Monday, February 13, 2012

Most, if not all, of the discussion regarding the fate of Obamacare has dealt with whether the Supreme Court rules the individual mandate is constitutional.

But... what happens if the individual mandate is not the (real) issue on which the decision turns?

As someone who believes judges (with the Supreme Court being no exception) often decide first the decision they want to make and only then look to justify their decision, I don't think it is a stretch to also think that their published opinions might not actually acknowledge the real reasons for their decision (somewhat akin to a manager firing a worker because of Reason A but claiming in the official paperwork it was because of Reason B).

As to how this might play with the Obamacare decision, while the individual mandate is the primary issue before the Court, this doesn't mean that a particular Justice's decision to strike down the law might not be made on the basis of another issue.

And what might that other issue be?

Well... how about the Obama Administration's decision to force religious organizations to violate their beliefs?

While Obama has (claimed to) back down somewhat, I'm sure the Justices realize that if they were to uphold the law, there is nothing to prevent Obama from re-instituting the requirement. For that matter, there would be nothing to prevent Obama from going even further in upcoming months.

So... what is a good (Catholic) Justice to do?

Well... ruling Obamacare unconstitutional takes away Obama's authority to wreak havoc. Knock down the law and, presto, there goes Obama's ability to impose his views on those he doesn't like. Declare the individual mandate unconstitutional and the mandate can not be severed from the rest of the law and thus, the entire law gets tossed.