One can imagine why the Obama administration might want to postone the Supreme Court's decision on health care reform until well after the elections, when Obama is either relaxing on a beach in Hawaii or realizing his nefarious secret machinations with Russia as an untouchable second term despot. I mean, what politician wants his signature legislation castrated before the nation a half-year before Election Day?
However, if this is the kind of legal fire power the DOJ is bringing to the Supreme Court this week, they might be better off to let things finish up as fast a s possible so everyone hopefully forgets all about this…
The Justice Department says the mandate is constitutional, in part, under Congress's power to levy taxes. But in urging that the justices should not postpone a decision until the mandate takes effect, sometime after 2014, the administration has had to argue that the mandate is not a tax.
Justice Samuel Alito raised the issue as Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. argued Monday that the fine is a not a tax.
"Tomorrow you’re going to be back, and you’re going to be arguing that the penalty is a tax," Alito said.
So, the best lawyers in the Justice Department put their heads together and decided that the best way to go about this was to argue both sides at the exact same time? I'm not one of those fancy law-talking-guys but that doesn't seem like a winning strategy to me.
Though, maybe they're just trying to highlight how much this legislation truly is the brainchild of Mitt Romney.
Photo by Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images
Tags: Department of Justice, Health Care, Judiciary, Samuel Alito, Supreme Court, Taxes