Skip to comments.ObamaCare: Supreme Court may postpone ruling till 2016
Posted on 02/21/2012 11:55:07 PM PST by STARWISE
This morning's newspapers report an ominous development in the ObamaCare litigation, now pending in the U.S. Supreme Court:
The Court posted a seemingly minor but potentially portentous administrative change, which suggests it might postpone delivering a final ruling on the constitutionality of ObamaCare until the middle of 2016!
Specifically, the high Court increased the time it will devote to hearing oral arguments on whether the health care mandate is a tax for purposes of something called the Tax Anti-Injunction Act (26 U.S.C. § 7421(a)).
The historically lengthy oral arguments in the case, HHS v. Florida -- now expanded by 30 minutes to an unprecedented six hours -- are slated to take place late next month. A formal ruling in the case is expected by early July.
But will it be the final ruling? That's now less clear.
First enacted in 1867, the Tax Anti-Injunction Act sweepingly forbids any court from hearing any case in which any person attempts to prevent the assessment or collection of a tax. Once the tax has been assessed and collected, however, a court may hear a case on it.
The ObamaCare mandate is enforced by means of a penalty fine, collected by the IRS. With a few exceptions, this fine will be imposed on every citizen who doesn't check a box on his tax return affirming that he has purchased government-controlled health insurance.
Is the IRS penalty a tax, or not? So far, lower federal courts have come down on both sides of this issue. And for complicated legal reasons, the Obama Administration has actually been taking boths sides on it: in Congress, the President's men say it's not a tax; in court, they say it is.
If the high Court decides the mandate is a tax, it will be a dream come true for the Administration:
President Obama faces reelection in November 2012. ObamaCare doesn't go into full operation until January 2014. The first time the IRS can levy the mandate penalty/tax won't be until folks file their tax returns, in mid-April 2015. The slow judicial process will likely delay a final Supreme Court ruling until mid-2016.
Until now, everyone has been assuming the Court will rule on the law's constitutionality in early July, five full months before the 2012 elections.
And we've all been assuming that, however the Court rules, the ruling will provide voters with a critical piece of information: What does the Supreme Court think about ObamaCare's constitutionality?
Alas, today's development calls that assumption into doubt. The Court might punt!
The expanded time given to the Tax Anti-Injunction Act issue suggests two things:
1) The high Court is taking seriously the idea that the mandate is a tax -- the strongest possible basis for finding ObamaCare constitutional.
2) If the Court decides that the mandate is a tax, it may be forced to postpone a ruling on the mandate's constitutionality until after the tax has actually been collected on a citizen -- three years hence.
Today's development is just another reason why we cannot count on the courts to repeal the government takeover of health care. However the Supreme Court finally decides, we citizens must keep fighting to protect our threatened health care liberties in the halls of Congress -- and at the ballot-box.
Dean Clancy is FreedomWorks' Legislative Counsel and Vice President, Health Care Policy
P.S. Last week, we filed a formal legal brief in this important litigation.
Isn't it really a two step process?
1. A mandate that individuals must purchase health insurance (or have it as part of employment).
2. A penalty if health insurance is not purchased.
It would seem the argument of what is or is not a tax could only be made for the second, penalty stage.
The SCOTUS has just confirmed with this announcement that it is totally corrupt, this should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind.
Is there a rule where Thomas, Scalia, Roberts are not allowed to explain this delay...can they open their mouths?
If I were a skeptic, I might think that obamacare isn’t so much about affordable health care for everyone but rather the wrong people are living way too long.
Whenever life saving treatment is restricted, delayed or denied for whatever reason...people die.
The Anti-Junction Act will only apply if they deem the mandate a tax rather than a penalty, and that is likely the determinative issue anyway. So if they are inclined to strike down the mandate because it is a penalty and not a tax, then the AJA won't apply anyway.
This reads sort of like a public-interest group trying to draw attention to its advocacy. Nothing wrong with that, but nothing to get alarmed about either.
FReepmail me to subscribe to or unsubscribe from the SCOTUS ping list.
Follow the money....
The USSC has done NOTHING to protect the Constitution, and Liberal Judges have destroyed the Founders' Intent by making "interpretations" that are totally Leftist, at their core.
The main issue, and one that can be decided very quickly, is the mandate issue.
The whole law depends on it. If the mandate is unconstitutional, the rest of it has no basis.
“The GOP has been amazingly passive and just keeps laying it off on the Supreme Court. Where is the fire to take every step to stop implementation, defund agency programs that have any part in implementation, cripple rule making, etc? It all seems to have died with Boehners tears.”
Right on, FRiend. McConnell and Co. just want the lobbyist cashola. They could care less what is good for the country. I dream of a repeal of obamacare but there is zero percent chance McConnell will beat the Maine hags with a wet noodle and push repeal through the Senate. We are doomed unless we get a strong President who just repeals obamacare by fiat.
———until the middle of 2016! -——
That will be post revolution. By then it will not matter because there will be a new government of the remaining states
This court is tied 4-4. It is all about Kennedy. What HE does. HOW HE votes!! If during the next few years, Obama still there, something happens to Kennedy or one of the conservatives on the court, BOOM!!!!! 5-4 liberal court. They have it all. Nothing stops them. Their agenda will run ramped then.
Holy crap. It’s a done deal, now.
The first act out of the box was to repeal Obama care. The bill passed by the House has been ignored by the Senate
The “supreme court” (note not capitalized) is nothing more than a bunch of cowardly bastards sitting on their arses.
Make a damn decision and move on!
“If the Court rules it to be a “tax” [this year], then it cannot be contested until AFTER the tax is collected [in 2015].”
If we were to follow this logic to lets say the death penalty for killing a politician then the USSC would have to wait until one was actually killed before ruling on the case.
