This is going all the way up, of course. And any decisions are stayed till then, one assumes.
But it’s noteworthy that another judge has struck it down, and this time refused to sever it:
Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void. This has been a difficult decision to reach, and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications. At a time when there is virtually unanimous agreement that health care reform is needed in this country, it is hard to invalidate and strike down a statute titled “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”
Well, someone’s willing to do it, anyway. We’ll wait and see what Kennedy thinks.
Update: As Allahpundit says –
The only bit of significance these decisions might have is that they may move the Overton window of possible outcomes in Anthony Kennedy’s mind. After O-Care was passed, I remember some constitutional law experts citing the Court’s liberal Commerce Clause jurisprudence and claiming that they’d probably uphold it on something like an 8-1 vote. That seems impossible now; I’d bet 6-3 at worst, with a very fair chance of a 5-4 win for conservatives. The more anti-ObamaCare lower court rulings there are, the more political cover Kennedy has to vote with the conservative wing of the Court if he’s so inclined. If.
Update again: I think the liberals have been antagonizing Kennedy lately.
And so the plot thickens.
Final update: Note also –
All GOP Senators Have Now Signed Up As Cosponsors of S. 192, ObamaCare Repeal
I’ve noted this before (but I always note things before, and always note I’ve noted them before) but they say the Supreme Court reads the election returns.
Laws are usually afforded some deference (in theory) as they represent the will of the people. In this case, it’s quite clear ObamaCare was passed against the will of the people. What deference is it owed, then?
Paul Wells has released his latest Harperology piece.
At times like this, other leaders have been visited by close friends or trusted confidants who helped them look past the crisis of the moment toward history. But Stephen Harper has no close friend in politics, so the three men waiting outside his door would have to do. …
Ray Novak, the guardian at the PM’s door, let them in. Haltingly, Prentice laid out the ops committee’s consensus: Harper should ask the governor general to prorogue Parliament, suspending the legislative session almost before it had begun. Only three days earlier, Harper had promised Canadians he would put his government to a confidence vote that would determine its fate. Prorogation would cancel that vote. It was for the good of the country, Prentice said. Give everyone a chance to cool down.
Harper was tempted by another path. Let them win, he said, with no great conviction. Let Stéphane Dion try to run the country, with Jack Layton calling the shots and Gilles Duceppe sitting in judgment over the whole mess. It’ll fall apart in six months. We’ll pick up the pieces in the next election. Come back stronger than ever. …
… the boss had no fight in him as late as Monday, Dec. 1. He just looked deflated in question period. It wasn’t until nearly 5 p.m. that he saw his shot. The coalition partners gathered in Parliament’s Railway Committee Room to sign their astonishing manifesto. Gilles Duceppe was one of the three, seated and treated as an equal.
“There are moments when this government talks to the country, to our supporters and our networks,” one member of Harper’s government said much later. “This wasn’t that. This was the country talking to us. Immediately after the press conference it was a kind of electric shock. Every phone line, every email, every blog, every radio commentary lit up like Vegas on jackpot day.” …
Yet later that evening, as Tories gathered for their annual Christmas party at Ottawa’s Westin Hotel, many of the rank and file were still in a coalition funk. In fact, one Conservative official says Harper himself seemed unsure what tone to take in addressing the crowd. It was his wife, Laureen, in a quiet moment in a kitchen off the main hall, with only a few other staffers in the room, who told him the faithful expected him to show leadership. So he needed to rally his own spirits. Harper ignored a prepared text and delivered a rousing attack calling the coalition a separatist-led attack on democracy. “It sounded like a come-from-behind speech by a coach in a basketball movie,” one partygoer said. …
What’s clear is that Harper hasn’t forgotten the day his enemies almost took his job from him. He cannot believe they won’t try again. Until then he governs as he believes he has governed for every day he has had this job: under siege.
Canadiens want to keep him around even if he tanks:
Almost three-quarters of Canadians think Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff should resign if his party does poorly in the next election, and about half think Prime Minister Stephen Harper should step down if the Tories tank, a new poll suggests. …
Seventy-three per cent of those polled said the former Harvard University professor should quit if the Liberals do poorly, and half said he is “not a leader,” according to the poll. Forty-nine per cent said Harper should go if the party’s fortunes go south, whereas 51 per cent said he should stay. Most Canadians wanted Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe ousted if his party does poorly but, within Quebec, two-thirds of those surveyed said he should stay anyway, regardless of party performance.
