebill itself,saidNeeraTanden,akeystafferontheadministrationshealthcareteamduringthepassageof thelaw.ItwasaRepublicanidea.IwaslookingforRepublicanoppositiontotheindividualmandate, butthefirstlettertheywroteonthebillwasjustaboutcostsandthepublicoption. 18

Tanden,nowpresidentoftheliberalCenterforAmericanProgress,attributestheinitialwaveofattacks onthelawsconstitutionalitytotheriseoftheteapartymovementinthesummerof2009andto libertarianlegalscholarslookingtoreininCongressspower. TherewasastrategyoffarrightthinkerstofundamentallyrelitigatethemeaningoftheCommerce Clause,saidTanden,referringtotheconstitutionalprovisionallowingCongresstoregulatecommerce amongtheseveralstates. ThefirstbigstepsinthelegalcampaignagainstthelawwereapairofopedsinTheWashingtonPost andTheWallStreetJournalinAugustandSeptember2009,authoredbyformerJusticeDepartment officialsDavidRivkinandLeeCasey. ThefederalgovernmentdoesnothavethepowertoregulateAmericanssimplybecausetheyare there,RivkinandCaseydeclaredinthePost. SuchamandatewouldexpandthefederalgovernmentsauthorityoverindividualAmericanstoan unprecedenteddegree.Itisalsoprofoundlyunconstitutional,thepairwroteintheJournal. Inaninterview,Rivkinsaidthecrusadewasalonelyoneattheoutset. LeeandIweretheonlypeopletalkingaboutit.Nobodyelsewasinterestedinthis.[HouseSpeaker Nancy]Pelosiwasaskedaboutitandanswered,Areyoukiddingme?Rivkinnoted.Therewereno hearingsintheHouseorSenateJudiciaryCommitteesonwhetherthiswasconstitutional.Nothinglike thathappened. Indeed,aroundthetimethattheopedsappeared,severalRepublicansenators,OlympiaSnoweof Maine,MikeEnziofWyomingandChuckGrassleyofIowa,werepartofasocalledgangofsixtrying tocraftbipartisanhealthcarereformlegislation.Newsstoriesfromthetimequotethemcomplaining aboutthecostofDemocraticproposalsandtheimplicationsofagovernmentruninsuranceprogram, butthereislittleindicationtheyobjectedtothebasicpremiseoftheindividualmandate. Sen.OrrinHatch(RUtah),whosupportedtheindividualmandateinthe1990s,didlistitamong concernshehadwhenhequitbipartisantalksonthehealthbillinAugust2009. Then,inDecember2009,TheHeritageFoundationreleasedaninfluentiallegalmemo,callingthe mandateunprecedentedandunconstitutionaleventhoughtheconservativethinktankwasakey promoteroftheideainthelate1980sand1990s. AcoauthoroftheHeritagelegalmemo,RandyBarnettofGeorgetownUniversitylawschool,saidhe wasnotsurprisedthattheconstitutionalquestionwasslowtogaintractioninCongress. IdontthinkIdviewRepublicansinCongressasthetouchstoneoftheconstitutionalityofany particularissue.ThefactthatRepublicansinCongressmayhavemissedaconstitutionalproblem doesntkeepmeupatnightthinkingImustbewrong,Barnettsaid. However,BarnettnotedthatinDecember2009,Sens.JimDeMint(RS.C.)andJohnEnsign(RNev.) offeredanunsuccessfulpointoforderontheSenatefloorobjectingtothemandateasunconstitutional. 19

AfterthehealthcarebillwassignedintolawbyObamainMarch2010,aflurryoflawsuitswerefiled. Oneofthechallenges,ledbyFlorida,quicklysignedup25stateattorneysgeneralasplaintiffs. Butthesuitsgotlittlerespectinthelegalcommunity. Inmyview,thereisalessthan1percentchancethatthecourtswillinvalidatetheindividualmandate, lawprofessorandprominentlibertarianbloggerOrinKerrofGeorgeWashingtonUniversitytoldtheLos AngelesTimesdaysafterObamasignedthelegislation. ThatsentimentbegantochangeinDecember2010,whenRichmondbasedU.S.DistrictCourtJudge HenryHudsonbecamethefirstjudgetorulethemandateunconstitutional. AhugeinflectionpointwasJudgeHenryHudsonsrulinginVirginia,Barnettsaid.Headdedthatthe dayofthedecisionhegotanemailfromakeylegalthinkerontheleftsaying,Asofthismorning,your theoryisofficiallynotfrivolousanymore. HudsonsrulingstrikingdownthelawgothugepresscoveragetothechagrinofObama administrationofficials,alotmoreattentionthantwoearlierrulingsfromjudgeswhoupheldthelaw. Similarly,thefirstfederalappealscourtrulingagainstthelawthe11thCircuitsdecisioninAugust 2011producedhugeheadlines,evenasthe6thCircuitsandD.C.Circuitsdecisionsinfavorofthe lawdrewlessnotice. Talkthatthelawisunconstitutionalalsohasgrownstrongerinthepubliceyebecausethe administrationsdefenseofObamassignaturelegislativeachievementhasbeenlacklusteroutsidethe courts.Officialshavecrankedoutblogpostsandopedshighlightingpopularaspectsofthelegislation, butObamararelyraisesthesubjectduringpublicevents,andinsteadfocusesonjobsandtheeconomy. VicePresidentJoeBidendeliveredaspeechFridayonhealthinsurancebutsaidvirtuallynothing aboutthehealthlawandconcentratedonarguingthatRepublicansposeathreattoMedicare. OnTuesday,whenthejusticeswillhearkeyargumentsagainstthemandate,ObamawillbeonAirForce One,returningfromaninternationalnuclearsummitinSouthKorea. TheGOPpresidentialcandidates,bycontrast,havepilloriedthemandateduringspeechesandnationally televiseddebates,callingforarepealofthehealthcarelaw. MittRomneydeclaredthatitswrongforhealthcare.ItswrongfortheAmericanpeople.Its unconstitutional.NewtGingrichlabeleditclearlyunconstitutional.AndRickSantorumsaidthat peopleintheWhiteHousethinkthisisanormalcoursetorunovertheConstitutiontodowhatever theywanttodo. Still,thelegalcampaignagainstthelawhashitsomebumps.Whenconservativessuchas6thCircuit JudgeJeffreySutton,aformerclerktoJusticeAntoninScalia,andD.C.CircuitJudgeLaurenceSilberman votedtoupholdthelaw,legalscholarstooknoticeandmanyfeltthedrivetoundothelawlost steam.

20

Iactuallythinkthelegalchallengeshitahighpointearlyonandhavesincewaned,saidPamKarlan, aStanfordlawprofessorwhocontendsthelawisconstitutional. Kerrsaidlastweekthathedslidehispredictionofa1percentchanceofsuccessforthechallengersto about10percentnow. ItbecamekindofapoliticalcauseontheRepublicanside.Overtime,argumentsthatwereinitially thoughttobekindofoffthewallhavebecomepoliticallymainstream,Kerrsaid.Thathasreally changedthegroundunderlyingthecase.Itisstillanuphillbattle. Friedsaidinaninterviewlastweekthathesstandingbyhisoffertoeathishatifthelawgets overturned.Buthewasntsoundingquitesoconfident. Idontthinklegalacademics,left,rightorcenter,thinktheargumenthasgottenanybetter,butin termsofthepossibilityofwhatmighthappen,Idothinkpeopleareperhapsthinkingthatthelower courtrulingssuggestthechallengershaveachance,Friedsaid. Anotherprominentlegalfigurewhodismissedthelegalargumentsagainstthelawattheoutsetsaidlast weekheremainsunimpressed. Youknowhowtheysay,Peopleweresayingitsfrivolous,andtheyrenotsayingthatanymore? WalterDellinger,anactingsolicitorgeneralintheClintonadministration,askedinaninterview.Well, Imstillsayingitsfrivolous. #

21

9.http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/legaltimes/PubArticleLT.jsp?id=1202546742621&The_sleeper_issue

Thesleeperissue
Challengers:Medicaidexpansioniscoercive
March26,2012 TheNationalLawJournal ByTonyMauro EDITOR'SNOTE:TheU.S.SupremeCourthasagreedtoconsiderfourkeyissuesjurisdiction,individual mandate,severabilityandMedicaidexpansionasitreviewstheconstitutionalityoftheAffordable CareAct.InPartIVofourfocusontheseissues,weexamineargumentsforandagainstMedicaid expansion. TheMedicaidargumentislast,butnotleast. LateonthemorningofMarch28,inthefinalsegmentoftheCourt'sthreedayexaminationofthe AffordableCareAct,thejusticeswillconsiderwhatmanycallthe"sleeper"issueoftheentirelitigation: whetherthestatute,withitspromiseoflargesubsidiesforthestates,undulycoercestheminto acceptingamassiveexpansionofMedicaidcoveragetailoredtofitnewfederalrequirements. ThelawwouldextendMedicaidbenefitsovertimetoanestimated16millionnonelderly,nondisabled peoplewhohavenohealthinsurancenowandwhoseincomesarelessthan133percentofthefederal povertylevel."Itisanincrediblyimportantpartofthelawforthepeopleweserve,"saidJanePerkins, legaldirectoroftheNationalHealthLawProgram,whichadvocatesforhealthcoverageforthepoor. Butbypromisingtounderwrite100percentofthestates'addedcostsfortheexpansion,atleast through2016,challengerssaythelawamountstoa"takeitorelse"offerthatstatescannotrefuse renderingitsocoercivethatitsubvertsthepowerofstatesandoverstepsthespendingpowerof Congress. "Aspendingpowerwithoutlimitswouldbetantamounttoafederalgovernmentwithoutlimits,"wrote PaulClementoftheBancroftfirminWashingtoninhisbriefontheMedicaidissueonbehalfof26 states.HewillargueagainstSolicitorGeneralDonaldVerrilliJr.ontheissueWednesday. TheinclusionoftheMedicaidissueontheSupremeCourt'sdockethastriggeredspeculationonboth sidesabouttheCourt'sintentions,andmorethanalittlenervousnessamongsupportersofthestatute. Onlyoneappealscourt,theU.S.CourtofAppealsforthe11thCircuit,ruledontheMedicaidissue upholdingthelawsotherewasnocircuitsplitcryingouttoberesolved. TheCourt'sdecisiontotakeuptheMedicaidissuewasan"unsettlingsurprise,"saidDougKendall, presidentoftheConstitutionalAccountabilityCenter,whichfiledabriefinfavoroftheMedicaid expansionforagroupoflegislatorsfromall50states.IftheCourtacceptsClement'sinvitationto throwouttheMedicaidpartofthelaw,theentirestatutecouldbethreatened,Kendallsaid,making theMarch28argumentpossiblytheonethat"mattersthemost." 22

'WIDESPREADCONCERN' SomesupportersofthelawworrythattheCourttookontheMedicaidissuetoprotectitsflank.One theoryhasitthatiftheCourtisaimingtostrikedowntheindividualmandate,thelinchpinofthelaw,it couldhavedecidedtoreviewtheMedicaidsegmentinordertoupholdit,preservingasemblanceof compromise.Ontheotherhand,theCourtcouldupholdtheindividualmandateandyetcripplethelaw bystrikingdowntheMedicaidexpansion,leavingmillionsofintendedbeneficiariesoutinthecold. "Thereisverywidespreadconcern"aboutwhatwouldhappeniftheMedicaidsegmentofthelawis struckdown,saidUniversityofMichiganLawSchoolprofessorSamuelBagenstos,whofiledabriefthat spellsouttherangeoffederalaidprogramsthatwouldbeinjeopardyiftheMedicaidexpansionis struckdown."Itwouldbeaveryradicaldecisionthatwouldreallyputatrisktheentireedificeof cooperativefederalstateprograms." O'Melveny&MyerspartnerWalterDellinger,asupporterofthelaw,saidadecisionstrikingdownthe Medicaidexpansionwould"fundamentallyalterjudicialreview,"injectingtheCourtintopolicydecisions thatshouldbelefttoCongress. IftheMedicaidprovisionsfall,DellingersaidatarecentCenterforAmericanProgressbriefing,"You mightaswellsendthekeysacrossthestreet[fromtheCapitol]totheSupremeCourtandsay,'The policyjudgmentsareyours.'" IntheviewoftheObamaadministration,theMedicaidexpansionisnotqualitativelydifferentfrom changesthegovernmenthasmademanytimessincethefederalstateprogramlaunchedin1965. "Fromtheoutset,Congressspecificallyreservedtherighttoalter,amendorrepealanyprovision"ofthe law,Verrilliassertsinhisbrief. StatesknowthatstringsareattachedtothefederalmoneyprovidedtofundMedicaidprogramsatthe statelevel,andalsoknowthattheycanwalkawayfromtheprogramiftheywantto,thelaw's supporterssay. KendalladdedthatthereisnothingwrongorsurprisingaboutCongressmakingitsoffertothestates sogenerousthatstateswillfindithardnottoparticipate. ANIGNOREDQUESTION Sofar,theSupremeCourthasneverfoundaconditiononfederalfundingtobeexcessivelycoerciveof thestates.Ithaslargelyignoredthequestion,rulingonitonlytwice:in1937andthenagainin1987,50 yearslater. Inbothcases,theCourtupheldstringsattachedtofederalfunding,thoughbothtimesjusticesalsosaid therecouldbeanundefinedpointatwhichfederalpressurecouldturnintounconstitutional compulsion. ThatpointwasreachedandexceededwithpassageoftheAffordableCareAct,itscriticssay."Ifthe ACA'sexpansionofMedicaiddoesnotsurpassthatlimit,thennoactofCongresseverwill,"Clement assertsinhisbrief. 23

UnlikepreviouschangestoMedicaid,hesaid,thenewlawthreatensstateswiththelossofallfederal Medicaidfundingiftheydon'tgoalongwiththeexpandedcoveragemandatedbythenewlaw.Thelaw offersnoalternativeforneedyresidentsofstatesthatrefusethefederalgovernment'soffer,Clement said,because"Congressknewthatnostatecouldorwouldoptout." AccordingtoabriefbytheCenterforConstitutionalJurisprudence,ifCalifornia,forexample,doesnot goalongwiththeMedicaidexpansion,itwouldstandtolosemorethan$25billioninfederalfunding onequarterofitsgeneralrevenuebudget. Inthe1987SouthDakotav.Doleruling,bycontrast,only5percentoffederalhighwayfundingwasat stakeifstatesrefusedtosettheirlegaldrinkingageat21. Thereissomething"deeplytroubling,"thebriefasserts,aboutafederalprogramthatcantakeover entiresegmentsofstatepower. NotallstatesbuyintothecoercionargumentadvancedbyClement."Congresshasnotoversteppedits authorityorstrongarmedthestates,"arguesabrieffiledby13statesthatsupporttheMedicaid expansion.Medicaidremainsa"cooperativefederalistprogramthatisfunctioningjustasitshould,"the briefclaims,addingthat,underthenewlaw,statesthatdon'tgoalongwiththeMedicaidexpansion won'tautomaticallylosealltheirfederalfunding.Instead,thesecretaryoftheDepartmentofHealth andHumanServiceshasthediscretiontowithholdsomeoralloftheMedicaidfundingforholdout states. Meanwhile,severalgroupsaretellingtheSupremeCourtthatrealpeoplewillbeaffectedbyhowthe justicesdealwiththeloftyfederalismprinciplesatissueintheMedicaiddispute. AbrieffiledbytheNationalMinorityAIDSCouncilandotherHIVadvocacygroupsassertsthatmost uninsuredlowincomepeoplewithHIVarenoteligibleforMedicaid.UpholdingtheMedicaidexpansion, thebriefsays,wouldmake"criticaltreatmentavailable"tothoseindividualsforthefirsttime. #

24

10.http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/lapnsupremecourthealthcare20120325,0,3562084.story