We have a bunch of traitors to the Founders, Constitution, and Citizens of the USA sitting on the bench of the USSC making political decisions and NOT what they are mandated to do and that is make sure any law, executive order (huge problem here), regulation (usually from un-elected scum), is ALLOWED by the Constitution.
They are not there to do what they think is right at the moment if the Constitution does not allow it. That is a function for an AMENDMENT not some piece of political slime using case law to make stuff up.
Watch, and learn how many times this vile court refuses to hear a case because a US CITIZEN does NOT HAVE STANDING?
What kind of wimps are we when we allow these political hacks to say we do not have standing. If the government is involved, then we MUST have standing because our government only receives its LIMITED powers from US yet these pompous a$$e$ on the USSC have completely forgotten that.
There is a second mandate to be taken into account - The mandate that religious organizations be required to fund practices that violate the basic principles of the organization.
The Obama organization, which is always too cute by half, may have inadvertently, swayed a key swing vote on the court by initiating, for political purposes the birth control debate.
-- James Madison
The Father of the U.S. Constitution: "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."
-- James Madison
What you appear not to know and should know is that Obama and his circle are following the FDR playbook on Social Security from the 1930s. That’s not an opinion or a theory but a fact because they have said so.
In the 1930s FDR was publicly proclaiming that Social Security was a modest pension retirement program whereas in court his lawyers were arguing that Social Security was a tax and was constitutional under the 16th Amendment. It was upheld as a tax.
Same exact thing here, by design. Obamacare will be upheld as a tax despite that it will lose on Commerce Clause arguments. They only need to win on the tax question.
It is the 16th Amendment that in 100 years has brought us to this point. Is there are replacement? Yes, read below:
--Thomas Jefferson, letter to Charles Hammond, 1821
What a bunch of shiite!
I sure hope those that voted in the kenyan usurper are proud of themselves for what they wrought on this once proud and strong country. They owe each of themselve a huge pat on the back. They are all part of this travesty. One day some of them will wake up and realize what they’ve done. It will be too late, though. Hope they enjoy the consequences of their actions. We sure as he!! don’t.
We are so f***ed!
Next question, what country to move to.
I can’t believe conservatives placed any hope in the Supreme Court, or specifically, Kennedy.
Besides his unreliability, is it too conspiratorial to imagine a communist, community organizer bringing outside pressure on the justices?
If taking up arms is the solution then so be it. Let's get it over with and begin anew.
“Will Obama actually get a second term? The fact that I’m even having to ask that question says a lot. We have a POTUS who can only be described as Marxist in that as a Congressman he voted to the left of the only Socialist in Congress. His actions as POTUS support that notion. And there’s a serious chance of him being RE-ELECTED. Why?”
Part of that has to be that our candidates absolutely SUCK.
If waivers are already granted, can it be challenged as in effect now, regardless of the “tax versus mandated purchase” definition?
I really hope the government starts doing what The People want and the Constitution requires. The other option is not pleasant, but is coming much closer.
A tax implies that a citizen is funding a service funded by the government and carried out by the government independently.
The individual mandate demands citizen participation in the mandate through the purchase of a service that the citizen did not choose. If a citizen doesn't participate in the mandate then a fine is levied.
A tax does not imply coerced participation.
This is worse than a tax. This is tyranny.
Just in time to be too late.
Then it appears necessary to make the SCOTUS decision unnecessary by electing a Congress and president that will make it their first priority to revoke Obamacare in its entirety.
So, what happens if say, hypothetically, God willing, somehow Obamacare gets repealed before 2016? Does that make this SC issue moot?
Next question, what country to move to.
Yep, and I’m sure glad my money wasn’t wasted when I bought that house elsewhere. I said I would not stay here if and when obongodeathcare took effect and I meant it. If this country is stupid enough to elect that Marxist again, it’s time for me to get out of here.
And theres a serious chance of him being RE-ELECTED. Why?
Because a certain part of the population will vote because he has a lighter shade of their own skin color. They don’t care who or what he is.
I think you are right. If 10 or more states don’t participate how can the progarm proceed? It can’t. Millions of peope will just not sign up for insurance because they cannot afford it. If you are not due a refund on your tax return there is not much the IRS can do about it.
And yet they are already spending taxpayer money on it...
This is hysterical babble.
The hearing is going to determine if it is a tax, and regardless, that is just one part of the argument.
The court will not wait to rule against the law until 2016. I would bet money on that. They will rule by next summer as they always do.
Talk about a headline guaranteed to make a stomach drop! 2016 far too late to save America.
I thought Obamacare wasn’t a tax.
Gingrich is RIGHT!!! Time to start Impeaching judges!
The Supreme Court is more like a “FOOD Court” because they are a bunch of chickens at OFC!
Ugh, you said it, thouworm... :-(
Thanks for the ping!
I just started the Constitution 101 course that Hillsdale College offers. I am very excited to learn more about and study the intent of the framers.
There is one common thread in my research and in the thinking of those philosophers that the founders had studied and that is “consent of the governed”. This idea is really the crux of everything. Not enough of us realize this. It is our responsibility to make sure we KNOW the people we vote for. KNOW who we are sending to represent us. We cannot afford anymore, to allow people to win election based on the color of their skin, how much money they have or whether they “seem like a nice fellow” or not. This is what got us into this mess in the first place. Americans by in large could care less about politics. Or at least, are content to let others care enough to make the decisions for them.
CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED. Without it, these @ssholes couldn’t do what they are doing. We put them where they are and we can damn sure take them out. We only need enough of us to know that and do something about it.
Amen! You are dead on! We have to take power back. Simple as that.
IMPEACH THE WHOLE SUPREME COURT FOR NON-FEASANCE! It’s time to take our country back from the pimps of the law industry. It no longer has any appearance of JUSTICE!