It’s been over a week since the Supreme Court heard oral arguments about Obamacare. The news coverage on the networks and cable news focused on the result of what the Court will do, with decidedly less coverage going to the logic of how the Court will get there. I understand why most people are results oriented, but for lawyers like me, that’s frustrating because I believe deeply that the Court should rule based on principles. Unfortunately, it’s an all-too-common occurrence for an academic to lecture the general public for not caring enough about their sacred cow.
That’s why the warning of some Democrats that the Court striking down Obamacare would undermine the legitimacy of the Court strikes me as particularly hollow. Rightly or wrongly, polls continue to show that the majority of people disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, and particularly the individual mandate. If/when the Court strikes down the mandate or the whole act, the majority of people will focus on the result rather than the Court’s rationale.