Withhealthcarelawatstake,SupremeCourtrollsupsleeves
March26,2012 LosAngelesTimes[alsoonfrontpageofIdahoStatesman] ByDavidG.Savage ARepublicanledchallengetotheDemocrats'mostambitioussociallegislationinagenerationgoes beforetheSupremeCourtonMonday,withPresidentObama'shealthcarelawhanginginthebalance. Thecourt'sruling,expectedbytheendofJune,maydecidewhethertheConstitutionputsanylimiton Congress'powertoregulatenotjusthealthcare,buttheentireeconomy. Theargumentsbeginwithatechnicaldiscussionofwhethertheproposedpenaltyfornotbuyinghealth insuranceamountstoatax.Ifthejusticesfindthatitis,underanoldlawtheymayhavetopostpone rulingonmostoftheissuesuntilafterthepenaltygoesintoeffectin2014. OnTuesday,thejusticeswillgettotheheartofthematter,debatingwhetherCongresshasthe authoritytomakepeoplepurchaseaproduct:healthinsurance. OnWednesday,theywilltalkaboutwhethertherestofthelawcanstandonitsownevenifthe insurancemandateisstruckdown,andtheseparateissueofwhetherthefederalgovernmentsplanto fundamassiveexpansionofstateMedicaidprogramsviolatesstatesrightsundertheConstitution. Since1936,thejusticeshavenotstruckdownamajorfederalregulatorylawonthegroundsthat Congresswenttoofar.Thecourt'sforbearanceonmatterstouchingCongress'authoritytoregulate commercehasallowedWashington'spowertogrow,toprotectcivilrightsandtheenvironment,to ensuresaferautomobilesanddrugs,andtohelpboostthewagesandbenefitsofworkers. Allthewhile,however,conservativesandbusinessgroupshaveinsistedtheremustbealimit. Otherwise,theysay,anallpowerfulfederalgovernmentwouldbefreetowriteitsownrules. SuchalimitiftheConstitutionindeedsetsoneisattheheartofthehealthcarecase. Legalscholarsontherightandtheleftseethecaseasmomentous. "Itgoestowhoweareasapeopleandwhatkindofgovernmentwehave,"saidIlyaShapiroofthe libertarianCatoInstitute. Thecourt"isatacrossroads,"saidDougKendall,presidentoftheprogressiveConstitutional AccountabilityCenter.Ifthecourt"strikesdownthelaw,we'rebacktotheNewDealerawitha progressivepresidentatwarwithaconservativecourt." ToObamaandtheDemocratsinCongress,theneedforthePatientProtectionandAffordableCareAct wasobvious.Nearly50millionAmericanslackhealthinsurance.Whentheygotohospitals,thecostsare bornebyothers,includingthetaxpayers.Andallfacealossofinsuranceiftheylosejobsorhaveserious illnessesorotherpreexistingconditions. 25

Theonlywaytopreventthoseproblemswastobringeveryoneintothesystem,Obamaargued, guaranteeingcoverageforall,prohibitinginsurancecompaniesfromexcludingpeopletheydidn'twant tocoverandrequiring,inexchange,thateveryonegetinsurance.Thosewhocouldnotpaythefullcost wouldbeofferedsubsidies. Critics,however,saythe"governmentmandate"tobuyinsurancegoestoofar.Itcrossesaline,they say,fromreasonableregulationofcommercetoadictatefromWashingtontoengageincommerce. "Thisreachesintothelivingroomofaguywhoishealthyanddoesn'twanttobuyhealthinsurance," saidPaulD.Clement,theformerGeorgeW.Bushadministrationsolicitorgeneral,whorepresents Republicanofficialsfrom26states.Hewilltrytopersuadeaconservativeleaninghighcourtthatit shouldbreakwithdecadesofprecedentandvoidtheentirelaw. TheSupremeCourt,signalingtheextraordinarynatureofthecase,agreedtohearsixhoursof argumentsoverthreedays,ratherthantheusualsinglehour.Thecourtagreedtoalsoconsider Clement'sclaimthatCongressexceededtheConstitutionwhenitpressedthestatestoexpandthe Medicaidprogram. Progressives,notsurprisingly,seethecourt'sinterventionasominous.TheysaytheConstitutioncreated anationalgovernmentto"promotethegeneralwelfare."Itdidnotauthorizethecourttovetolawsthat regulatebusinessandcommerceinthepublicinterest,theysay. Theissuealsoposesadilemmaforthecourt'sconservativemajority:Justwhattypeofconservativesare they?Dotheyseektoreimposeconservativeprinciplesonthetwoelectedbranchesofgovernment,or dotheyhewtotheideaofalimited,restrainedroleforthecourts? SinceatleasttheRonaldReaganera,conservativeshavearguedthatelectedlawmakers,notunelected judges,shoulddecidethemajorissuesofgovernment.ChiefJusticeJohnG.RobertsJr.echoedthis themewhenhetoldsenatorsduringhisconfirmationhearingsthathesawamodestroleforjudges, morelikean"umpirecallingballsandstrikes"thanastarplayer. AsconservativeJudgeLaurenceH.SilbermanoftheD.C.CircuitCourtofAppealswroteinupholdingthe healthcarelawinNovember,theConstitutionleftCongress"freetoforgenationalsolutionstonational problems." Severalotherwellknownjudicialconservativeshavetakenthesameposition,includingJ.Harvie WilkinsonIIIoftheU.S.4thCircuitCourtofAppealsinRichmond,Va.,whowroteinarecentoped articlethatitwas"temptingtoshoutstates'rightswhendeeplyflawedfederallegislationisenacted,but themomentarysatisfactionsofthatexercisecarrylongtermconstitutionalcosts." Otherconservativesargue,however,thatdeferencetotheelectedbranchesofgovernmenthasgone toofar,allowingCongressandsuccessivepresidentstoenlargethefederalrolefarbeyondwhatthe Constitutionintended. ThelasttimetherewassuchaconfrontationovercongressionalpowerwasinPresidentFranklinD. Roosevelt'sfirstterm,whenthecourtstruckdownaseriesofNewDeallaws.Itruled,forexample,that thegovernmentcouldnotrequireemployerstopayminimumwagesorrecognizeunions. 26

In1937,however,thecourtfamouslyswitcheddirectionsandbackedoff.Ayearlater,thejustices signaledtheywouldlookfavorablyonlawsthatregulatecommercebutwouldviewmoreskeptically lawsthatinfringeonindividualorcivilrights.Thatconsensushasheldsincethen,throughbothliberal andconservativeeras. Attimes,thecourthasdrawnaline.Itstruckdownamostlysymbolicfederallawin1995thatbanned gunsinschoolzones,andsaidgunpossessiondidnotinvolvearegulationofcommerce. ButJusticesAnthonyM.KennedyandAntoninScaliasaidtheyagreedwiththepostNewDealviewthat Congresshadverybroadpowertoregulatemarketsandcommerce.Theyjoineda63rulingin2005ina Californiamedicalmarijuanacaseandsaidthefederalauthoritytocontrolthemarketinillegaldrugs reachedintothehomeofAngelRaich.Shewasgrowingmarijuanaforpersonalusetorelieveherpain. Scaliawrotethat"Congressmayregulateevennoneconomiclocalactivityif[it]isanecessarypartofa moregeneralregulationofinterstatecommerce."Obama'slawyersciteScalia'swordstodefendthe mandatetobuyhealthinsurance.Theysayitisa"necessarypart"ofregulatingthemarketinhealth insuranceandguaranteeingcoverageeventothosewhoareseriouslyill. Mostlegalexpertsbelievedfromthestartandstilldothatthehighcourtislikelytoupholdthe AffordableCareActbecauseofitslongtraditionofdeferringtoCongressoneconomicregulation. ThefourDemocraticappointeesJusticesRuthBaderGinsburg,StephenG.Breyer,SoniaSotomayor andElenaKaganarealmostcertaintoupholdthelaw. Robertsislikelytoplaytheleadingrole,befittinghispositionaschiefjustice. IfKennedyandScaliashiftawayfromthestancetheytookinthemarijuanacase,Robertscouldjoinwith themandthecourt'stwootherconservatives,JusticesClarenceThomasandSamuelA.AlitoJr.,tostrike downthelaw. OrRobertscouldjoinwithKennedyandpossiblyScaliaandthefourDemocratstoupholdthestatute. Athirdoptionisopenaswell.Ifthejusticesweresplit,theycouldopttoputoffarulinguntilafter2014, whenthefirsttaxpayerswouldpayapenaltyfortheirfailuretobuyinsurance. YalelawprofessorAkhilAmarsaysthejusticesshouldletthevotersdecidewhichsideisrightin November. "Theyshouldsay,'Ifyoudon'tlikethis,votethebumsout,'"hesaid. #

27

11.http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jDyjX_uPh7g4O_1ihKhXPMh4JIBA

USSupremeCourtreviewsObamahealthreform
March26,2012 AgenceFrancePresse(AFP) ByJimMannion WASHINGTONTheUSSupremeCourtdivesintotheheartofPresidentBarackObama'ssignature healthcarereformlawTuesday,takingupitsmostcontroversialrequirementthatallAmericans maintaininsuranceorbefined. TheninejusticesappearedsatisfiedMondaytheyhadjurisdictionintheblockbustercase,clearingthe wayforalegalreviewthathashugeimplicationsforthenationandthe2012elections. "Itseemstomakenosensetoseparatethepunishmentfromtherequirement,"ChiefJusticeJohn Robertssaid. Afirstdayoforalargumentsprobedwhenlawsuitscanbebroughtintaxcasesandwhetherthecourt mustwaituntilafterObama'sAffordableCareActentersfullyintoforcein2014toconsiderlegal challengestoit. "Ithinkbasedontheargumentsthismorning,thatthecourtisnotlikelytodelayrulingonthemerits untiltheindividualmandategoesintoeffectin2014,"saidElizabethWydra,alawyerwiththe ConstitutionalAccountabilityCenter. "Theywillbelikelytogettothemeritsandsothatmakestheargumentstomorrowonthemandate andWednesdayonMedicaidevenmoreimportant,"saidWyrdra,whohadfiledabriefinsupportof thehealthcarelaw. Thereformwouldextendcoverageto32millionAmericanswhocurrentlylackit,buttheindividual mandateisalinchpinbecauseitrequiresthatallAmericansmaintainminimuminsurancecoveragefrom 2014. Althoughexceptionsaremadeforcertaincategoriesofpeople,thegovernmentarguesthatthereform willunravelifpeoplecanoptout.Soindividualswhodonotbuyinsurancewillfacepenalties. ThoseprovisionshavemadeObama'sgreatestlegislativeachievementtheRepublicans'biggesttarget goingintothe2012presidentialelections. HailedbyitssupportersasasocialadvanceandthemostsweepingreformofthetroubledUShealth caresystemindecadesitsopponentsattackitasanassaultonindividualliberties,deridingitas "Obamacare." Thedivisionshavemadeforblockbusterhearings,eventhoughtheSupremeCourtisunlikelytomake anyrulingsbeforeJune,whenwhateveritdecidesissuretopourfuelontheelectionyearfire.

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"Thisisthemostimportantissueinthiselection.It'sonethatencapsulatesalltheissuesthatareat stakeinthisverycriticalelectioninourcountry'shistory,"RepublicanpresidentialcandidateRick SantorumtoldthecrowdthatgatheredoutsidethecourtMonday. Severalhundredpeoplegatheredonthestepsofthecourt,brandishingplacardsandchantingslogans forandagainstthelaw,whichwasenactedin2010. "WeloveObamacare,that'swhywehere,"chantedsomeinthecrowdoutsidethecourt. ChrisCrawford,a20yearoldpoliticalsciencestudentwhosaidhecametowitnesshistory,saidhe opposedthelaw."Givingthegovernmentthepowertoforcecitizenstobuysomethingisavery dangerousprecedent,"hesaid. Inside,thecourtwaspackedwithmembersofthebar,andguestsofthecourtlikeAttorneyGeneralEric Holderandmembersofthepublicluckyenoughtogetacovetedseat. TheissuebeforethecourtonMondaywaswhetheralawcalledtheAntiInjunctionAct,whichbars lawsuitstopreventCongressfromassessingorcollectingtaxes,appliedtolawsuitschallengingthe AffordableCareAct. Ifitdoes,thecourtwouldhavenojurisdictionovertheACAuntilafterpeoplewhorefusedtobuyhealth insurancewereforcedtopaypenaltiessometimeafter2014. Butin90minutesofquestioning,thejusticesappearedtoleanstronglyinfavorofjurisdiction,sharply questioningwhythelaw'spenaltiesshouldbeconsideredtaxes. JusticeAntoninScaliasaidtherewas"atleastsomedoubt"aboutwhetherthepenaltywasatax,and "unlessit'sclear,courtsarenotdeprivedofjurisdiction." JusticeRuthGinsburgsaidtheact"doesnotapplytopenaltiesthataredesignedtoinducecompliance withthelawratherthantoraiserevenue." Thegovernmentandthe26stateschallengingthehealthcarereformasunconstitutionalbothsaythe courthasjurisdiction,butthecourthadassigneditsownlawyer,RobertLong,tomakethecasethatit doesnot. "Thereisnothinginthestatutethatshouldbetreatedasatax,"saidSolicitorGeneralDonaldVerrilli, arguingforthegovernment. GregoryKatsas,arguingforthestates,saidfortheacttocomeintoplaythepurposeofthelawsuithas tobetostopthetaxes.Buthesaid,"Thepurposeofthislawsuitistochallengethemandate,notthe tax." #

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12.http://motherjones.com/mojo/2012/03/obamacaresupremecourtdecisionexplained

WhattheSupremeCourtCouldDoAboutObamacare,Explained
March26,2012 MotherJones ByAdamSerwer TheSupremeCourtwillhearoralargumentsconcerningtheconstitutionalityofObamacarea.k.a.the AffordableCareAct,orACAbeginningMonday.(Lastweek,ObamareelectioncampaignmanagerJim Messinasentoutanemailtosupportersnotingthatheandthecampaignareproudof"Obamacare," thusclaimingthetermfromtheirfoes.)Whatwillthejusticesdecide?Hereareafewoftheprobable scenarios: TheSupremeCourtpunts.ThefirstdayoforalargumentsisdevotedtowhetherornottheTaxAnti InjunctionAct,alawthatbarslegalchallengestotaxesbeforeanyoneactuallypaysthem,appliestothe individualmandatetheObamacareprovisionthatleviesataxonindividualswhodon'tpurchasehealth insuranceandarenototherwisecoveredbyanemployerorgovernmentprogram.Bytakingthisroad andembracinganargumentfirstlaidoutbyJudgeBrettKavanaugh,aGeorgeW.Bushappointee,the SupremeCourtcouldavoiddealingwiththeconstitutionalityoftheindividualmandateuntilafterthe 2012election.Doingthiscouldmakethemandateultimatelymorelikelytobeupheld,becausethehigh courtwouldbeacknowledgingthatthemandateisataxandfallsunderthefederalgovernment's constitutionalauthoritytolevytaxes. "Thismightendwithawhimperratherthanabang,"saysAdamWinkler,alawprofessoratthe UniversityofCaliforniaLosAngeles."IfthecourtrulesthattheTaxAntiInjunctionActapplies,thenall ofthehullabaloowillbefornaught." TheSupremeCourttossesoutthewholelaw.ConservativeopponentsoftheACAarguethatthe individualmandateonlyoneprovisionofthelaw,albeitacentraloneisanunconstitutionalassertion offederalpower,andtheyinsistitoughttobestruckdown.Buttheyalsowanttoseethewholelaw ruledunconstitutional.Asidefromtheindividualmandate,conservativesarealsochallengingthe constitutionalityofexpandingMedicaidto16millionmoreAmericans.BytheWhiteHouse'snumbers, that'sabouthalfoftheAmericanswhowillultimatelygetcoverageundertheACA.Inhisbrief,former SolicitorGeneralPaulClement,whowillbearguingfortheACA'schallengersbeforethecourt, suggestedthatifeithertheindividualmandateortheMedicaidexpansionareruledunconstitutional thentheentirelawshouldgo.AsTPM'sBrianBeutlerpointsout,itdoesn'thelpthatCongressdidn't includeintheoriginalbilla"severability"clause(atraditionallegislativeprovisionthatessentiallysays thatifaportionofalawisstruckdown,therestofthelegislationstillstands).Thismakesiteasierfor opponentstoarguetheentirelawshouldbescrapped. Ifthecourtdoesn'truleontheindividualmandate,however,thatstillleavesthequestionofwhether theACA'sMedicaidexpansionisconstitutional.Butexpertsspeculatethecourtisunlikelytoleavethe mandatealonebutoverturnthehealthcarelawbasedontheMedicaidexpansion. TheSupremeCourttossesthemandateandthebanondiscriminationonthebasisofpreexisting conditions.Thebanoninsurancecompaniesrefusingtocoverindividualsonthebasisofpreexisting conditionsisarguablythemostpopularpartoftheAffordableCareAct.Nevertheless,theObama 30

