James Fallows expects the Supreme Court will decimate the Affordable Care Act. He goes after the Court fully armed. He starts out with what he rightly calls the cynicism of both Alito and Roberts during their confirmation hearings. They misrepresented themselves (and most of us we knew that's what they were doing, even as they spoke). But Fallows goes back even further:
You can try this at home. Pick a country and describe a sequence in which:
First, the presidential election is decided by five people, who don't even try to explain their choice in normal legal terms.
Then the beneficiary of that decision appoints the next two members of the court, who present themselves for consideration as restrained, humble figures who care only about law rather than ideology.
Once on the bench, for life, those two actively second-guess and re-do existing law, to advance the interests of the party that appointed them.
Meanwhile their party's representatives in the Senate abuse procedural rules to an extent never previously seen to block legislation -- and appointments, especially to the courts.
And, when a major piece of legislation gets through, the party's majority on the Supreme Court prepares to negate it -- even though the details of the plan were originally Republican proposals and even though the party's presidential nominee endorsed these concepts only a few years ago.
How would you describe a democracy where power was being shifted that way? ...The Atlantic
For starters, not a democracy. Not a democratic republic. Some would argue that, okay, we have a deeply corrupt Washington but the rest of us are pretty okay, right? Not so much. I'd call those people who proudly call themselves "conservatives" are now enablers of radicals.
Some of us have retained some intellectual independence.
Update: Underscoring the point, a Bloomberg poll of 21 constitutional scholars found that 19 of them believe the individual mandate is constitutional, but only eight said they expected the Supreme Court to rule that way. The headline nicely conveys the reality of the current Court: "Obama Health Law Seen Valid, Scholars Expect Rejection." ...The Atlantic
If we were watching this decades-long, purposeful seizure of the political system by one political party taking place in another large, powerful nation -- Russia is a good example -- we would notice and be alarmed.
Normally I shy away from apocalyptic readings of the American predicament. We're a big, messy country; we've been through a lot -- perhaps even more than we thought, what with Abraham Lincoln and the vampires. We'll probably muddle through this and be very worried about something else ten years from now. But when you look at the sequence from Bush v. Gore, through Citizens United, to what seems to be coming on the health-care front; and you combine it with ongoing efforts in Florida and elsewhere to prevent voting from presumably Democratic blocs; and add that to the simply unprecedented abuse of the filibuster in the years since the Democrats won control of the Senate and then took the White House, you have what we'd identify as a kind of long-term coup if we saw it happening anywhere else. ...The Atlantic