I guess any political prognosticator worth her salt is expected to speculate what will be the ruling from Supreme Court on ObamaCare as the day of reckoning has arrived:
- I think mandate will be turned down; preferably by larger margin or unanimously and
- still rest of the law is upheld.
Why do I expect this? Any ruling along the lines I mentioned above will be essentially a 'political statement' rather than legalities. At this time, it is too much to expect American Supreme Court to go above 'partisan short sightedness' (it is not German Constitutional Court) and considering the high brain trust on that bench, such a political compromise seems more appropriate or feasible.
Politically you shoot down the mandate for two reasons:
- majority of Americans have come to view accordingly (mostly because of unpopularity of Obama for variety of reasons and his & Democratic Party's failure to sale ObamaCare correctly to Americans); and
- at some point you want to have a limit drawn on the Commerce Clause and ability of Fed to set constraints on Americans for whatever reasons. Even if 'mandate' say is narrowly legal, it is much better to err on the side of caution in this regard and firmly set a line in sand so as no future Congress or Administration dares for any such risky policy.
The reason you want the ruling to strike mandate down unanimously is to simply protect Supreme Court as an institution in these bitterly partisan times. Further, the reason any such ruling will be political is for any such unanimous ruling, Conservative judges should be ready for a separate judgement for validity of the rest of the law as such (which can be for sure as narrow as like 5-4) and in which few of the Conservative judges are able to cross over to support Liberals and help save rest of the law (which really should not raise much of a question, considering a fact that Congress - if it wills - will be able able to find appropriate substitute for the mandate and indeed implement the law in revised form).
Along with the mandate, to strike down major portions of the law or the entire law; will be too polarizing and help entrench a view with half of Americans that Supreme Court has decisively moved in favor of Conservatives. Agreed, it is not the job of John Roberts Court to rule what is palatable politically in the current environment. But think of it, American System structures Judicial System in most politically aligned ways and for the Supreme Court to come swinging the bat to deepen already divided society is hardly worthy of its core mission - to bring balance, justice to the land to steer forward American Society. If it were only Hermeneutics of what our Founding Fathers wrote, then may be we should have Gadamer on our court.
May be in eyes of a conservative, an ObamaCare supporter arguing in this fashion is a total victory already. But we all know what 'political overreach' means. This is the moment for Conservative Thinking of this Country to avoid the 'overreach' trap.