administrationhasarguedthatifthehighcourtshouldchoosetostrikedowntheindividualmandate, thewholebillwouldn'thavetogo.But,thegovernmentalsonotes,theprohibitiononinsurance companiesdiscriminatingonthebasisofpreexistingconditionswouldhavetobedumped,because withoutthemandatethelaw'sotherprovisionswould"createaspiralofhighercosts,"withindividuals gettingsickandenrollingatthelastminute."Thefederalgovernment'spositionisthat[if]the mandategoes,otherimportantthingsgotoo,"saysDougKendalloftheConstitutionalAccountability Center. TheSupremeCourtstrikesdowntheindividualmandateandkeepseverythingelse.Neitherthe conservativechallengerstothelawnortheObamaadministrationwouldbeparticularlyhappywiththis outcome.Itwouldleavethecurrentlawmostlyintact.Butitwouldalso,administrationofficialsfear, bankrupttheinsurancecompaniesstillforcedtoprovidecoveragewithoutthenecessaryfinancial resourcestodoso.(Withoutamandate,theinsuranceindustrywillhavefewercustomersandless resourcestohandleaninfluxofthosepeoplewithpreexistingconditions.)However,duringthefiveand ahalfhoursoforalarguments,thehighcourtwillalsobehearingfromH.BartowFarrIII,whowillbe arguingforthe11thCircuitCourtofAppeals'positionthatthecourtdoesn'thavetostrikedown anythingotherthantheindividualmandate,ifthecourtfindsitunconstitutional. TheSupremeCourtupholdstheentirelaw.InthepostBushv.Goreera,wherethejustices'opinions oftenseemtoreflectlittlemorethantheideologicalpositionsofthepartiesthatappointthem,itseems difficulttoimaginethattheAffordableCareActfullysurvives.Butitcouldhappen.GeorgeWashington UniversityLawSchoolProfessorOrinKerr,aformerclerkforJusticeAnthonyKennedy,isprettybullish ontheACA'schances.LastAugust,hepredictedthat"themandatewillbeupheldbyavoteofanywhere from63to81." Somethingcrazyhappens.Theabovescenariosseemlikethemostlikelyoutcomes.Butthisisahistoric case,andit'spossiblethatthecourtcouldfailtofindconsensusonewayortheother,leadingtothe justicessplittinginawaythatnopositionendsupwithaclearmajority.It'sunlikely,butanythingcould happen. #

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13.http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathancohn/102034/supremecourtobamacaredayone

Day1attheCourt:NoDuckingtheIssue
March26,2012 TheNewRepublic ByJonathanCohn OralargumentsfortheSupremeCourtonMondayweresupposedtobeboring.Thesubjectwasntthe individualmandate,afterall.ItwastheAntiInjunctionAct,arelativelyobscurelawthatpreventscourts fromhearinglegalchallengestotaxesuntilaftersomebodyhaspaidthem. Butwhilethesessionwasnotalwaysexciting,thejusticesdiddroptwohintsabouttheirthinking.Allthe justicesseemeagertodecidethiscase,ratherthanpuntingonjurisdictionalgrounds.Andevensomeof theliberalsarequestioningwhethertheindividualmandatequalifiesasatax,althoughthecomments weresufficientlyambiguousthatdiviningintentfromthemremainsdifficult. Thetaxissueisimportantbecausethelawsdefenders,includingtheadministration,havecitedthe federalgovernmentsauthoritytotaxasonejustificationfortheindividualmandate.ButwhenRobert Long,thecourtappointedattorney,triedtomaketheargumentthatthemandatewasataxatleast forthepurposesoftheantiInjunctionActJusticeStephenBreyerpointedlyaskedaboutthatassertion Now,here,Congresshasnowhereusedthewordtax.'Whatitsaysispenalty.Moreover,thisis notintheInternalRevenueCodebutforpurposesofcollection. Momentslate,JusticeRuthBaderGinsburgchimedinwithasimilarsentiment: TheTaxInjunctionActdoesnotapplytopenaltiesthataredesignedtoinducecompliancewith thelawratherthantoraiserevenue.Andthisisnotarevenueraisingmeasure,because,ifit's successful,theywon'tnobodywillpaythepenaltyandtherewillbenorevenuetoraise. Thehuge,bigcaveathereisthattheCourtcoulddecidethatthemandateisnotatax,forthepurposes oftheantiinjunctionact,butthatitisatax,forpurposesofthemandatesconstitutionality.Infact, thatswhattheadministrationhasbeenarguing. NeitherBreyernorGinsburgmadeclearhowtheythoughtaboutthat.Butoneoftheirconservative colleagues,JusticeSamuelAlito,expressedsomeskepticismwhenheputaquestiondirectlytoDon Verrilli,solicitorgeneral:HastheCourteverheldthatsomethingthatisataxforpurposesofthetaxing powerundertheConstitutionisnotataxundertheAntiInjunctionAct?Verrillisaid,no,althoughhe arguedthatotherprecedentssuggestedthegovernmentsreadingwascorrect. Afterthehearing,atleastoneattorneywhowaspresentfororalargumentagreedthatthejustices seemedtobetelegraphingskepticismofthetaxargument.Severalaskedquestionsthatmadeitclear theyweregoingtogivethegovernmentaworkouttomorrowonwhetherthemandateisatax,said ElizabethWydra,chiefcounseltotheConstitutionalAccountabilityCenter,whohasfiledanamicus beliefonbehalfofstatelegislatorswhosupportthelaw.ButothercloseobserversoftheCourt,like LyleDenniston,ofSCOTUSblog,seemedlessconvincedthejusticesweresendingasignalwiththeir comments. 32

If,indeed,thejusticesareskepticalofthetaxargument,it'shardlyfataltothegovernment'scase. Althoughmanydefendersofthelaw(includingme)havearguedthemandateisatax,thelowercourts havegenerallyruledagainstthatargumentandattorneysclosetothecasehavesaid,forsometime,it istheleastlikelyofthethreejustificationstopassjudicialmuster. Thestrongergroundsforthemandate,theyhavebeensaying,arethegovernmentspowertoregulate interstatecommerceandtodowhateverisnecessaryandproperforcarryingoutitsduties.The justicesdidnotofferanyclearhintsonhowtheyrethinkingalongthoselines,although,asGeorge WashingtonUniversityProfessorOrinKerrnoticed,ChiefJusticeJohnRobertsdidstartoneintriguing exchangetowardstheend. WhilequestioningGregoryKatsas,thelawyerrepresentingthestateschallengingthemandate,Roberts wonderedwhetherthemandatereallyqualifiedasamandategiventherelativelyweakpenalties. (Remember,themaximumpenaltyforviolatingtheinsurancerequirementandfailingtopaythefeeisa forfeitureoffuturetaxrefunds;thereisnocriminalsanction.)AsKerrnotesattheVolokhConspiracy blog,thewholepremiseofthelawsuitsisthatthemandateisacommand(inthiscase,acommandto buyinsurance).ButtheCourtcouldrulethatthemandateisjustafinancialincentiveforobtaining insurance,presumablyrenderingitconstitutional. Thejusticesdidofferoneotherglimpseintotheirthinking,alsoduringKatsas'time.Andtheissuewas onethatwillcomeuponWednesday:WhethertheAffordableCareActsexpansionofMedicaidis coercivetothestates. JusticeElenaKagangotKatsastoacknowledgethatthestatesworryabouttheexpansionwasntsimply aboutaddingnewpeopletoMedicaiditwasaboutenrollingpeoplewhowerealreadyeligiblebuthad notenrolled.Thesenewnumbers,hesuggested,woulddepletestatetreasuries.SaidKagan: thatdoesseemodd,tosuggestthattheStateisbeinginjuredbecausepeoplewhocouldshow uptomorrowwithorwithoutthislawwillwillshowupingreaternumbers.Imean, presumablytheStatewantstocoverpeoplewhomithasdeclaredeligibleforthisbenefit. Thisisconsistentwiththeargumentthatthegovernmentanditssupportershavemadeallalong:That theargumentagainstexpandingMedicaidwouldbeanargumentagainsttheexistingMedicaid program. Note:Iupdatedthisitem,toemphasizethattheimplicationsofBreyerandGinsbug'scommentswere unclearandciteOrinKerr'sfindatVolokhConspiracy. #

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14.http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/unitedstates/healthreformactlettheargumentsbegin 210707.html

HealthReformAct:LettheArgumentsBegin
March26,2012 EpochTimes ByGaryFeuerberg WASHINGTONThisweektheSupremeCourtfinallyhearsoralargumentsonPresidentBarackObamas healthcarereformlegislation.ThedecisionbythecourtforthePatientProtectionandAffordableCare ActorsimplytheAffordableCareAct(ACA)islikelytosetoffastorm,whicheverwayitcomesdown. Mostlikely,thedecisionwillbehandeddownattheendofJune. TheACAwasinitiallycalledObamacareonlybytheopponentsofthelaw.Noweventhesupportersof theACA,includingthepresidentswebsite,my.barackobama.com,areaskingthepublictosay,Ilike Obamacare. TheSupremeCourtdecisionwillaffect30millionuninsuredAmericansandlikelyimpactthenational electionsof2012.ItcouldbecomethemainissuethatdetermineswhooccupiestheWhiteHouseand thepartythatcontrolsCongress.Recognizingtheimportanceofitsdecision,thecourtsetasidesixhours fordiscussion,whichithasntdonesince1966. AtstakeiswhethertheUnitedStateswillremaintheonlyrichcountrywithoutuniversalhealthcare, writesAdamLiptak,NewYorkTimes,March11. ThehealthcarereformhasbeencomparedtoMedicareandSocialSecuritybyObamasaides,said Liptak,whileRepublicanleadersfearitmovesthecountrydangerouslyclosetoEuropeanstylebig government. OpponentsofthelawwillrallyonCapitolHillonMarch27,theseconddayofSupremeCourthearings. Rep.MicheleBachmann,Sen.PatToomey,Sen.RandPaul,Sen.JimDeMint,Rep.PaulRyan,Sen.Ron Johnson,andRep.AlanWestareslatedtospeakonthetheme,HandsOffMyHealthCare.Therallyis organizedbyAmericansforProsperity(AFP)andisjoinedbycoalitionsponsorswhoincludeTeaParty affiliatesandseveralotherconservativeorganizations. Supportersofthelawwillholdeventsoutsidethecourtoneachdayoforalarguments,accordingtothe NewYorkTimes.Plannedarespeechesbypeoplewithmedicalproblemswhohavebenefitedorcould benefitbytheACA. TheWhiteHouseisalsoactiveinpromotingthelaw.OnMarch23,thesecondanniversaryofthesigning oftheACA,theWhiteHousereleasedastatementtoutingitsbenefitsatthistime.Itsaidthatalready 2.5millionmoreyoungadultshavehealthinsuranceontheirparentsplan;5.1millionpeoplewith Medicaresavedanaverageof$635onthecostoftheirprescriptiondrugs.Andinsurancecompanies cannolongerdenycoveragetochildrenbecauseofapreexistingcondition. MedicaidExpansion,SleeperIssue 34

ApreviousarticleinTheEpochTimesdescribedthefourprovisionsintheACAthatthecourtagreedto hear.TheAntiInjunctionAct(AIA)andtheindividualinsurancemandate,calledtheindividualmandate, weretwoissuesdiscussed. Theprovisionthathasreceivedthemostattentionistheindividualmandate,whichrequiresthatall individualswithcertainexceptions,suchasthosewithreligiousobjectionsacquirehealthinsurance orpayapenalty.ButthemediahaspaidalmostnoattentiontotheMedicaidexpansionprovisionin theACA,saidSimonLazarus,policycounselfortheNationalSeniorCitizensLawCenter. LazarusspokeMarch15ataforumattheNationalPressClubforreporterswhowillbecoveringthe SupremeCourtontheACA. TheMedicaidexpansionissueistherealsleeperissueofthehealthcarechallenge,saysElizabeth Wydra,chiefcounselfortheWashingtonbasedConstitutionalAccountabilityCenter,whorepresents statelawmakerssupportingthehealthcarelaw. TheACAwillincreasethenumberofpersonsenrolledinstateMedicaidprogramsbyallowinginyear 2014allpersonsunder65withincomesupto133percentofthefederalpovertylevel(FPL),thatis, $14,856foranindividualand$30,656forafamilyoffour(basedonthe2012federalpovertylevel), accordingtothegovernmentsCentersforMedicareandMedicaidServices.Thisprovisionwillincrease thenumberonMedicaidbyanestimated16million,accordingtotheAllianceforHealthReform. Dr.GlennCohenexplainedinTheNewEnglandJournalofMedicinethatMedicaidhadnotpreviouslyset abaselineincomelevelformandatoryeligibilityforadults.Whenfullyphasedin(in2020),theACAwill provide90percentfederalmatchingfundsforthenewbeneficiaries,and100percentinitially.While thismayseemverygenerous,CohensaysFloridawilllikelyargue,Evena10percentcopaymentoverly stretchesstatebudgets. ToremaineligibleforanyfederalMedicaidmatchingfunds,statesmustacceptthesenew requirements.Moreover,stateparticipationintraditionalMedicaidwillnolongerbepossible,sincethe currenttermsandconditionsoffederalsupportwillceasetoapplyin2014,Cohensaid. CourtwatchersweresurprisedthattheSupremeCourtagreedtoconsidertheMedicaidexpansion;the courthasneverstruckdownanyfederalspendingprogram.OnlythelawsuitbroughtbyFlorida,joined by25otherstates,challengedtheMedicaidexpansion,andnolowercourtoverturnedit.Eventhe11th CircuitthatstruckdowntheindividualinsuranceprovisionupheldCongresssauthoritytoexpand Medicare. Butthefactthatthecourtsetasideanhourtohearthecasesignalsthecourttakesthisissueseriously. TheopponentsoftheACAsaythattheMedicaidexpansionusescoercionbyCongressinmakingthe receiptoffederalfundsforafederalprogramconditionaltostatesoutlayingfundingthatisanunfair burdenforthem.AlthoughstatesdonthavetoparticipateinMedicaid,asapracticalmatter,states heavilyrelyonfederalmatchingmoneytopayformedicalcareofthepoorestcitizens. FormerattorneygeneralofthestateofFlorida,BillMcCollum,whofiledthechallengetotheACA,asuit eventuallyjoinedby25otherstateattorneysgeneral,saidthatthesinglebiggestiteminmanystate budgetsisoftenMedicaid.FloridasMedicaidprogramconsumesmorethanaquarterofthestates

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financialoutlaysinabudgetthatisalreadystrained,McCollumsaidinthenewsreleasewhenFlorida challengedthelawmomentsafterPresidentObamasigneditonMarch23,2010. ThegovernmentwillarguethatitisaproperexerciseofCongresstoattachconditionstothereceiptof federalfunds,saysSallieSanford,inanopedfortheJuristForumFeb.16. LazarussaidthatreversingtheMedicaidexpansionprovisioncouldnotonlypotentiallyinvalidate Medicaidingeneral,butalsoallfederalaidtoeducation,andguaranteesagainstdiscriminationby recipientsoffederalfunds. Manypeopleinthesocialwelfarecommunity[believethis]isreallythemostimportantissueinthis casebecauseasidefromMedicareandMedicaidandSocialSecurity,ifthecoercionargumentisfound toprevailyoucankissgoodbyetotheideathatthereisasocialsafetynetthatthefederal governmentcanimposeorinaugurate,saidLyleDenniston,alegaljournalistwhohasreportedonthe SupremeCourtfor52years,attheNationalPressClubforum.Thatisareallybigissue. #

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15.http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathancohn/102098/obamacarekennedyrobertsseverability mandateinsurancereform

