Thursday, June 28, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court, the issue for the presidential campaign?



Sometimes history works in ways that individuals do not control. Today, in the U.S. may be one such day.
The Supreme Court will hand down its decision on the affordable care act, likely gutting the mandate clause that requires citizens to pay for health insurance, or pay a penalty. The clause exists in order to provide a funding base for the new coverages for the 30 million who previously did not have health care, and for inclusion of those with pre-existing conditions. However, for the government to require anyone to "purchase" something is, for conservatives a reach too far of government power, and should the mandate clase be struck down, the Court will, inevitably have turned itself into one of the most contentions issues in the presidential race.
Also today, the House of Representatives will vote on the contempt charge against Attorney General Eric Holder, for allegedly witholding files on the "Fast and Furious" gun-running escapade that resulted in the death of one border guard, before Holder cancelled the ill-planned and poorly executived scheme, to provide guns for the low levels of the drug trade over the border with Mexico, in order to solicit information and hopefully arrests of the 'king pins' in that drug war.
Should Holder be held in contempt, and should the Supreme Court gut the Affordable Care Act, President Obama will have had his worst day in the White House since inauguration in January 2009.
And the campaign for the White House will turn on the Supreme Court's decision to "over-step the will of the elected representatives, a bi-partisan vote that finally provided a modicum of health care, after decades of failure under presidents of both parties since the mid-1990's.
Should Obama run "against the Court" as much as against his official opponent, Romney, he will have both his own scholarship to draw on (he taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago) and a growing history of conservative "activist" judges, the very cancer that Dubya vowed to excise when he made his most controversial and most conservative appointments to the court, in Roberts and Alito, to accompany Scalia, sometimes Kennedy and Thomas. It is those five who will be the target of the Obama presidential campaign. They have already drawn fire from the President in their decision on Citizens United, opening the vaults of corporations and individuals to contribute as much as they like to political campaigns.
So will this next several weeks see an historic campaign between the executive branch, in the person of Obama and the court, as represented by Romney? And if so, will this struggle finally break the hold of the conservative cabal on the political, economic and health care lives of the nation?

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