If you want to listen to the lengths modern law and its practitioners, lawyers, go to spin reality and obscure common sense to convince courts that which otherwise normal people would deem ludicrous, just go to and listen to yesterday’s oral arguments on the Tax Anti-Injunction Act part of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Supreme Court review of its constitutionality.
It is interesting to note that the Solicitor General, representing the government, seems to be schizophrenic as he attempts to argue for the Obama administration’s position that the court cant here the case because of the act—as the President does not want the decision to come till after the election—and on the other hand in representing the position of the government (the people in general) he tells the court that he thinks the court should hear the case.
Another point to note as it has very particular relevance is that in his argument yesterday, he describes the assessed fee for not purchasing insurance, under the mandate clause of the act, is a tax. Tomorrow he will be arguing that it is in fact a tax. This schizophrenic position has been confounding the government’s position since they debated the law and passed it in the first place. In arguing why the case can be heard, Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli, argues that the penalty is not a tax for the purpose of the Tax Anti-Injunction Act. Tomorrow he will argue that the “penalty” is in fact a tax to justify the federal government’s position that it can levee it and therefore it is not violating state’s rights.
It is very important to note that like congress and the president, the power of the judicial branch, including the Supreme Court is granted, loaned if you will, from We, the people of the United States. As such, if the decisions rendered make no sense to We, the people, then it is either because they are wrong or not crafted to reflect well on our intentions as a people.
We need to begin to exercise our responsibility as the grantors of these very important and solemn powers and demand that all decisions and arguments be rendered with a standard of language that we can all understand and does not obscure whether or not our constitutional rights are being upheld.
I encourage everyone to take the time to listen to the arguments in the first person, not as reported by others. Yes they will take a combined six to nine hours but to allow others to police our rights is to grant them the power to help obscure the elimination, or neutering, of our rights.
To quote and old friends mother, “Pay attention, you can learn something from a fool!” I worry that in the end the fool will be us!
Tom I know that you are right in encouraging us to listen to the arguments in order to become educated consumers, for lack of a better term. So I gave it a go and what I decided after a very short time was that I just could not subject my brain or my ears to this for 8-9 hours for a couple of reasons, the first that I am unable to stay focused while listening to this and the second that I had no earthly idea what they were talking about. So I decided to down load the PDF and read the transcripts, I have always been better at comprehending written words. Boy was I in for a shock, apparently my ability to comprehend the written word has suffered greatly with time and it sure didn’t take long for the “exhaustion rule” to kicked in. As Justice Scalia so succinctly stated “Whatever else it is, it’s easy to think that it’s not clear.” but then again he also said “And there will be no parade of horribles because all federal courts are intelligent.” I think my time might be better spent on prayer.