Let'sAllTakeaMomenttoBreathe,OK?
March27,2012 TheNewRepublic ByJonathanCohn Everybodycalmdown.AndwhenIsayeverybody,Iincludemyself. TuesdaysoralargumentattheSupremeCourtwasnotthefinesthourforhealthcarereform,forthe philosophyofactivistgovernment,orforSolicitorGeneralDonVerrilli.Butoralargumentsdont typicallychangetheoutcomeofcases.Theyareimportantprimarilyforthesignalstheysendaboutthe justicesthinking.Andthosesignalscanbedifficulttointerpret. AdministrationofficialsonTuesdaywerequicktoremindreportersthatJudgeLaurenceSilbermangave thegovernmentaveryhardtimewhenitarguedthesamecasebeforetheD.C.CircuitCourtofAppeals. ButSilbermanwentontoupholdthelaw,inwhatwasbyanystandardastingingrebuketothecritics.In theSixthCircuit,JusticeJeffreySuttonalsoputadministrationlawyersthroughtoughquestioningbefore issuinghisown,equallyunambiguousdecisionupholdingthelaw.AsSamSteinpointsoutatHuffington Post,thequestionsfromSilbermanandSuttonwereawfullyclosetotheonesconservativeswereasking onTuesday. NobodyIknowpredictsthejusticeswillvindicatetheAffordableCareActasstronglyaseitheroneof thosejudgesdid.AndthattellsyoujusthowdramaticallyTuesdayshearingchangedexpectations. Beforethosearguments,crediblelegalexpertswerestillthinkingthecourtwouldupholdthelawbya majorityofsixtothreeorevenseventotwo.Nowthebettingseemsmuchmoremixed,withthe smartestcourtwatchersIknowsuggestingtheoutcomecouldreallygoeitherway.Theodds,inother words,are5050atbest. Still,youcanfindcrediblereasonstothinkthejusticeswilluphold,whetheritwasChiefJusticeJohn RobertscommentsaboutthetaxpoweronMondayorJusticeAnthonyKennedyspartingcommentson Tuesday,acknowledgingthathealthcaremightbeaspecialcaseinwhichthegovernmentoughttohave somespecialpowers,assumingtheresalimittothem.HereshowElizabethWydra,chiefcounselfrom theConstitutionalAccountabilityCenter,seesthingsshapingup: IthinkRobertsandKennedyarestillinplay.Havingwatchedmanyoralarguments,I'veseen KennedyandRobertsasktoughquestionswithmuchmoreofabitebehindthemthantheir admittedlytoughquestionsaskedoftheAdministrationtoday;theydidn'tseemtometobe partisansofonesideortheother.Finally,despitewhatmanyofushopedbasedonhisRaich concurrence,whichissquarelyonpoint,Scaliaisprettyclearlyvotingtostrikedownthe mandate. Wydraisafanofthelaw,obviously,sinceshewroteanamicusbriefdefendingit.ButLyleDenniston, atSCOTUSblog,hadasimilartake:

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IfJusticeAnthonyM.Kennedycanlocatealimitingprincipleinthefederalgovernments defenseofthenewindividualhealthinsurancemandate,orcanthinkofoneonhisown,the mandatemaywellsurvive.Ifhedoes,hemaytakeChiefJusticeJohnG.Roberts,Jr.,anda majorityalongwithhim.Butifhedoesnot,themandateisgone.ThatiswhereTuesdays argumentwoundupwithKennedy,afterfirstdisplayingaverydeepskepticism,leavingthe impressionthathemightyetbethemandatessavior. Andhere'sRichardPrimus,aconstitutionallawprofessorattheUniversityofMichiganandformer SupremeCourtclerk,viaemail: Aswastruebeforetoday,Iwouldn'tbesurprisedtoseethethinggodown54.Butit'sstillthecasethat Iwouldn'tbesurprisedtoseeitupheld,either.RobertsandKennedywereaskingexactlythequestions thatI'dexpectthemtoaskirrespectiveofwhichwaytheyaregoing.Iwouldnowbesomewhat surprisedtoseeScaliacomeonboardIhaveaprettygoodideaofwhathisopiniondistinguishingthis casefromRaichwilllooklike.ButIcanalsoimaginequiteeasilywhatKennedy'sopinionsustainingthe lawwouldlooklike....Don'tmisunderstandme.Todaywasnotencouragingforthegovernment.But thegameisn'tover,either.Allinall,Ithinkit'smostlywhereitwasbefore,andwe'llstillhavetowait andsee. LaterIllhavemoretosayabouttheseportents,favorableandunfavorable.Or,moreaccurately,a colleaguewillhavemoretosayaboutthem.(Watchthisspace.)Inthemeantime,though,assumethat thecourtdoesstrikedownthemandate.Thatleadstoanotherquestion:Whatelsemightitstrike down?ThatsonesubjecttheCourtwilltakeuponWednesday,initsfinaldayofhearingsonthiscase. Theissueisseverability.Thatsthequestionofwhether,byinvalidatingonepartofthelaw,theCourt mustinvalidatethewholething.Normally,lawsincludeaseverabilityclause,stipulatingthatthestatute cansurviveevenifthecourtsthrowoutonepart.TheAffordableCareActlackssuchaprovision, apparentlyasabyproductofpoordrafting.Citingthat,thestatesarguethattheCourtshouldthrowout thewholelawifitdecidestostrikedownthemandate. Thegovernmentdisagrees,exceptforonekeycaveat:Itseestheinsurancereformsastheequivalentof apackagedeal.Withouttheindividualmandate,thegovernmentsays,regulationsrequiringinsurersto providecoveragetoeverybody(guaranteedissue)atauniformprice(communityrating)cantwork. (Whetherthecourtshouldactuallythrowoutthoseregulationsnowactuallyseemstobeaseparate question,havingtodowithlegalissuesIonlypartlyunderstandandwon'tbothertoexplainrightnow.) Giventhatthestatesalsofindthemandateessentialtocommunityratingandguaranteedissue,could thecourtsneverthelessstrikedownthemandatebutleavethoseothertwoinsurancereformsinplace? Actually,theanswerisyes.Thecourthasevensolicitedabrieftothiseffect,fromalawyermakingthe casethatditchingthemandateneedntrequireditchingtherestoftheinsurancereforms.Ihappento thinkhehasapoint,orhalfofoneanyway. Asapracticalmatter,insurancereformwithoutamandatecausesseriousproblems.Ifyoudontbelieve me,readmystoryfromlastweekaboutNewJersey,whichtriedtodojustthatandfailedmiserably. Itsthenatureofthebeast.Onceyoucreateaninsurancesystemwhereeverybodyisentitledto coverage,rateswillgoupunlessmostpeopleparticipate.Andastheratesgoup,morepeoplefleethe system.Youendupwithwhatthewonkscallanadverseselectiondeathspiral. 38

ButstudytheNewJerseyhistorycarefully,becausewhathappenedtheremaynotbepreciselywhat happensinthenationasawholeifthemandatefallsvictimtotheconservativejustices.TheAffordable CareActhasseveralfeaturesthatNewJerseydidnot.Chiefamongthemaresubsidies,whichwillmake insurancemorefeasibleforandmoreappealingtopeoplewhootherwisemightforsakeitbecauseof cost.Thelawalsohasasystemofriskadjustment,whichisbasicallyawayofforcingplansthatattract healthierenrolleestosubsidizethosethatattractsickerones.Intheory,shouldhelpmitigatetheeffects oftheadverseselectiondeathspiral. Aresubsidiesandriskadjustmentsufficienttocreateawellfunctioninginsurancemarket?Most experts,includingtheCongressionalBudgetOffice,sayno:Theybelievethatinsurancewithouta mandatewillmeanpremiumsgoupandinsurancecoveragegoesdown,relativetowhattheywould havebeenifthemandatewereinplace.Thatswhythemandateisnecessary,atleastinthelegalsense oftheword.Buttheseelementsalonemightthatsmight,notwouldbeenoughtostabilizethe market,sothatalotofpeoplearestillbetteroff.ThepredictionsfromCBOandotherauthoritiesshow that,forexample,insurancereformwithoutamandatestillresultsinmorepeoplegettinginsurance thanwouldotherwisehaveit. Andifthathappens,bothstatesandthefederalgovernmentwouldhaveachancetorespondby revisitingthetermsofthelaw.(Thatsoneofthefewvirtuesofthelonglagtimebeforethenew insurancesystemcomesintoplace.)Inanidealworld,Congresswouldenactreformsthatestablished themandateanew,butundertermsthattheSupremeCourtwouldapproveby,forexample, reconfiguringthepenaltyasanexplicittax,withanoffsettingcreditforthosewhohaveinsurance. Thatsalmostcertainnottohappen,givenpoliticalcircumstances,butthefederalgovernmentmight particularlyunderpressurefromtheinsuranceindustry,whichworriesaboutreformwithouta mandatecomeupwithothermethodsofimprovingparticipation,suchasstiffpenaltiesforlate enrollment.Afewstatesmightevenenactmandatesontheirown.(TheCourthasindicatedthatwould beconstitutional;itsthefederalpowertoimposeamandatethecriticsareattacking.) TheresultswouldlikelikelyfallshortofthenearlyuniversalcoveragethattheAffordableCareActis supposedtoachieve,withsomestatesdoingmuchbetterthanothers.Butthatmightstillbean improvementoverthestatusquo,withatleastachanceoffurtherimprovementlateron.Adecisionto strikedownthemandatewouldbeabreathtakingactofjudicialarrogance,damagingtothecountrys wellbeingandtoitsdelicatebalanceofgoverningpowers,buttheresachanceotherpartsofhealth reformcouldsurviveinsomeform. #

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16.http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleSCI.jsp?id=1202547106619

Forthelawyers,acontrastinstylesduringTuesday'sarguments
March27,2012 TheNationalLawJournal ByTonyMauro SolicitorGeneralDonaldVerrilliJr.onTuesdaybeganthemostimportantoralargumentofhiscareeras hedoesinmostcases,withasoftspoken,almosthaltingmanner.Hereachedforagulpofwaterto sootheascratchythroat. Fiftysixminuteslater,afterbeinghitwithhostilequestionsabouttheconstitutionalityoftheAffordable Careact,Verrilliendedhispresentationprettymuchthesameway,quietlyaskingtoreservethebalance ofhistime. ItwasnotuntilhisrebuttalanhourlaterthatVerrilligaveafullthroateddefenseofthelaw,slamming hisopponents'"utterlyunrealistic"alternativeforfinancingthenation'shealthcaresystemwithoutthe individualmandateatissueinthecase."Congressconfrontedagraveproblemwhenitenactedthe AffordableCareAct:the40millionAmericanswhocan'tgethealthinsuranceandsufferoftenvery terribleconsequences,'Verrillisaidforcefully. Butbythatpoint,somecommentatorsthoughtthatVerrilli'ssuddenpassionwastoolate,andthatthe advantagehadgonetohisadversariesPaulClementandMichaelCarvin,whoseemphatic,unhesitating stylemadeitseemthatvictorywaseasilywithintheirreach. CNNcommentatorJeffreyToobin,authorofabestsellingbookontheCourt,wentoutsidetopronounce ontheairthattheargumentwasa"trainwreck"forthegovernment.ToobinassertedthatVerrillihad donea"simplyawful"jobandwasnot"readywithgoodanswers." CarrieSeverino,aformerClarenceThomasclerk,counseltotheJudicialCrisisNetworkandanardent opponentoftheAffordableCareAct,alsospokeofVerrilli's"roughstart"and"stumbling"presentation. OthercriticstookVerrillitotaskforfailingtogiveacrispanswertotherequestbyconservativejustices fora"limitingprinciple"thatwouldreassurethemthatVerrilliwasnotaskingforunlimitedfederal powertocureallills.Inaddition,somesaidVerrillishouldhaverepeatedlyfocusedattentiononCourt precedentslikeGonzalesv.RaichinwhichtheCourtgaveanexpansivereadingtothecommercepower ofCongress. Butjustasquickly,supportersofthelawcametoVerrilli'sdefense,assertingthatthecontrastingstyles ofthelawyerswhoarguedTuesdayshouldnotobscurethefactthattheSGhadmadeallthepointshe hadintendedtomakeindefenseofthelawasaconstitutionalapproachtosolvinganationaleconomic problem."Donislittlemoreformal,moreunderstated,butattheendoftheday,hedidanadmirable job,"saidDouglasKendalloftheConstitutionalAccountabilityCenter,whichsupportsthelaw. KendallalsosaidpresscoverageoftheargumentshasoverlookedthefactthatChiefJusticeJohn RobertsJr.andAnthonyKennedyquestionedClementandCarvinskeptically,makingthempossible votesforthegovernment'sposition. 40

ThomasGoldsteinofGoldstein&Russell,whoalsowatchedthearguments,saidthe"optics"ofan argumentcanbeaffectedbyfactorsentirelyoutsidethecontrolofthelawyers.TheCourt'sconservative justicesaresharperquestioners,forexample,makingtheirtargetinthiscaseVerrilliseemlikeheis alwaysonthedefensive."It'seasyforPaultolookbrilliantwhenhehasthemonhisside,"said Goldstein,aveteranadvocatebeforetheCourt. Bycontrast,Goldsteinsaid,theliberaljusticesdon'tmaketheirtargetssweatevenwhentheyareasking aggressivequestions."JusticeSotomayorstepsinandstepsonhercolleagues,andJusticeBreyerwill askaquestionthatlaststhreeminutes,"bluntingtheireffectiveness,saidGoldstein.Headdedthat JusticeElenaKaganisprobablythemosteffectivequestionerontheCourt'sliberalside. MayerBrown'sAndrewPincus,anotherveteranadvocatewhowasintheaudience,saidthe governmenthad"thehardersideofthestick"inTuesday'sargument."Thejusticesaskedprobing questions,whichiswhatyouwouldexpectofanargumentofthismomentandmagnitudeIthinkDon didagoodjobofexplainingwhythismarketisunique." Then,thereistheClementfactor.Withhisconversationalstyle,confidentbutusuallynotcocky, ClementwasatthetopofhisgameonTuesday,handlingquestionswithease."WhenPauldoesasgood ajobashedid,"saidGoldstein,"it'shardforanyoneelsetoshine." #

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17.http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/27/usahealthcarecourtpolitics idUSL2E8QR49120120327

UShealthlawpartisansreadhighcourthearingbothways
March27,2012 Reuters ByDavidMorganandIanSimpson WASHINGTON,March27(Reuters)TheSupremeCourtisnotexpectedtoruleontheU.S.healthcare law'scontentiousindividualmandateforanotherthreemonths. Butthatdidnotstoppartisansonbothsidesofthepoliticalbattlefromclaimingoratleasttryingto salvageanearlyvictoryinthecourtofpublicopiniononTuesday. Theshoutingmatchbeganwellbeforethehighcourtstartedhearingoralargumentsonthecasethis week. ItescalatedmeasurablyafterthejusticeswrappeduptheirrapidfirequestionsonTuesdayonthe constitutionalityoftheprovisionthatrequiresmostAmericanstohavehealthinsurancein2014. Whilenoonewouldpredictafinalruling,someRepublicansappearedjubilantoversignsofan ideologicalsplitthatcouldpositionthecourt's54conservativemajorityinoppositiontothemandate. "Basedonmyreadingofthe...hearingstoday,itisdoubtfulthattheindividualmandatewillsurvive," SenatorMikeLeeofUtahsaidinoneofseveralTwittermessagesSenateRepublicansissuedafter Tuesday'shearingconcluded. Butadvocatesofthehealthcareoverhaulsawasilverlining,sayingthetoneofthejustices'discourse appearedtofavorthelaw. "Therewasamajorityofthecourtinfavorofupholding...theindividualmandate,"saidDougKendall oftheliberalConstitutionalAccountabilityCenter. ThemandateisthelinchpinofPresidentBarackObama'ssignaturepolicytoprovidehealthcare coveragetomorethan30millionuninsuredAmericansunderthe2010PatientProtectionand AffordableCareAct,orACA. Itisbeingchallengedby26statesandanindependentbusinessgroupthatwanttheprovision overturnedonthegroundsthatitexceedsthefederalgovernment'sconstitutionalauthority. Outsidethecourt'sGrecoRomancolonnade,thelawanditsmainprovisionareatthecenterofa vitriolicpoliticaldebatebetweenpresidentialcandidates,lawmakersandalliedgroupsthatcouldhelp determinewhocontrolstheWhiteHouseandCongressaftertheNov.6election. SOURCESOFSUPPORT ButnoteveryonewhoopposesthelawsawTuesday'sproceedingsasavictory. 42

