Thoughts on the impending ACA decision
I spent a fair bit of time listening to the oral argument in this week's presentation of the ACA Obamacare appeal. I also read along with the transcript (Lots of mistakes there, but nothing really consequential) I have pondered the words and the voices and the nuance, and then I read all the commentary I could.
Just about everyone seems to believe that it will be a 5-4 decision, but I believe that this underestimates Chief Justice Roberts and his recent history. He is a consensus builder. The libs, especially Ginsburg, were so vociferous in their naked appeals to retain most of the bill even if the mandate is struck down, while a majority was seemingly determined (if one can divine a Justice's intentions from his questions) to strike down the mandate, that it is not impossible to foresee a decision of a greater majority striking down the mandate alone, along with dicta asking the congress to do their job, and fix what is left.
THAT would be the only non-political result, and it would make all the "pundits" look silly - again. Zero Base Thinkers know that the common knowledge is almost always wrong. This time, the left wing legal punditocracy was SO wrong that it, almost by itself, proves that all the recent studies of liberals vs. conservatives are right when they present findings that conservatives know much better what liberals believe than liberals can divine what conservatives are thinking. If they do not believe that conservatives seek justice or clean air and water, it is easier to understand why they had no clue that a majority of SCOTUS believes that the constitution is serious when it limits the central government.
If you think that this characterization is unfair, consider this: when was the last time that the conservative movement got caught as flatfooted as liberals did over the Obamacare critiques? Liberals do seem to tend to get unpleasantly surprised a lot.