The Supreme Court today upheld the individual mandate requirement of President Obama's healthcare overhaul in this country. With a shock to many the Chief Justice John Roberts joined the liberal majority in approving the requirement that all Americans have some type of health care coverage.
The shock that came out of today's ruling is the man that provided a very powerful dissent in the case and that is Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy is typically a swing voter on the court who is hard to judge when a case is being decided. However; this was probably his most powerful opinion in his long career as a justice of the court.
From the Politico:
Kennedy, often the key swing vote on court opinions, spent 10 minutes questioning the majority’s opinion upholding the individual mandate under Congress’ taxing power.
His main argument was that the court, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, went well beyond what lawmakers intended with the health care law.
“What Congress calls a penalty, we call a tax,” Kennedy said. “In short, the court imposes a tax when Congress deliberately rejected a tax.”Kennedy has hit dead on with his dissenting opinion. He has put a direct challenge to John Roberts thinking on this case. If Congress openly rejected the idea of a tax then there is no way a court can justify that the law was created under the Congress' ability to tax the American people.
Kennedy also went as far as to say that the entire Health Care law is invalid. He spent 10 minutes from the bench this morning ripping the majority opinion and laying ground for the fact that this law could be challenged again, and it gives Congress the ability to change the law if Obama is defeated in his re-election bid.