"Itdidn'tlooktomeasifitwasaslamdunkfromanyperspective,"saidDouglasHoltzEakin,president oftheconservativeAmericanActionForum,whoattendedthehearing. Advocatesofthelawsaidthehearingdemonstratedsolidsupportforthemandatefromthecourt'sfour liberaljusticesRuthBaderGinsburg,SoniaSotomayor,ElenaKaganandStephenBreyer. Thatmeansthemeasurecouldbeupheldifoneconservativejusticejoinsthemandsomesawevidence thatJusticeAnthonyKennedycoulddoso. "JusticeKennedyaskedverytoughquestions.Andyethedescribedtheuniquedynamicsofthe healthcaremarkethimself,moresothananyoneelse,"saidEthanRome,executivedirectorofHealth CareforAmericaNow,acoalitionofunionandliberalgroupsthathasbeenlobbyingforreformsince 2008. "Notallhealthcareadvocatessawtodayasagoodday.Butthat'sthewrongwaytoreadit,"hesaid. "Kennedyneedstoaskthetoughestquestionstoassureconservativesthatanynonideological judgmentwillbebasedonthemerits." RonPollack,executivedirectorofthehealthcareconsumeradvocacygroupFamiliesUSA,saidthe court'sfinalrulingwilldependonhowmanyjusticesviewthemandateasaninstrumentforregulating healthcareratherthanspurringinsurancesales. "Ifit'shealthcare,they'llcomeoutinawaythatunderstandshealthcareconsumesoneoutofeverysix dollarsintheeconomyandthatit'srationalforCongresstoregulateit,"Pollacksaid. RegardlessofhowtheSupremeCourtrulesonthelegalissues,healthcarereform'sultimatefatecould lieinthepoliticalrealm,dependingontheoutcomeofNovemberelections. "IfSenateRepublicansbecomethemajoritynextyear,thefirstitemontheagendaofthenewSenate RepublicanmajoritywouldbetherepealofObamacare(ACA)andthereplacementofitwithsomething thatmakesmoresenseandistargetedattheproblemsthatweactuallyhaveinAmericanhealthcare," saidSenateRepublicanleaderMitchMcConnell. #

43

18.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304177104577308052477991894.html

KennedyLeavesBothSidesHopeful
March27,2012 WallStreetJournal ByBRENTKENDALL SouthCarolinaAttorneyGeneralAlanWilson,anopponentofthehealthcarelaw,wouldliketothink JusticeAnthonyKennedyisonhisside,citingthemomentTuesdaywhen"hesaidthehealthcare mandatechangestherelationshipofthefederalgovernmenttotheindividualinaveryfundamental way." DougKendall,presidentoftheConstitutionalAccountabilityCenter,aliberallegalgroupthatfiled briefssupportingtheoverhaul,believesJusticeKennedymightbeonhisside,basedonhisdescription oftheproblemscreatedbytheuninsured. StevenA.Engel,aformerlawclerkofJusticeKennedyandnowapartneratDechertLLPsaid:"It's entirelypossiblehedoesn'tknowyetwhichwayhe'sgoingtogo." ThemystiquethatisJusticeKennedythealmostcertainswingvoteinanybigSupremeCourtcase wasonfulldisplayduringTuesday'sargumentsoverwhetherPresidentBarackObama'ssignature legislativeachievementpassesconstitutionalmuster.Aftertwointensehoursoforalargument,both sideswereinvestingtheirhopesinhim.Butneithercouldconfidentlypredicthowhewillvote. GeorgeWashingtonUniversitylawprofessorOrinKerr,aformerJusticeKennedylawclerk,saidhis formerbossappearedtobestrugglingwithhowthecaseshouldbedecided."It'stoohardtopredict wherehewillcomedown,"Mr.Kerrsaid."Somejusticeshaveaclearviewrightoffthebat.Justice Kennedyismorelikelytothinkoverhispositionovertime." ThetrueleaningsofJusticeKennedy,anappointeeofPresidentRonaldReaganwhohasservedsince 1988,canbetoughtodiscernfromhiscommentsduringoralarguments. TakehisOctober2004questionsinRoperv.Simmons,wherethecourtconsideredwhetherthe Constitutionforbidsthedeathpenaltyforjuvenileoffenders.Duringthatsession,heaskedseveral skepticalquestionsandsuggestedthedeathpenaltyservedasadeterrentto16and17yearoldgang members.Hiscommentsleftsomecourtwatchersbelievinghewouldsidewithdeathpenalty supporters. Fivemonthslater,JusticeKennedywrotethecourt's54opiniondeclaringjuvenileexecutionsa violationoftheConstitution'sbanoncruelandunusualpunishment.Fourliberalmembersjoinedhimin themajority. Beingtheswingvote,JusticeKennedyhasoftenfoundhimselfatthecenterofthecourt'sbiggestcases. In2003,hewroteapassionatemajorityopinioninLawrencev.Texas,wherethecourtvoted63to strikedownaTexasantisodomystatute.

44

Morerecently,hewrotethecourt's2010dividedrulinginCitizensUnitedv.FederalElection Commission,whichstruckdownlongstandinglimitsoncorporateelectionexpenditures. BeforeTuesday,theWhiteHouseexpectedaneasierreception.JusticeKennedyprovedharsherthan governmentlawyershadpredicted,saidanadministrationofficialwhoattendedtheargument. Buttheofficialnotedthatwhileotherjusticesoftenrevealtheirleaningsatoralarguments,Justice Kennedy'squestionstendonlytoindicatetheissueshefindsmostvexing.Andinthiscase,theofficial said,JusticeKennedyseemedasawareofthepeculiarproblemsafflictingthehealthcaremarketashe wastroubledbythenoveltyofthemethodCongressadoptedtocurethem. JessBravin contributedtothisarticle. #

45

19.http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courtwatchersonbothsidesspeculateabouthealth caremandate/2012/03/27/gIQAZgmBfS_story.html

Courtwatchersonbothsidesspeculateabouthealthcaremandate
March27,2012 WashingtonPost ByDavidA.FahrentholdandN.C.Aizenman PoliticalWashingtonspentTuesdayengagedinanoddparlorgamethatcombinedtheguessworkof charadeswiththemessagingconfusionoftelephone.InsidetheSupremeCourt,500peoplestaredat ninejustices,tryingtodivinethemeaningbehindquestions,quipsandevensmiles. Outside,apeculiarsubsetofthecapitalsdenizenswereontheirvariouselectronicdevices,eagerly tryingtodecodewhatthoseinsidethoughttheysaw. BytheendofTuesdayslongawaitedoralarguments,theindividualmandateacrucialpieceof PresidentObamashealthcarelawseemedtobeintrouble.Thesolicitorgeneral,chargedwith guardingthemeasure,hadaroughoutingundersharpquestioningfromthejustices. Theresultwasthatthetwofactionsthathadbuilttheiridentitiesaroundthecontroversiallawone promisingtodefendit,theothertoenditwereforcedtoconsiderafuturewithoutit.Proponents werehopeful;criticswereencouraged.NeitherhadaPlanB. Iftheydontupholdit,Isuspectitwillbeamajor,majorissueintheelectionscongressionaland presidentialthisfall,saidSen.PatrickJ.Leahy(DVt.).ThedebatewillbewiththeAmerican people. VirginiaAttorneyGeneralKenCuccinelliII(R),anopponentofthelaw,saidhewasbuoyedbythe arguments:Iwentincautiouslyoptimisticaboutourprospectsontheindividualmandate,andIcame outhappierthanwhenIwentin,hetoldreportersafterthetwohourhearing. TuesdaywasthesecondofthreedaysoforalargumentsbeforetheSupremeCourtonthemeasure.But itwastheonethatcountedmost.ThemandatethatvirtuallyeveryAmericanmustobtainhealth insuranceby2014orpayapenaltyisoneofthelinchpinsofthelegislation.Opponentssaythemandate isunconstitutional,animproperextensionoffederalauthority. AndsoWashingtonsattentionwasfocusedonasingleroomwiththecapacityofahighschool auditorium. ThecrowdincludedAttorneyGeneralEricH.HolderJr.,HealthandHumanServicesSecretaryKathleen Sebelius,lawmakers,stateattorneysgeneral,anddozensofjournalistsandlawyers.BlackBerryswere banned.ItwasararekindofmomentinatownwheresenatorstuneoutinhearingsandHouse membersspeaktoemptychambers. Therewasnothingtodobutlisten.

46

Itremindedme[of]Mr.SmithGoestoWashington,saidHansvonSpakovsky,alawyeratthe conservativeHeritageFoundation,recallingthesceneinthatmoviewhenJimmyStewartscharacter speakstoarapt,andfull,Senatechamber.Therearehardlyeveranyrealdebates...butthatdoes happenintheSupremeCourt. LawyersinthecrowdweremostattentivetoJusticeAnthonyM.Kennedy,whoisexpectedtobeakey swingvoteinthecase.Inthefirsthourofarguments,Kennedygavethelawsopponentshopebyasking skepticalquestions. Doyounothaveaheavyburdenofjustification,heaskedSolicitorGeneralDonaldB.VerrilliJr.,to showauthorizationundertheConstitution? Butastheargumentswenton,Kennedyaskedotherquestionsthatencouragedthemeasures supporters.HeseemedatonepointtoacceptanargumentkeytotheObamaadministrationscase: thatpeoplewhodontbuyhealthinsurancearestillinthehealthcaremarket,becausetheywillneed careatsomepoint. Theyareinthemarketinthesensethattheyarecreatingariskthatthemarketmustaccountfor, Kennedysaid. Sowhatdoesthatallmean?AdvocatesonbothsidesofthecasetookKennedysstatementsasasignal thatheandthecourtwillruleintheirfavor. Iamstillhopefulthatwehaveamajorityonthecourttoupholdtheact,saidElizabethB.Wydraof theConstitutionalAccountabilityCenter.Shesupportsthelaw.Youknow,hopefully,6to3. SaidVonSpakovsky,whoopposesthemeasure:Ithinkitsatleast5050thatthemandatewillbe struckdown. Oh,Ithinkitsbetter,saidhisHeritageFoundationcolleagueToddGaziano,sittingacrossaconference tableatthegroupsheadquarters.Hehadtakenextraencouragementfromaparticularsmilefrom JusticeSamuelA.AlitoJr.GazianothoughtthatwasasignthattheObamaadministrationscasewas slippingaway.Ithinkitsan80percentchance. Idprobablygoto60,VonSpakovskysaid,encouragedbyhiscolleaguesoptimism. Outsidethecourtroom,thingslookedevenmoremuddled. Itsjustthedamnedestthinginthe21stcentury,saidRussellWheeler,alegalexpertattheBrookings Institution.Hewashittingarefreshbuttoneverythreetofourminutes,scanninglawblogs.Hisheart sankandthenroseasheheardsecondhandreportsaboutKennedysquestions.Withallthis technology,were...basicallylookingforpuffsofsmoketocomeoutofthecourt. AsTuesdaywenton,aconsensusbegantoemerge:Ithadbeenagooddayforthelawsopponents, raisingtheoddsthatsomeorallofitwillbeoverturned. Overall,therewerefourjusticesuptherewhoarticulatedeveryaspectofourargumentaswellaswe did,ifnotbetter,saidRandyBarnett,aGeorgetownUniversitylawprofessorwhohasledthefight 47

againstthelaw.Inaninterviewonthecourtsteps,BarnettsaidhewascountingChiefJusticeJohnG. RobertsJr.,aswellasAlitoandJusticesAntoninScaliaandClarenceThomas.Idontseehowwecan askforanythingbetterthanthat. TherealsowascriticismforVerrilli,whoseemedtostruggleattimesinthefaceofskepticalqueries. TherealimportanceofTuesdaysargumentswontbeknownuntilJune,whenthecourtisexpectedto announceitsdecision.LeadingDemocratssaidtherearenoplansforalegislativefallbackpositionifthe mandateisoverthrown,sayingtheycouldnotdecidehowtoresponduntilafterreadingsuchan opinion. Youcannotbasewhatthecourtisgoingtodobasedonanoralargument.Itsnice,itsgoodto speculateastowhatmighthappen,butbelieveme,thoseninemenandwomenareextremelysmart, andalotoftimestheyprobewiththosequestions,notinanywaytotiptheirmittastohowtheyre goingtovoteonit,SenateMajorityLeaderHarryM.Reid(Nev.)toldreportersTuesdayafternoon. Republicanswerefuzzyonhowtheywouldproceedshouldthelawbestruckdown.SenateMinority LeaderMitchMcConnell(Ky.)onTuesdaywouldsayonlythatifRepublicanswoncontroloftheSenate inthefall,theywouldseektoreplacethelegislationwithsomethingthatmakesmoresenseandis targetedattheproblemsthatweactuallyhaveinAmericanhealthcare. Attheendoftheday,theparlorgamewoundupwiththis:OnCNNsSituationRoomWithWolf Blitzer,DemocraticstrategistJamesCarvillewastryingtospinaSupremeCourtdefeatthathadnt happened. IthinkthiswillbethebestthingthathaseverhappenedtotheDemocraticParty,hesaid.Ifthelawis struckdown,andthehealthcaresystemrevertstoitsoldproblems,Carvillesaid,thatwouldbeagood thing:ThentheRepublicanPartywillownthehealthcaresystemfortheforeseeablefuture.AndI reallybelievethat.Thatisnotspin. #

48

20.http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/03/28/149485784/supremecourtsmedicaiddecision couldreachfarbeyondhealthcare

SupremeCourt'sMedicaidDecisionCouldReachFarBeyondHealth Care
March28,2012 NPR(printstoryaccompaniesaudioabove) ByJULIEROVNER AfterTuesday'sjudicialfireworks,theSupremeCourtwrapsupargumentsonthenewhealthcarelaw Wednesdaybyfocusingontwoquestions.Thefirstinvolveswhatwouldhappenifthe"individual mandate"thecoreofthelawthatrequiresmostpeopletohavehealthinsuranceisstruckdown. Wouldtherestofthelawfall,too,orcouldsomeprovisionsstay? Butit'sthesecondargumentthecourtwillhearabouttheAffordableCareActthatcouldpotentially havethemostfarreachingconsequences.Atissueiswhetherthehealthlaw'sexpansionofthe Medicaidprogramforthepoorunfairlyforcesthestatestoparticipate. Ifthejusticesfindthefederalgovernmentiscoercingthestates,thatdecisioncouldreachfarbeyond healthcare. Medicaidisalreadyoneofthenation'slargestprovidersofhealthcareservices,saysDianeRowland, executivedirectoroftheKaiserCommissiononMedicaidandtheUninsured. "Itprovideshealthinsurancecoverageto1in3Americanchildren,soit'safundamentalpartoftheway inwhichwedeliverhealthcareservicestoday,"shesays. Butaslargeastheprogramis,Medicaidtodayinmoststatesisstillnotavailabletopeoplesimply becausetheyarepoor.Theyhavetobepoorandsomethingelsesuchasachild,apregnantwoman orolderthan65.Underthehealthlaw,however,thatwouldnolongerbethecase. "Medicaidchangesfromaprogramthatcoverscertaincategoriesoflowincomeindividualstoa programavailableforhealthcoverageforallindividuals,"Rowlandsays. Allindividuals,thatis,withincomesunder133percentofthefederalpovertyline.Thisyearthat's $14,856.AccordingtotheCongressionalBudgetOffice,thatwilladdabout17millionnewpeople mostlyadultswithoutchildrentoMedicaid's60millionorsoenrolleesbytheyear2016. Currently,statessharethecostofMedicaidwiththefederalgovernment.Wealthierstatespayhalf; poorerstatespayasmallershare.Butthefederalgovernmentrecognizedthatstatesarestrappedfor cashthesedays.Somostofthenewcostallofitatfirst;90percenteventuallyisbeingpaidbythe federalgovernment. Butthat'snotstoppingstatesfromclaimingthatthisexpansionamountstounconstitutionalarm twisting.That'sbecauseiftheydon'tfollowthroughwiththenewchanges,theyhavetopulloutof Medicaidaltogetherorsotheyclaim. 49

