Health Care Reform Faces Its 'Reckoning'
Pundits weigh in ahead of Monday's Supreme Court hearing
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2012 11:55 AM CDT
The US Supreme Court Building in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – The Supreme Court hearings on President Obama's health care reform start Monday morning, which means you'll be hearing a lot of arguments about government overreach and/or the limits of the Commerce Clause. Some opinions today:

  • Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post: He lays out his objections in a column headlined "The reckoning" and sums it up thusly: "Rarely has one law so exemplified the worst of the Leviathan state—grotesque cost, questionable constitutionality, and arbitrary bureaucratic coerciveness." Full column here.
  • Linda Greenhouse, New York Times: She thinks the argument that the individual mandate is unconstitutional—"specifically, the argument that the mandate exceeds Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause—is rhetorically powerful but analytically so weak that it dissolves on close inspection. There’s just no there there." She predicts the court will uphold the law "by a wide margin." Full column here.

  • James Taranto, Wall Street Journal: He specifically picks apart Greenhouse's column. "She simply ignores the legal significance of ObamaCare's lack of precedent," he writes, and "that significance is great." Greenhouse "is trying to mislead her readers, and possibly herself, into thinking that the case against ObamaCare is without merit." Full column here.
  • Dahlia Lithwick, Slate: The law is clearly constitutional, which means the "really interesting question" will be whether the five conservatives on the court strike it down anyway. "That’s what we’re really talking about next week and that has almost nothing to do with law and everything to do with optics, politics, and public opinion." Full column here.