For all that, it depends on which Canadians — as it’s the party caucuses that count.
Harsh take on Ignatieff — though a good campaign can change everything…
This is actually terribly unfair:
Jimmy Carter will go down in American history as “the president who lost Iran,” which during his term went from being a major strategic ally of the United States to being the revolutionary Islamic Republic. Barack Obama will be remembered as the president who “lost” Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt, and during whose tenure America’s alliances in the Middle East crumbled.
The superficial circumstances are similar. In both cases, a United States in financial crisis and after failed wars loses global influence under a leftist president whose good intentions are interpreted abroad as expressions of weakness. The results are reflected in the fall of regimes that were dependent on their relationship with Washington for survival, or in a change in their orientation, as with Ankara.
America’s general weakness clearly affects its friends. But unlike Carter, who preached human rights even when it hurt allies, Obama sat on the fence and exercised caution. He neither embraced despised leaders nor evangelized for political freedom, for fear of undermining stability.
So now Haaretz, the paper of the Israeli hard left, is throwing the president under the bus?
And it is actually unfair. What should the president have done, that he hasn’t done?
It could even be that no such piece of major legislation has created the continued, vehement public opposition that health care has provoked since the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 — which resulted in the abrogation of the Missouri Compromise.
The Republican Party was created in opposition to that act — and went on to win control of the House in the 1854 elections. Last year’s health care bill in great part spawned the tea party, a driving force behind the GOP’s big House wins. …
There is one big underlying factor that continues to cause many Americans to oppose the health care bill: Its passage was anti-democratic. If the Republicans’ campaign slogan of 1854 was the “Crime Against Kansas,” in 2010 it would be the “Crime Against Democracy.”
Deals to buy votes in the House and Senate, including extra funding for state projects, all became part of the 2,000-page bill that most representatives never read. These deals deeply affected the American people, making them feel the law was forced on them, despite their opposition.
This fundamental perception of contempt for the American people’s will has sustained the opposition. It is likely to do so until the bill’s anti-democratic stain is expunged.
We’ll see. Depends on how long people’s attention span is.
I’m always glad to see dictators rocked and fearful — even ones we back because they have treaties with Israel — but are we dead sure this isn’t another 1979?
On another note, CNN seems finally to be doing international news again…
Who do I think wins the staredown? As Dippers hate Harper, I think Mulcair wins.
If he does, spring election. If Jack cools things off, 2012.
But the Tories aren’t budging on corporate taxes. They can’t.
But more ads were released today, and the Morning in Canada one has gone to the memory hole, as if it never was… So I think we may miss an election now.
An eight point pre-writ lead is an eighteen point final result. Or so it seems.
Well, the Tories aren’t taking this lying down:
1. Don’t forget the kitchen sink. Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are spitting mad over Gilles Duceppe’s demands for a $5-billion compensation package in return for support for the budget.
According to one government MP, reports detailing the Bloc Québécois Leader’s ask spread through the Tory caucus like “wildfire” on Wednesday.
“The demand is outrageous,” the MP said, vowing the Tories would not be “blackmailed” into avoiding an election despite Mr. Harper’s repeated vows not to provoke one.
Needless to say, Mr. Harper should say no. This will cost him seats in Quebec, but very likely win him just as many in the rest of Canada — especially if Michael Ignatieff or Jack Layton give any measure of lip service to Mr. Duceppe’s stunt. If the Liberals or NDP want to be the party willing to do anything to scratch together votes in Quebec, Mr. Harper should let them.
It is high time a prime minister definitively told Mr. Duceppe and his fellow travellers what they can do with their threats. If doing so leads to an election, so be it: Mr. Harper will be going to the voters as a man of principle who stood his ground on a subject far more important to this country than corporate tax rates.
Yes, he should say no. But there are lots of things that he should have done, and hasn’t. So we’ll see.
Democracy Watch suggests that media go to any coffee shop in the country tomorrow morning and ask people there whether they support changes to make Canadian governments and businesses serve them better in every way, to see just how much support the CoffeeParty.ca movement has.
Whether they support “changes to make Canadian governments and businesses serve them better in every way”?
We all support that — even the socialists. What we disagree on is what those changes should be.
I think that market pressures are best at making businesses serve us better, and governments need to stay out of the way of that salutary process of creative destruction. (i.e., “You don’t serve us well? Lack of sales will destroy you.”)
This Canadian Coffee Party will go about as far as its American counterpart — because it isn’t actually a grassroots movement, and its very purpose is ill-thought-out.