FormerBushadministrationSolicitorGeneralPaulClementisrepresentingthe26statesthataresuing overtheMedicaidprovisionsofthehealthlaw. Hesayswhatthelawmeansisthatifstatesdon'tagreetotheexpansions,"we'regoingtotakeawayall ofyourmoney,includingallofthemoneythatyou'vekindofgottenusedto,allofthemoneythat you'veusedfordifferentgroupsofpeople.Andthatdoesseemalittlemorecoercive." Medicaidis,infact,avoluntaryprogram.Statesdon'thavetoparticipate.Buttheyalldo.AndClement sayssomuchmoneyisatstakemorethan$400billionin2010thatdroppingoutissimply unrealistic. "Howanystateatthispointcouldsay,'We'rejustgoingtoturndownMedicaidfundingfromthefederal government'Idon'tthinkanysetofcitizenswouldallowthattohappen,"Clementsays."Becauseit's allthismoneythat'sbeingtakenfromthestatetaxpayersthatwouldthenbegoingtoeverystateinthe unionbutthatstate;itjustwouldn'twork." ButisthislatestexpansionofMedicaidreallycoercive?SaraRosenbaum,alawprofessorandMedicaid expertatGeorgeWashingtonUniversity,saysit'shardlydifferentfrommanyoftheexpansionsthat havecomebefore. "Statesalreadycoveralotofadults,"Rosenbaumsays."Theycoverparents;theycoveradultswith disabilities;theycoveradultswhoarepregnant.Andsoallthisexpansiondoesisreallytofillinthe remaininggaps.Andit'ssomethingthatmanystateshavewantedtodoovertheyears." Whilestatesareworriedabouthowmuchtheymightultimatelyhavetopayforallthosenewadults, evenifit'sonly10percentofthecost,Rosenbaumsays,overthelongterm,theymightactuallysave money. "Therearestudiesthatsuggestbyjust2019alone,stateswillhavesavedabout$100billioninstate fundingforuncompensatedcare,especiallyforadults,"shesays. ButtherealreasonpeoplearewatchingtheMedicaidargumentssocloselyhasnothingtodowith Medicaid.It'sthepotentialimpactontherelationshipbetweenthefederalgovernmentandthestates. Thisisoneofthefewtimesthecourthastakenupwhat'sknownasthe"spendingclause"ofthe Constitution. "It'slongbeenestablishedbytheSupremeCourtthatCongresscanattachconditionstofederalfunds thatitgivesthestates,"saysElizabethWydraoftheConstitutionalAccountabilityCenter,aliberal thinktank."Statescanfollowtherequirements...ortheycanoptoutofreceivingthefunds altogether." Butwhileearliercaseshavesuggestedthattherecouldbelimitstothoseconditions,thecourthasnever saidwhatthoselimitsare.Andit'snotjustMedicaidatstake. "Thatplacesinjeopardy,inadditiontotheentireMedicaidprogram,ahostofotherverybeneficial federalgrantprogramsintheeducationcontext,childwelfareandotherprograms,"Wydrasays.In fact,itcouldaffectvirtuallyanyprograminwhichthefederalgovernmentgivesmoneytothestates withconditionsattached. 50

Sofar,nolowercourthasagreedthattheMedicaidexpansioncoercesthestates.Butnooneexpected theSupremeCourttohearthispartofthechallengeagainstthehealthlaw,either. #

51

21.http://motherjones.com/mojo/2012/03/willsupremecourtcreatezombieobamacare

WilltheSupremeCourtCreateZombieObamacare?
March28,2012 MotherJones ByAdamSerwer ThefirstquestionbeforetheSupremeCourtonWednesday,thelastofthreedaysoforalargument abouttheconstitutionalityofPresidentBarackObama'shealthcarelaw,waswhethertheindividual mandatetherequirementthatcertainuncoveredAmericanspurchasehealthinsuranceorpayafine wasthe"heart"ofObamacare.Inotherwords,ifthatbeatingheartisrippedoutbyamajorityofthe nineblackrobedjustices,shouldtheAffordableCareActbeallowedtostumblealongorbeputdown withadoublebarrelshottothehead? FormerSolicitorGeneralPaulClement,representing26stateschallengingthelaw,saidthatwithoutthe individualmandatetherestofthebillwouldnotworkandZobamacareshouldnotbeallowedtorise fromtheremains. "Whatyouendupwithattheendofthatprocessisjustsortofahollowshell,"Clementsaid."Youcan't possiblythinkthatCongresswouldhavepassedthathollowshellwithouttheheartoftheAct."Justice AntoninScalialateraskedDeputySolicitorGeneralEdwinKneedlerthatparticularquestion:"Canyou takeouttheheartoftheactandleaveeverythingelseinplace?" Kneedlerhadatoughpositiontodefend.TheObamaadministration'sstanceisthatiftheindividual mandateisstruckdown,popularprovisionslikethebanoninsurancecompaniesdiscriminatingdueto preexistingconditionsmustalsogo.Kneedlerwastellingthecourtthatifamajoritychoosestoripout theheartofthebill,theywillhavetotearouttheentirecirculatorysystem,too.Thereason:Without theindividualmandatetopushhealthyindividualstobuyinsurance,theinsuranceindustrywouldgo bankrupttryingtocoverthosewithserious,expensivehealthproblems.YetKneedleralsoarguedthat theAffordableCareActcreateda"sharpdividingline"betweenthosepopularreformsandtherestof thelaw.Thelegalconceptinplayhereis"severability":whetherornotthelawcanremainifonepiece isstricken. Theadministration'sargumentwasessentiallyapleatoprotectthehealthinsuranceindustryshouldthe mandatefall.BothDemocraticandRepublicanappointedjusticesseemedsympathetictothat argument.FortheRepublicanappointedjustices,thiswouldmakeiteasiertooverturntheentire AffordableCareAct.WhenAttorneyH.BartowFarrIIIwhothecourtdesignatedtodefendanappeals courtrulingthatneitherthegovernmentnorthestatesembracedstooduptoarguethatthelaw wouldstilllargelyfunctionasintendedwithoutthemandate,JusticeSonyaSotomayorworriedaloud aboutanimpending"deathspiral."Likewise,JusticeAnthonyKennedy,consideredtheswingvoteon thecourt,suggestedthatitwouldbejudicialoverreachif"oneprovisionwasstrickenandtheothers remainedtoimposeariskoninsurancecompaniesthatCongresshadneverintended." Despiteallthefocusontheindividualmandateandwhetheritcouldbeseveredfromtherestofthe law,theconstitutionalityofthelaw'sMedicaidexpansion,whichwasalsoconsideredWednesday,could haveamoredramaticimpactonAmericans'healthcare.Thatexpansionwillleadto16millionmore Americansbeingcovered,abouthalfoftheentirenumberofpeoplewhowouldreceivecoverageunder 52

theAffordableCareAct.(Medicaidoffersfederalmoneytostatestohelpprovidehealthcaretothe poorandelderlytheprogramistechnicallyoptional,butallstatesparticipate.UnderObamacare,the stateshavetoaccepttheexpansionoroptoutoftheprogram.)Clementcontendedthatthisexpansion shouldbestruckdownbecausethestateswouldneverrefusethemoney,andthereforethisprovision wasunconstitutionallycoercive. "Thechancesforanadverseruling[ontheMedicaidmeasure]arelowerbutthestakesarehigher," saysDougKendalloftheConstitutionAccountabilityCenter."Thestakesarehigherbecauseifthe courtdoesfindcoercioninthisexpansionofMedicaid,thanalotofotherpreviousandfuture expansionsofMedicaidareatrisk." TheDemocraticappointeesonthecourtwerepointedlyunconvincedbyClement'sargument."It'sjusta boatloadoffederalmoneyforyoutotakeandspendonpoorpeople'shealthcare,"JusticeElenaKagan said."Itdoesn'tsoundcoercivetome,Ihavetotellyou."JusticeRuthBaderGinsburgpointedoutthat thecourthadneverstruckdownastatefederalpartnershipprogram"becauseitwassogoodthatit becomescoercivetobeinit."JusticeSonyaSotomayorsaidthatthemainelementof"coercion"here appearedtobepoliticiansnotwantingtofacevotersafterdecliningMedicaidfunding. Clement'sargument,however,receivedafavorablereceptionamongthecourt'sconservativewing. Scalialikenedtheexpansionto"anoffertheycan'trefuse,"whileKennedysaidthere's"norealchoice." ChiefJusticeJohnRobertsaskedsharpquestionsoftheattorneysonbothsides.NotonlyisObamacare indangerofbeingstruckdownand16millionuninsuredAmericanslosingcoveragethelawwould providethemthroughMedicaidthelegalbasisforthefederalgovernmentprovidinginsurancetothe poorandelderlyisinthecrosshairs. Conservativescametothecourthopingtostriketheindividualmandate.Itnowappearsentirely possiblethattheywillkillthemandate,thelawitself,andfundamentallycurtailthefederal government'sabilitytocontrolhowstatesuseitsmoney.Thiswouldbelikeaskingforaponyfor Christmasandactuallygettingit. Inthefinalmoments,theargumentsreturnedtofirstprinciples.SolicitorGeneralDonaldB.Verrilli,inan attempttorecoverfromhishaltingperformanceTuesday,urgedthecourtinhisfinalremarksto considertheconsequencesofdestroyingtheAffordableCareActoutright. "Therewillbemillionsofpeoplewithchronicconditionslikediabetesandheartdisease,andasaresult ofthehealthcarethattheywillget,theywillbeunshackledfromthedisabilitiesthatthosediseasesput onthemandhavetheopportunitytoenjoytheblessingsofliberty,"Verrillisaid.Butthatmaynotbe thekindoflibertymembersofthiscourtconsiderimportant.Clementshotbackthat"It'saveryfunny conceptionoflibertythatforcessomebodytopurchaseaninsurancepolicywhethertheywantitor not." Sotheargumentsendedwheretheystarted:Whetherthegreaterdeprivationoflibertyisdyingforlack ofaffordablecare,orbeingtaxedintobuyinghealthinsurance.ForthoseAmericansstrugglingtopay theirmedicalbills,ZombieObamacarecouldbebetterthannothing. Butnothingissoundinglikearealpossibility. # 53

22.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/uspolitics/9172383/BarackObamashealthcare reformsonthelineasSupremeCourtweighsitsdecision.html

BarackObama'shealthcarereformsonthelineasSupremeCourt weighsitsdecision
TheUSSupremeCourttodayconsideredwhethertostrikedownBarackObama'sentire healthcarereformlaw,asthepresident'slandmarkdomesticachievementlookedincreasinglyin peril.
March28,2012 DailyTelegraph(UK) ByRafSanchez Onthethirddayofhearingsinto'Obamacare'thereformsdesignedtoprovidehealthcoverageto millionsofuninsuredAmericansseveraloftheninejusticessignaledthattheybelievedthefateofthe wholelawrestedontheconstitutionalityofitsmostcontroversialelement. AttheheartofMrObama'sreformsistheindividualmandate,aprovisionthatforcesAmericanstobuy healthinsuranceorelsefaceafinancialpenalty.Thecourt'sconservativejusticesaredeeplyopposedto theregulation,whichtheybelieverepresentsanoverreachbythefederalgovernment. Intoday'shearings,opponentsofthelawarguedthatiftheindividualmandateisstruckdownthenall otheraspectsoftheAffordableCareActmustbestruckdownwithit. PaulClement,alawyerrepresenting26Republicanstatesopposedtothereforms,toldthecourt:"Ifthe individualmandateisunconstitutional,thentherestoftheactcannotstand." Hisargumentmetawarmreceptionfromthemoreconservativejudges,withJusticeAntonScaliasaying "ifyoutaketheheartoutofthisstatute"thenallitsotherprovisionmustalsofall. EdwinKneedler,alawyerfortheObamaadministration,urgedthecourttorejecthisopponents' "sweeping"claimsthatallelementsofthelawwouldbescupperedbythelossoftheindividual mandate. HesaidthatotherprovisionsincludinganexpansionoftheMedicaidprogrammefortreatingthevery poorandsubsidiesonhealthinsuranceforthoseonlowincomesrepresentedtraditionalareasof governmentinterventionandcouldstandregardlessofthefateofthemandate. Hisargumentwassupportedbythecourt'smoreliberaljudges.JusticeRuthBaderGinsburgsaidshe favoured"asalvagejob"whichwouldallowCongresstodecidethefateoftheact'ssurvivingelements, ratherthanleavingtheminthehandsofunelectedjudges. JeffreyToobin,oneofthecountry'smostinfluentiallegalexperts,saidthetoneofthehearingindicated seriousdangersforthepresident'sreforms. "There'sconsiderablesentimentonthiscourtthatit'sallonebigpackageanditneedstobegotridof altogether,whichisastunninglybadturnofeventsfortheObamaadministration,"hesaid. 54

ThecourtisexpectedtogiveitsrulinginJune. Today'sdiscussionmayproveonlytheoreticalifthemandateisdeemedconstitutional,butinacritical sessionyesterdayfiveoftheninejusticesseemedtoindicatetheywerepreparedtoknockdownthe controversialregulation. BothopponentsandadvocatesofthelawfocusedtheirattentiononJusticeAnthonyKennedy,the Reaganappointeewhoisseenasthecourt's"swingvote"andwhoyesterdayseemedtofocushis criticismsontheadministration'scase. AtonestageheinterruptedDonaldVerrilli,MrObama'ssolicitorgeneral,toapparentlyexpressalarmat thescaleoftheconsitutionalimplicationsofthemandate. "Whenyouarechangingtherelationoftheindividualtothegovernmentinthis,whatwecanstipulate is,Ithink,auniqueway,doyounothaveaheavyburdenofjustificationtoshowauthorisationunderthe Constitution?"heasked. AstheyemergedfromTuesday'shearing,Republicansenatorsandattorneygeneralsfromthe26states opposingMrObama'sreformsseizedonJusticeKennedy'squestionsasevidencetheywereclosinginon theirgoal. GregAbbott,theAttorneyGeneralofTexas,toldtheTelegraph:"JusticeKennedywasveryclearinhis questionsthathewasconcernedaboutthelaw'sintrusionintoindividuallibertyandtheprecedentit wouldsetforthelimitsoncongressionalpower." LiberalgroupsstruckamoresubduednotebutElizabethWydra,alawyerfor500statelegislatorswho supportthereforms,saidthatconservativeshadyettolockdownthevotesofeitherJusticeKennedy orChiefJusticeJohnRoberts. "IstillseeawaytogatheramajorityforupholdingtheconstitutionalityofthemandateandIthink thattheconservativecancountonthreejusticesbutIdon'tthinktheycancountbeyondthat,"she said. #

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23.http://www.bloomberg.com/news/20120329/secretvoteopenshealthlawreviewshaping courtlegacy.html

