So says Tom Golstein in regards to the government’s “bad day” at the SCOTUS. Please someone, issue a DNR; that’s our best hope for salvaging the country and eliminating debt. More:
“‘The government had in my view as bad a day as it reasonably could have,’ said Tom Goldstein, founder of SCOTUSblog and a regular litigator at the high court. ‘It won’t cause the government to have a complete cardiac arrest — they’ll just be nauseous for months. … The only people coming out of that building optimistic today were the plaintiffs.’…
What, pray tell, could cause such a bad case of heartburn for the federal government? Oh, Justice Anthony Kennedy eviscerating the Solicitor General Donald Verilli in charge of presenting the government’s case as to why Obamacare should survive. But I’m getting ahead of myself. More from Politico:
“In the orgy of panel discussions, interviews and feature articles previewing this week’s arguments, law professors, Supreme Court litigators and journalists confidently predicted that the justices would uphold the individual mandate as a logical extension of the federal government’s well-established ability to regulate the health insurance market…
“Within the first few minutes of Tuesday’s arguments, that bravado seemed to go out the window.
Chief Justice John Roberts brought up the cellphone mandate: if the government can force you to buy health insurance because it’s “good for you,” then what else can you be forced to purchase that’s also “good for you.” Vegetables in every cart? A cellphone for emergencies?
“I thought that was an important part of your argument,” Roberts told Verrilli. “That when you need health care, the government will make sure you get it. Well, when you need police assistance or fire assistance or ambulance assistance, the government is going to make sure to the best extent it can that you get it — get it.”
But Roberts asked whether the same assurance that the government will provide emergency services could lead to a requirement that everyone buy a cellphone to help facilitate communication in an emergency.
Where does it stop? Gym memberships? Newer, safer Government Motors vehicles?
Verelli caused much angst and anguish on the left for his “trainwreck” performance. Brian Bolduc at NRO writes:
CNN’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called the arguments “a train wreck for the Obama administration.” “This law looks like it’s going to be struck down,” Toobin said. “I’m telling you, all of the predictions including mine that the justices would not have a problem with this law were wrong.”
Jamie Dupree, reporter for Cox Radio, tweeted, “One thing was clear, the Solicitor General [Donald B. Verrilli Jr.] (arguing for the Obama Administration) had a bad day in court.” Justice Kennedy asked him the seemingly skeptical question, “Can you create commerce in order to regulate it?”
“Essentially, the Solicitor General’s performance was so abysmal that it fell to the [Democratic] appointees to make his argument for him,” says Adam Serwer, reporter for Mother Jones.
Of course they did. At one point Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg apparently interrupted Verelli to try to clarify his argument for him. Heh.
I shouldn’t get too excited. Ed Whelan makes a valid point:
I’m always leery of inferring much from oral argument. Now that I’ve listened to the audio and reviewed the transcript (both available here) of today’s argument, I don’t claim to have any meaningful read on which side has the advantage.
I will, though, repeat what I’ve been saying all along: Opponents of Obamacare will be making a terrible blunder if they count on the Supreme Court to deliver the death blow to Obamacare. We need to work to elect this November a Congress that will repeal and replace the monstrosity and a president who will sign that legislation
H/t to Allahpundit here and here. He’s on fire. Read the rest of both and this one, where he confronts the notion that the SCOTUS striking down Obamacare could help Obama win reelection. (Perish the thought).