It's understandable were you to have missed it through Michael Jackson's short-lived resurrection yesterday and the thoroughly riveting, mesmerizing, tantalizing, titillating, crescendoing Hernan Caining to which for two weeks we've been treated (and that we so clearly prefer). But did you catch it through the gauze? I bet you did. Or didn't. Maybe.
Remember the once heart-pounding health care debate? ... ... ... ... ... See! You remember! That's the one, the one the president gave up on before he began and still got mauled for his troubles and even in victory and from all sides, both for making a dent and for pulling back from a full single-payer and saner Medicare-For-All ideal.
That one. Well. The fact is that Mr. Obama's just won yet another health care federal court victory.
The Reverend Pat ("Homosexuals-Cause-Earthquakes- Tornadoes-and-Toe Jam") Robertson, the brains and inspiration (okay, sorry...) behind the rather sadsack American Center for Law and Justice, and other like-minded (okay, sorry again) orgs, sued to get the law derailed even before its individual mandate is implemented. That's the section of the Affordable Care Act that will impose modest tax penalties on individuals who won't buy health insurance. (That's part of the law because without everyone buying in, far too many of the working poor and the very poor, particularly children, could not at all easily benefit from the reform.)
Over the past few months, several suits have made their way through the federal courts (and may wind up sooner than later in the hands of the Nine Wise Souls). Here's briefly what's happened:
- a split Atlanta appeals court struck down the individual mandate aspect of the law.
- a Cincinnati appeals court upheld the law.
- a Virginia appeals court said that courts can't rule on any aspect of the Affordable Care Act that hasn't yet been implemented; no one has standing to object to a potential tax, a penalty no one has yet been asked to pay. In other words, this court ruled, no decision on the constitutional rightness or wrongness of the individual mandate can be made unless and until someone formally objects to having to pay the fine. Since the fine's a ghost-fine now, there can be no valid objection to it pursued in a federal court.
And just yesterday, a rather conservative federal judge on a historically conservative federal court, Judge Laurence Silberman of the DC Federal Court, speaking for a panel of the whole, upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Health Care Act. Judge Silberman, an appointee of Ronald Reagan, spoke for the panel's majority that Congress did not overstep its authority when it required people to hold health insurance or pay a fine. Judge Silberman said it's essentially a political question and not so much a constitutional one, because Congress may decide the circumstances under which it can pull back on individual liberties in the overall interest of society. Judge Silberman said Congress clearly had the right to determine that this is such an occasion, a time when Congress can choose (as it did choose) to favor the needs of the group over the desires of some individuals. Judge Silberman noted in his decision that
"the right to be free from regulation is not absolute and yields to the imperative that Congress be free to forge national solutions to national problems."
The Supreme Court may decide as early as Thursday to take up the cases.
Herman Cain's on TV in a sec smearing yet another woman's rep. Maybe MJ or Doc Murray will be there! Gotta go!
MISSISSIPPI VOTERS SOUNDLY REJECTED THE PROPOSED (AND BENIGHTED) SO-CALLED 'PERSONHOOD' AMENDMENT.
IT WOULD HAVE, AS MANY OF US HERE HAVE WRITTEN, GIVEN TO ZYGOTES/FERTILIZED EGGS, PRECISELY THE SAME LEGAL RIGHTS ADULT CITIZENS HAVE.
AMONG OTHER FOOLISH CONSEQUENCES, THIS WOULD HAVE CRIMINALIZED MOST FORMS OF BIRTH-CONTROL AND, POTENTIALLY, MISCARRIAGES.
NOW I CAN OPEN MY JUKE JOINT IN THE DELTA AND MEET UP WITH ROBERT JOHNSON AND HIS PAL, OLD SCRATCH!
MJ & Old Scratch
Nine Wise Souls