SecretVoteOpensHealthLawReviewShapingCourtLegacy
March29,2012 Bloomberg/BusinessWeek ByGregStohrandSethStern U.S.ChiefJusticeJohnRobertswillprobablyaskeachofhiseightSupremeCourtcolleaguesgatheredin anoakpaneledroomtomorrowwheretheystandonthelawthatwouldexpandhealthinsurancetoat least30millionAmericansandaffectonesixthoftheeconomy. Thesecret,preliminaryvote,followingthecourtsstandardpractice,willkickoffthreemonthsof behindthescenesdeliberationsonthefateofthelaw.TheoutcomewillshapeRobertssownlegacy, influencePresidentBarackObamasreelectionprospectsandpotentiallydeepenthepartisangulfthat isalreadydividingthecountry. ThisisthedefiningcaseforthistermandquitepossiblytheentireRobertschiefjusticeshipiftheyre goingtostrikeitdown,saidSanfordLevinson,aUniversityofTexaslawprofessor. Almostsixandahalfhoursofargumentoverthepastthreedayscastdoubtonthesurvivalofthelaws centerpiecerequirementthatindividualsgetinsurance.Thehearingsmadeclearthejusticesare splittingalongideologicallines,muchlikeaDemocraticcontrolledCongresswaswhenitenactedthe lawin2010withoutasingleRepublicanvote. Thecourtsdecisionwillmarkthefirsttimeithasruledonapresidentsbiggestlegislative accomplishmentinthemiddleofhisreelectioncampaign.Themeasureisbeingchallengedby26states andabusinesstradegroupasexceedingCongresssconstitutionalpowers. BreathtakingMoment TheoutcomewillhingeonRobertsandJusticeAnthonyKennedy,saidSusanLowBloch,aconstitutional lawprofessoratGeorgetownUniversityLawCenterinWashington. Duringargumentsovertheinsurancerequirement,bothjusticestrainedthebulkoftheirquestionson U.S.SolicitorGeneralDonaldVerrilli,theObamaadministrationlawyerwhodefendedthelaw. Robertsdirectedthreequartersofhisapproximately20questionstoVerrilliduringthattwohour argument.Robertssaidthehealthplanwouldrequirepeoplewhoarenevergoingtoneedpediatricor maternityservicestoparticipateinthatmarket. Kennedysaidthelawchangestherelationshipofthefederalgovernmenttotheindividualinavery fundamentalwaybyforcingpeopletobuyaproduct. ItwasbreathtakingwhenKennedyexpressedasmuchskepticismashedidatthegovernments individualmandate,saidIlyaShapiro,anopponentofthelawandaseniorfellowinconstitutional

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studiesattheWashingtonbasedCatoInstitute,whichurgessmallergovernment.Ialmostbeganfist pumping. JoiningForces Shouldtheyconcludethattheinsurancerequirementisunconstitutional,RobertsandKennedywould probablyjointhreeotherRepublicanappointeesAntoninScalia,ClarenceThomasandSamuelAlito ina54majority.ThecourtsfourDemocraticappointeesallsuggestedtheywouldvotetoupholdthe law. Adecisionthattheinsurancerequirementisunconstitutionalwouldrequirethejusticestodecide whethertooverturnsomeoralloftherestofthelawaswell.Duringargumentsyesterday,thejustices suggestedtheywouldhavetoinvalidateprovisionsthatrequireinsurerstocoverpeoplewithpre existingmedicalconditions. Thejusticesweredividedonwhethertogofurtherandthrowouttheentirehealthcarelaw.Thecourts Democraticappointeesurgedalimitedruling,andtheRepublicanjusticesofferedvaryinglevelsof supportfortopplingallprovisions. NotOverYet SupremeCourtargumentscanbedeceiving.In2009,ahearingsuggestedthecourtwaspoisedtostrike downacentralprovisionintheVotingRightsAct.Inthatargument,Kennedypointedtoagreat disparityinthewaytheacttreateddifferentstatesandsaidagovernmentlawyerdefendingthelaw boreaverysubstantialburden. Threemonthslater,thecourtproducedacompromise,an81decisionthatavoidedrulingonthe constitutionalityoftheVotingRightsAct. Still,theprospectofasimilarcompromiseinthehealthcarecasemayhaveevaporatedduringthefirst dayofargument,whenthejusticessuggestedtheyarentinclinedtopostponeadecisionuntilthelaw goesintofulleffect. Theninejusticesshouldhaveaclearsenseofeachothersviewstomorrowmorningwhen,bytradition, theywillmeetintheirprivateconferenceroominasessionclosedeventotheirlawclerks. Sittingintheirassignedseatswiththechiefjusticeattheheadandthenewestjustice,ElenaKagan,by thedoorincaseanyoneknockswithamessageoradeliverytheywilldiscussthecaseandthenvote inorderofseniority,withRobertsgoingfirst. OnlytheBeginning Thatmeetingmaybejustthebeginningofthewrangling.Thejusticesattimesshifttheirpositionsafter theytakethatinitialvote.Kennedy,inparticular,hasbeenknowntochangehismindafterreading opiniondrafts,saidMichaelDorf,aCornellUniversitylawprofessorwhoclerkedforthejustice. Fromthepublicsstandpoint,thecasewillenteraquietperioduntilthejusticesreleasetheirdecision, probablyattheendofJune. 57

ThatannouncementwillmarkRobertssbiggestmomentsincePresidentGeorgeW.Bushappointedhim chiefjusticein2005. RobertssaidathisSenateconfirmationhearingthatyearthathepreferstobeknownasamodest judge,ajobhecomparedwithbeingabaseballumpirecallingballsandstrikes. ConsensusBuilding DemocratshavecomplainedthatRobertshasntproventobeaconsensusbuilder,joining54 conservativemajoritiesinmajorcasesinvolvingschoolintegration,abortion,andgunrights. Morethananyothercasehesfacedsofar,theAffordableCareActlitigationwilldefineJohn Robertsstenureandlegacy,saidDougKendall,presidentoftheWashingtonbasedConstitutional AccountabilityCenter,whichsupportsthelaw. ArulingstrikingdownallorpartofthelawwouldestablishtheRobertscourtasabulwarkagainst perceivedoverreachingbyObamaandcongressionalDemocrats.Itwouldalsotriggeraccusationsthat thecourtwasengaginginjudicialactivism. Thejusticesthemselvesdebatedthatnotionyesterdaywhileconsideringhowmuchofthehealthcare lawshouldsurviveiftheinsurancemandateisfoundtobeunconstitutional. JusticeSoniaSotomayorsaidthrowingoutanentirelawwhenonlyoneparthasbeenruled unconstitutionalissortoftakingontothecourtmorepowerthanone,Ithink,wouldwant. NewRegime Kennedycounteredthatjudicialrestraintmightcallforrejectingthewholestatuteiftheinsurance requirementisvoided.Cuttingoutjustthecoveragemandatewouldcreateanewregimethat Congressdidnotprovidefor,didnotconsider,Kennedysaid.That,itseemstome,canbearguedat leasttobeamoreextremeexerciseofjudicialpowerthanstrikingthewhole. AdecisionstrikingdownthemandatewouldalsomarkanewlegalpathfortheRobertscourt,whichhas neverbeforeconsideredthelimitsofCongressspoweroverinterstatecommerce.Robertss predecessorandformerboss,thelateChiefJusticeWilliamRehnquist,helpedrevivetheideathat Congressscommercepowerhaslimits. LimitingCongressionalPower NobodyreallyrealizedthattheRobertscourtmajorityisasinlovewithfederalismastheRehnquist courtbeforeit,saidTomGoldstein,anappellatelawyerwhoseScotusblogwebsite,sponsoredby BloombergLaw,tracksthecourt.Itlooksliketheymaybeveryseriousaboutrecognizinglimitson Congressspower. ThepublicwontgetanymorehintsuntiltheendofJune.

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TheSupremeCourtisverygoodatkeepingthingsunderwraps,saidAdamWinkler,aconstitutional lawprofessorattheUniversityofCaliforniaatLosAngelesSchoolofLaw.Theclerkswonttalk,the justiceswonttalk,noonewilltalk.Weareallgoingtowaitandsee. #

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COMMENTARY
1.http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleSCI.jsp?id=1202545586114&slreturn=1

Commentary:Theminimumcoverageprovisionwhychallengers shouldstrikeoutwiththeRobertsCourt
March14,2012 TheNationalLawJournal (ReprintedontheAustinAmericanStatesmanopedpage,March19,2012) ByElizabethB.Wydra ChallengerstotheconstitutionalityoftheAffordableCareAct'sminimumcoverageprovisionhavealot tobeworriedaboutastheU.S.SupremeCourtpreparestohearargumentsoverthreedaysattheend ofMarch.Thesurprise?Theyneedtoworryabouttheconservativejusticesjustasmuchastheydothe moreliberalmembersoftheCourt. Afterall,itwasnoneotherthanJusticeAntoninScaliawhowroteinhisGonzalesv.Raichconcurrence thatCongress"mayregulateevennoneconomiclocalactivityifthatregulationisanecessarypartofa moregeneralregulationofinterstatecommerce."Thatprettymuchdoomstheclaimofhealthcare reformopponentsthatthefailuretopurchaseinsuranceisnoneconomicandthusnotsubjectto regulationundertheConstitution'scommerceclause.NoonecanseriouslydisputethattheAffordable CareActasawholeisa"generalregulation"oftheinterstatehealthservicesmarket,whichcomprises nearly20percentofournation'seconomy. Asfortheminimumcoverageprovisionbeing"necessary"totheACA's"moregeneralregulationof interstatecommerce"?InU.S.v.Comstock,ChiefJusticeJohnRobertsJr.twoyearsagojoinedan opinionauthoredbyJusticeStephenBreyerthataffirmedthesweepingnatureoftheConstitution's grantofpowertoCongresstouseany"meansthatisrationallyrelatedtotheimplementationofa constitutionallyenumeratedpower."Whetheronethinksthemandateisgoodorbadpolicy,itis difficultingoodfaithtosaytheminimumcoverageprovisionisnot"rationallyrelated"tothe indisputablyvalidregulationofinterstatecommercecontainedintherestoftheAffordableCareAct. (WonderingwheretheCourt'sswingvote,JusticeAnthonyKennedy,isonthis?HejoinedJusticeJohn PaulStevens'majorityopinioninRaich,whichwasevenmoresweepingthanScalia'sconcurrence.) Thegroundworkhasbeenlaidforconservativejuriststoupholdtheminimumcoverageprovisionas constitutional.Inrejectingseparatechallengestotheact,GeorgeW.BushappointeeJeffreySuttonof theU.S.CourtofAppealsforthe6thCircuitandReaganappointeeLaurenceSilbermanoftheD.C. Circuitprovidedcompelling,conservativeargumentsfortheprovision'sconstitutionality.Thereisgood reasontothinkthatsomeoftheSupremeCourt'sconservativeswillfollowsuit. Afterall,theconservativejusticesclaimtobestrictumpiresforthetextandhistoryoftheConstitution. And,asSilbermanconcludedinhisrulingfortheD.C.Circuit,thereis"notextualsupport"inthe Constitutionforthechallengestotheminimumcoverageprovision. Tothecontrary,ourConstitution'stextandhistorydemonstratethatthenationalhealthcarecrisisin whichmillionsofAmericanslackaccesstoquality,affordablecareisthesortofnationalproblemthat theframersofourfoundingcharterwantedthefederalgovernmenttohavethepowertosolve.Our 60

Constitutionwasdraftedin1787"inOrdertoformamoreperfectUnion"bothmoreperfectthanthe Britishtyrannyagainstwhichthefoundinggenerationhadrevoltedandmoreperfectthantheflawed ArticlesofConfederationunderwhichAmericanshadlivedforadecadesincedeclaringindependence. GeorgeWashingtonandtheotherdelegatestotheConstitutionalConventionsharedaconvictionthat theConstitutionmustestablishanationalgovernmentofsubstantialpower,incontrasttothe extremelyweakcentralgovernmentoftheArticles,whichwassodysfunctionalthatWashington thoughtitnearlycostusvictoryintheRevolutionaryWar. Inconsideringhowtograntsuchpowertothenationalgovernment,thedelegatestotheConstitutional ConventionadoptedaresolutiondeclaringthatCongressshouldhaveauthority"tolegislateinallCases forthegeneralInterestsoftheUnion,andalsointhosetowhichtheStatesareseparatelyincompetent, orinwhichtheHarmonyoftheUnitedStatesmaybeinterruptedbytheExerciseofindividual legislation."Inthehealthcarecases,statelegislatorsfromeachofthe50states,theDistrictandPuerto RicoamongothervoicesfromstateandlocalgovernmentshavetoldtheSupremeCourtthatthey cannotfixthecountry'shealthcareproblemontheirownandstronglysupportCongress'involvement. Contrarytothechallengers'claimsthatupholdingtheminimumcoverageprovisionwillhave"dire" consequencesforourconstitutionalsystemoffederalism,theACAisareflectionofournation'svibrant, cooperativestructureofgovernmentinwhichthefederalgovernmentestablishesnationalreform mechanismswhennecessaryandstatesareleftfreetoinnovatewhenappropriate. AnySupremeCourtjusticewhoisfaithfultotheConstitution'stextandhistory,principlesoffederalism andprecedentincludingdecisionsauthoredorjoinedbysomeofthecurrentconservativejustices shouldhavenotroubleupholdingtheminimumcoverageprovisionasconstitutional.Tobesure,some supportersoftheminimumcoverageprovisionwillworrythattheconservativeJustices'presumed politicaloppositiontothemandatewillcloudtheirviewandthereisalwaysthepossibilitythat Roberts'andScalia'sviewsonfederalpowerwillbelessrobustinacasethatdoesn'tdealwith marijuana(Raich)ordangeroussexoffenders(Comstock).ButiftheseJusticesfollowprecedentand simplycall"ballsandstrikes"underthelightsoftheConstitution,itwillbethechallengerstothe minimumcoverageprovisionwhostrikeoutwhentheCourthandsdownitsrulingthissummer. ElizabethB.WydraischiefcounselattheConstitutionalAccountabilityCenter.Sherepresentsmorethan 500statelegislatorsfromall50States,theDistrictofColumbiaandPuertoRicointhehealthcarecases beforetheSupremeCourt,andhasfiledbriefssupportingtheACA'sminimumcoverageprovisionand expansionofMedicaid. #

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2.http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/03/25/onthehealthcarelawisthecourtbeing thoughtfulorpartisan/conservativeprecedentssupporttheaffordablecareact

PrecedentsSupportThisLaw
MARCH26,2012 NewYorkTimes ByElizabethWydra ElizabethWydraischiefcounselfortheConstitutionalAccountabilityCenterandisrepresentingmore than500statelegislatorsfromall50statesinsupportoftheconstitutionalityofthehealthcarelaw. With26stateschallengingthepresidentssignaturepieceoflegislation,itisnotinappropriateforthe SupremeCourttoschedulesixhoursofargumenttoensureallpointsarethoroughlyconsideredand vetted,giventhecomplexitiesofthestatuteandthenumberofclaimsmadeagainstit.Butthestrength ofthechallengesdonotjustifythelengthoftheargument.TheConstitutionstextandhistory,aswell asSupremeCourtprecedentfromthefoundingtothepresent,clearlysupportCongresssauthorityto passtheAffordableCareAct,includingitsindividualmandate. Twoconservativecourtofappealsjudgesprovidedcompelling,conservativeargumentsforthe mandatesconstitutionality. WhiletheRobertscourthasnothesitatedtoreachbroadlywhenitcouldhavegonenarrowsee CitizensUnitedthejusticesareundoubtedlyawarethattheeyesoftheAmericanpublicareupon them.ConservativejusticeslikeJohnRobertsandAntoninScaliaandtheswingvoterAnthonyKennedy willfinditdifficulttoavoidtheforceofopinionssupportingfederalpowerthattheyeitherwroteor joinedeveniftheymightbepolitically,privatelyopposedtothehealthcarereformlaw. Thegroundworkhasbeenlaidforconservativejuriststoupholdthemandate.Twoconservativecourtof appealsjudgestheGeorgeW.BushappointeeJeffreySuttonfromtheSixthCircuitandtheRonald ReaganappointeeLaurenceSilbermanfromtheD.C.Circuitprovidedcompelling,conservative argumentsforthemandatesconstitutionality. Eachjusticeonthehighcourt,whetherliberalorconservative,haspledgedfidelitytotheConstitution. Indeed,theconservativejusticesclaimtobestrictumpiresforthetextandhistoryoftheConstitution. AsJudgeSilbermanconcludedinhisrulingfortheD.C.Circuit,thereisnosupportinthetextofthe Constitutionforthechallengestothemandate.Nomatterhowmanyinningsinthegame,eventually opponentsoftheAffordableCareActshouldstrikeoutbeforetheSupremeCourt. #

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3.http://www.usnews.com/debateclub/shouldthesupremecourtoverturnobamashealthcare law/foundingfatherswouldapproveofnationalhealthcarepolicy

