Robert Shrum: Will a Tea Party Supreme Court guarantee Obama a second term? The court’s conservative wing appears ready to engage in some despicable judicial activism on ObamaCare….
Recall the scorn toward health reform dripping from the lips of Injustice Antonin Scalia. Or think of the tight-lipped Clarence Thomas, who could send a mannequin to sit in his place at the court’s oral arguments for all the difference his brooding presence makes… Some observers, and administration officials, hold out hope that Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy will decide to save health reform from the revanchist claims of right-wing constitutionalism. I’m pessimistic because I lived through Bush v. Gore, when the court acted like a political ward committee…
…. Largely missing from the coverage of the health reform case are the most important consequences of nullifying the law: The tragedy of tens of millions who would again be left without insurance… It took a hundred years to remedy all of this by passing health reform; it could take decades to pass it again….
…. The president certainly doesn’t want to see his landmark achievement, unequaled since the New Deal and the civil rights revolution of the 1960s, left in the judicial dust. But ironically, such a result could rebound to his benefit…. So far, Republicans have been able to demagogue health reform without providing any real plan of their own …. Romney and his party would have to say something more, but they have nothing coherent to offer….
…. I hope my pessimism about a right-wing revolution dressed in judicial robes will be proved wrong …I hope that John Roberts, who at President Obama’s swearing-in couldn’t remember the Oath of Office, at least remembers his own….. I hope for this, but I fear the alternative, a decision that would live in infamy….
…. Perhaps the GOP presidential candidates are right about the boilerplate echoing off the walls at their rallies — that this is “the most important election of our lifetime.” And unless they draw back from the brink, a slim Republican majority on a debased Supreme Court will help Obama win it.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-VT, talks with President Barack Obama onboard Air Force One enroute to Burlington, Vt., March 30, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
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