Why the Supreme Court will uphold Obamacare again

If you think about it, the US Supreme Court is a lot like the Nazgul Ringwraiths from The Lord of the Rings. There are nine justices, and nine Nazgul. They all wear black robes. Many of the Nazgul were initially good Numenoreans who were seduced by promises of power and became more and more evil over time. Many of the Justices were initially conservatives who were seduced by lifetime appointments to become more and more liberal over time. The Nazgul worshipped Sauron, an evil entity who in the books was never seen or heard from, but was the source of evil. Many of the justice worship government control and statism, things which you also cannot see but have powerfully deleterious effects on their followers.

In this light the Supreme Court yesterday heard oral arguments about a case, King v. Burwell, where Obamacare subsidies are being challenged. The Obamacare law states that health premium subsidies are only supposed to go to poor people who buy insurance in state run exchanges. The idea was that each state would set up a healthcare exchange but many states refused, so the federal government set up federal exchanges.  The people who are signed up under the federal exchanges are also getting subsidized, even though the wording of the law is very clear that the subsidies should only go "through an exchange established by the state." Despite this, the Obama administration claims it should apply to federal exchanges as well.

And it looks clear that at least five and possibly six of the nine justices agree. There are four reliably liberal justices: Elena Kagan ("Queen of the Nazgul"), Stephen Breyer ("King of the Nazgul"), Sonia Sotomayor ("Wormtongue"),  and Ruth Bader Ginsburg  ("Gollum") all of whom ignore the Constitution and reach whatever result they like. There are three mostly reliable constitutionalists, Antonin Scalia, Sam Alito, and Clarence Thomas. There are also two swing justices, Anthony Kennedy and Chief Justice John Roberts, who started as conservatives but increasingly finding themselves ignoring the Constitution and the plain meaning of statutes, as if they are slowly seduced by the power of an evil ring.

In this case the predictable four -- Ginsburg, Kagan, Sotomayor, and Breyer -- are almost sure to uphold Obamacare.  So is Justice Kennedy.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy suggested on Wednesday that an argument for striking down the government subsidies at the heart of the Affordable Care Act raises a 'serious constitutional problem' and deciding to strike them down would cause a 'death spiral' for Obamacare

That would be terrible, wouldn't it? For a flawed law to go into a "death spiral."  The court has never before been afraid to rule against a law for fear it would be a "death spiral" for a particular law.

As for Chief Justice Roberts, he was uncharacteristically silent. It was his deciding vote that upheld Obamacare last time, when he characterized the mandatory health insurance requirement as a tax, even though Congress had made it very clear that it was not a tax. Maybe he realizes how much prestige he lost in that decision and sees the Court digging itself into a hole deeper and deeper by issuing one ridiculous ruling after another that has no basis on law, and thus he was too embarrassed to participate in this. That's my theory.

Regardless, it seems clear the Court has five votes to uphold Obamacare. Meanwhile the Republicans have been busy stitching white flags in the off chance they actually win the case. Really. Senator Ben Sasse was on Mark Levin's show on 3/3/15, and he said that Republicans are terribly worried that if the court rules against Obamacare, that Obama will force people off their health insurance and blame the Republicans. So the Republicans have come up with a plan to keep Obamacare going in case the court decides in their favor. I'm not making this up.

As Mark Levin notes, this is a disastrous decision both for separation of powers and the rule of law. As an attorney I have to agree with him. If the Obama administration prevails, they will have taken an act of Congress and simply rewritten it to their liking, without Congressional input. That makes for an enormously powerful executive branch the likes of which we've never seen before, and is really troubling. Furthermore it throws the rule of law out the window. Obama has already rewritten the Obamacare statute numerous times, as Mark Levin also noted. If the law means nothing and it can be easily changed by the whim of the President or the bureaucracy, how safe are our liberties?

Pedro Gonzales is the editor of Newsmachete.com, the conservative news site.