FoundingFathersWouldApproveofNationalHealthcarePolicy
March26,2012 U.S.News&WorldReport ByELIZABETHB.WYDRA AboutElizabethB.Wydra:ElizabethWydraischiefcounselfortheConstitutionalAccountabilityCenter, athinktank,lawfirm,andactioncenterdedicatedtofulfillingtheConstitution'sprogressivepromise.A frequentcommentatorforbroadcastandprintmedia,ElizabethregularlyparticipatesinSupremeCourt litigation,andwasalawclerkforJudgeJamesR.BrowningoftheU.S.CourtofAppealsforthe9th Circuit. OurConstitution'stextandhistorydemonstratethatthenationalhealthcarecrisisinwhichtensof millionsofAmericanslackaccesstoquality,affordablecareisthesortofnationalproblemthatthe framersofourfoundingcharterwantedthefederalgovernmenttohavethepowertosolve. OurConstitutionwasdraftedin1787"inOrdertoformamoreperfectUnion"bothmoreperfectthan theBritishtyrannyagainstwhichtheFoundinggenerationhadrevoltedandmoreperfectthanthe flawedArticlesofConfederationunderwhichAmericanshadlivedforadecadesincedeclaring independence.GeorgeWashingtonandtheotherdelegatestotheConstitutionalConventionshareda convictionthattheConstitutionmustestablishanationalgovernmentofsubstantialpower,incontrast totheextremelyweakcentralgovernmentoftheArticles,whichwassodysfunctionalthatWashington thoughtitnearlycostusvictoryintheRevolutionaryWar.(GeorgeWashingtonwasalsoapparentlyfine withgovernmentmandateshesignedintolawthe1792MilitiaAct,whichrequiredyoungmento outfitthemselveswithamusket,knapsack,and,insomecases,aserviceablehorse.) UnderourenduringConstitution,Congresshastheexpressconstitutionalauthoritytoregulate interstatecommercethehealthcareindustrycomprisesnearly20percentofournation'seconomy andtaxandspendforthegeneralwelfare,aswellasthebroadpowertopasslawsthathelpexecute thesespecificgrantsofauthority. GiventheConstitution'sgrantofsignificantauthoritytothefederalgovernmenttoactintheinterestsof thecountryasawhole,itisnosurprisethatamajorityofthelowercourtjudgeswhohaveruledonthe healthcarelawhaveupheldit,includingprominentconservativejudges.ReaganappointeeJudge LaurenceSilbermanontheD.C.federalappealscourtexplainedthattheattacksonthelawhaveno support"ineitherthetextoftheConstitutionorSupremeCourtprecedent."Anotherconservative appealscourtjudge,JeffreyS.SuttonwhoclerkedforSupremeCourtJusticeAntoninScaliaexplained thatwhetheryouthinkthelawisgoodpolicyornot,itclearlypassesconstitutionalmuster. IftheSupremeCourtJusticesarefaithfultotheConstitution'stextandhistory,principlesoffederalism, andprecedentincludingdecisionsauthoredorjoinedbysomeofthecurrentconservativeJustices theCourtshouldconcludethehealthcarelawisconstitutional. # 63

4.http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202546956823

ACAattheSupremeCourt:Instantcommentaries
March26,2012 TheNationalLawJournal ByElizabethWydra ACA:DAYONE VerylikelytheCourtwillrulenowonACA'smerits ForalltheexcitementoutsidetheSupremeCourt,thecourtroomthismorningwassurprisingly subdued,asthejusticesconsideredthesomewhatdryissueoftheAntiInjunctionAct(AIA).Indeed,a fewofthejusticesappeareddangerouslyclosetonoddingoff.Thatsaid,itappearedfromthequestions thismorningthatthejusticesarenoteagertodelayrulingonthemeritsoftheconstitutionalchallenge totheAffordableCareAct(ACA).ManyofthejusticesquestionedwhethertheAIAis,infact, jurisdictional,andiftheycouldacceptthegovernment'spositionthattheAntiInjunctionActdoesnot preventadecisiononthemeritsatthispoint.ThebottomlineisthatitlooksverylikelythattheCourt willnotdelayarulingontheconstitutionalityofthemandateuntiltheprovisiongoesintoeffectin 2014.FortheAmericanpeople,andthestateleaderswhoarealreadyworkingtoimplementthe AffordableCareActinthestates,thisisgoodnews.ElizabethWydra,chiefcounsel,Constitutional AccountabilityCenter #

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5.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabethbwydra/whoreallyrepresentsthe_b_1381334.html

WhoReallyRepresentstheStatesintheHealthCareCases?
March27,2012 HuffingtonPost ByElizabethWydra WhentheSupremeCourthearsargumentsinthechallengestotheAffordableCareActthisweek,who willbespeakingforthestates?Thisisn'tatrickquestion:obviously,PaulClement,theformerSolicitor GeneralforGeorgeW.Bush,willbestandingbeforetheJusticesonbehalfofthe26stateschallenging theconstitutionalityoftheAffordableCareAct.ButwhileClementhasreceivedplentyofattentionfor lendinghisconsiderabletalentstotheACAchallengeandotherconservativelegalcausesglowing profiles,geekchicphotospreadsscantattentionhasbeenpaidtothefactthatClement'sclientsdonot actuallyrepresenttheviewsofthestatesasawholeonwhetherthehealthcarereformActis constitutional.Despitetheteapartyfriendly"states'rights"rhetoricoftheattacksontheACA,many statesandstatelegislatorshavebeensaying"don'ttreadonme"totheAct'schallengers.Thirteen statesandmorethan500legislatorsfromeachofthe50stateshavefiledbriefswiththeSupremeCourt stronglydisagreeingwiththechallengerstates'legalpositionandtheirflawed,historicallyinaccurate viewoffederalism. Forexample,proreformstatesfiledapowerfulbriefintheSupremeCourtexplainingwhyitisdifficult forindividualstatestoreformthehealthcareindustryontheirown.Speakingfromexperience, Massachusetts,inaseparatebrief,backedupCongress'suseofanindividualmandateaspartofits regulationofthehealthcareindustry,whichcomprisesnearly20percentofournation'seconomy.As muchaspresidentialhopefulMittRomneymightliketoforgetit,Massachusetts'shealthcareplan individualmandateandallwasamodelfortheAffordableCareAct.Withonthegroundknowledge, thestatehassupportedCongress'sdecisiontoimposetheindividualmandate.Astheproreformstate legislatorshavetoldtheSupremeCourt,federalhealthcarereform"wasimperativeforAmericans,as wellasfortheirStateandlocalgovernments,"andtheycouldn'thavedoneitalone. Proreformstateshavealsoblastedthechallengerstates'notionthattheACAissomenovelintrusionon stateregulationofhealthcarebynotingthatthestatesandthefederalgovernmenthavebeenworking togethertoimplementhealthcarepolicyforatleastthelasthalfcentury.Thefederalgovernmenthas beeninvolvedinthehealthcareindustrythroughtheVeteransAdministrationandMedicare,among otherprograms,andbygivingmoneytothestatestohelpthemprovidehealthcaretolowincome AmericansthroughMedicaid. Ofcourse,thechallengerstatesarguethattheAct'sexpansionofMedicaidtocoverapproximately16 millionmorelowincomeAmericansisunconstitutional.Lessattentionhasbeenpaidtothisaspectof thehealthcarereformchallengethantotheclaimsagainsttheindividualmandate,butitcouldbethe "sleeperissue"ofthecase.Thechallengerstateshavearguedthatrequiringstatestodocertainthings asaconditionoffederalfundinginthiscase,usingfederalMedicaidmoneytocovermillionsmore needyAmericansunconstitutionally"coerces"statesintodoingthefederalgovernment'sbidding. Whilethisargumentwentnowhereinthelowercourts,nowthattheSupremeCourthasdecidedto heartheissue,Americansshouldtakeitseriously.

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Tobesure,thebasicflawsinthechallengerstates'"coercion"argumentmakeitdifficulttotaketoo seriously.Medicaidisandalwayshasbeenawhollyvoluntarypartnershipbetweenthefederal governmentandthestates.It'sdifficulttosaythatsomethingiscoercivewhenitisentirelyvoluntary. It'sevenhardertosaythattheAct'sexpansionofMedicaidburdensthestateswhenthefederal governmentwillfootthebillfor100percentoftheexpansion,eventuallytaperingoffto90percent supportafter2020.Nonetheless,thechallengerstatesarearguingthatthisdealistoogoodanoffer theycan'trefuseandtheyhavenochoicebuttoacceptfederalMedicaidmoneyandwhateverstrings comeattached. Alargenumberofstateleadersarecallingthisnonsense.TurningdowntheAct'sMedicaidexpansion andfederalfundsmightnotbeasmartchoicealthoughTexasGovernorRickPerryhasconsideredit butitiscertainlyapossiblechoice.AstheproreformstatelegislatorstoldtheCourtintheirbrief,states "mustnowchoosewhethertocomplywiththenewMedicaidrequirements,orexercisetheirrightto optoutoftheprogramaltogether."Thechallengerstatesshouldnotexpectthecourtstohelpthem hidefromapoliticallypainfuldecision. WhentheJusticeshearthesixhoursofargumentontheconstitutionalityofhealthcarereformthis week,therewillnodoubtbemuchtalkabout"states'rights."Butitisimportanttorememberthatthe lawyerforthe26challengerstatesdoesn'ttrulyrepresent"thestates"v.thefederalgovernment.Many otherstateleadersincludingsomewithinthechallengerstatesthinkthathealthcarereformisnotonly constitutional,butalsoagreatstepforwardfortheirstatesandtheircitizens.Andmanystateleaders alsobelievethatwhenitcomestostates'rightsandhealthcarereform,thestateschallengingthe AffordableCareActarenotrightatall. #

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6.http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202546956823

ACAattheSupremeCourt:Instantcommentaries
March28,2012 TheNationalLawJournal ByElizabethWydra ACA:DAYTHREE Aclosevote,nomatterwhichwaythecasegoes JusticeKaganstartedoffthequestioningofPaulClementwithaverypracticalandpowerfulobservation abouttheACA'sexpansionofMedicaidtoprovidemillionsofneedyAmericansaccesstohealthcare: Whywouldthestatesfeelcoercedwhenthefederalgovernmentisgivingthem"aboatload"offederal moneytospendon"poorpeople'shealthcare"?JusticeGinsburgfollowedupwiththetrenchant observationthat,infact,manystatesandstateleaders(includingthemorethan500statelegislators fromeverystateinthecountry,whomIrepresent)supporttheMedicaidexpansionand,ratherthan feelingunconstitutionallycoerced,thinktheexpansionisagreatdealforthestatesandtheircitizens. WhiletheACA'sMedicaidexpansionisanunquestionablygenerousdealforthestates,itnonetheless remainstruethatstatesarefreetoturndownthe"boatload"ofmoneythefederalgovernment proposestogivethemtoexpandMedicaidcoverageTexasgovernorRickPerryhaspubliclyconsidered iteveniftodosowouldlikelyincurthedispleasureoftheirconstituents.Butthat'sbasicpolitical accountability,whichJusticeKennedy,inparticular,appearedconcernedwith. Ofcourse,thereweretoughquestionsaskedofbothadvocatesduringtheMedicaidargument.Indeed, overthepastthreedays,thejusticeshaveaskedtoughquestionsofbothsides.Butinthelowercourts, conservativeJudgeSilbermanintheDCCircuitandformerScaliaclerkJudgeSuttonintheSixthCircuit alsoaskeddifficultquestionsofbothsides,beforeultimatelyvotingtoupholdtheACAanditsminimum coverageprovision.It'sprettyclearthat,whicheverwaythecasegoes,itwillbeclose.ChiefJustice RobertsandJusticeKennedyseemtobeinplayforbothsides. ChiefJusticeRoberts'professeddesirefor"judicialrestraint"shouldpushhimclosertothesideofthe Administration(althoughsometimesRoberts'commitmenttorestraintseemstobeMIA,aswesawin CitizensUnited).AsVerrillimadeclearwithhispowerfulclosingremarks,iftheCourtdoesstrikedown theAct,itwillmarkaradicalshiftintheConstitution'sgovernmentalstructure,inwhichthecourtsdefer tothepolicychoicesmadebythedemocraticallyelectedrepresentativesofthepeople.Attimes,some ofthejusticesnotablyJusticeScaliaappearedtolettheirpoliticsgetthebetterofconstitutionaltext andprecedent.Butasseveralofthejusticesaffirmedoverthecourseofthearguments,thecourtsare notauthorizedtositasa"miniCongress,"secondguessingwhetheralawisgoodorbadpolicy.The Court'sjob,asVerrilliemphasizedinhisfinalremarks,istoapplytheConstitutionandrecognizethe broadpowersgiventothefederalgovernmentbyourFoundingcharter,whichsquarelysupportthe constitutionalityofthehealthcarereformlaw.Ifpeople(includingprivatecitizenAntoninScalia)don't liketheAffordableCareAct,theirrecourseisattheballotbox,notinthecourts.ElizabethWydra, chiefcounsel,ConstitutionalAccountabilityCenter # 67

BLOGS
1.http://go.bloomberg.com/healthcaresupremecourt/20120320/medicaidexpansionsleeper issueofhealthcarecases/

MedicaidExpansionSleeperIssueofHealthCareCases
MARCH20,2012 BLOOMBERGLAW BYEDWARDADAMS IftheU.S.SupremeCourtdecidesthatPresidentObamashealthcarereformlawsexpansionof Medicaidiscoercivetowardthestates,itcouldendangergovernmentprogramsentirelyunrelatedto healthcare,reportsBloombergNewsAmandaCrawford. Iftheybuythemorefundamentalclaimbystatesthatthisiscoercive,notonlywouldthatcastdoubt ontheconstitutionalityofMedicaidasweknowit,itwouldalsocastdoubtonahugenumberofother spendingprograms,saidI.GlennCohen,anassistantprofessoratHarvardLawSchoolwhowroteabout theissueintheNewEnglandJournalofMedicine. ReversaloftheMedicaidexpansioncouldexposelawssuchastheCleanAirAct[and]theNoChildLeft Behindeducationlawtojudicialchallenge,thestorysays. TheMedicaidexpansionissueistherealsleeperissueofthehealthcarechallenge,saysElizabeth Wydra,chiefcounselfortheWashingtonbasedConstitutionalAccountabilityCenter,whorepresents statelawmakerssupportingthehealthcarelaw.Thestatesargumentshavethepotentialtoopen PandorasBox.WhiletheyonlywanttolimittheirargumentheretoMedicaidexpansioninthe AffordableCareAct,Ithinktheconsequencesoftheirargumentaremuchmoreextremethanthat. #

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2.http://go.bloomberg.com/healthcaresupremecourt/20120328/liveblogwednesdayshealthcare arguments/

LiveBlog:WednesdaysHealthCareArguments
MARCH28,2012 BLOOMBERGLAW BYEDWARDADAMS .7:35a.m.Wereyesterdaysargumentsmerelyanexampleoflawyerscontrastingstyles,or contrastingeffectiveness?TheNationalLawJournalprovidesareviewofhowbothsidesfared. AnexampleofthecriticismunleashedonSolicitorGeneralDonaldVerrillicamefromCNNcommentator JeffreyToobin,whosaidtheargumentwasatrainwreckforthegovernment.Toobinassertedthat Verrillihaddoneasimplyawfuljobandwasnotreadywithgoodanswers,thepaperreports. ThesiteBuzzFeedevenputtogetheratapeofsomeofVerrillisargumentlowlights: Butthedifferencemaybemoreaboutopticsthaneffectiveness,defendersofVerrillitoldthepaper: Butjustasquickly,supportersofthelawcametoVerrillisdefense,assertingthatthe contrastingstylesofthelawyerswhoarguedTuesdayshouldnotobscurethefactthattheSG hadmadeallthepointshehadintendedtomakeindefenseofthelawasaconstitutional approachtosolvinganationaleconomicproblem.Donislittlemoreformal,more understated,butattheendoftheday,hedidanadmirablejob,saidDouglasKendallofthe ConstitutionalAccountabilityCenter,whichsupportsthelaw.Kendallalsosaidpresscoverage oftheargumentshasoverlookedthefactthatChiefJusticeJohnRobertsJr.andAnthony KennedyquestionedClementandCarvinskeptically,makingthempossiblevotesforthe governmentsposition. ###

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