Okay, it’s time for me to weigh in, now that everybody else has so thoughtfully risen to my challenge to put their predictive skills on the line. I see we run the gamut from total victory against the whole law to a doleful prediction that the mandate will stand.
Well, count me in the mushy middle. After going back and forth and around and around on this subject for months, I just can’t tell where my own analysis — and my own wish for a defeat of ObamaCare — ends and my assessment of each of the justices’ proclivities begins.
But here’s what I have come up with: I think this is going to be one of those horribly fractured decisions where observers have trouble making heads or tails of everything. I think there may even be concurrent pluralities rather than a simple majority on at least a couple of the questions presented to the court. In the end, though, I do — yes, I do — expect the mandate in this particular form, applied in this particular way, to be adjudged at least partially unconstitutional. In other words, the court will leave open the possibility that such a mandate in theory could be within the federal government’s powers, but just not THIS mandate in this form. But I think a majority may not agree on what the remedy for this abuse is, and will come up with some Rube Goldberg way of punting the ultimate decision back to lower courts or to Congress.
Meanwhile, the challenge to the Medicaid provision will fail, 6-3.
If I am right, perhaps we should be thankful for even tiny victories. But I say: “Ugh!”