Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Finding Gridlock in Unlikely Places

I read an article today that reported that the Supreme Court may delay its ruling on health care reform until 2014 when many thought a ruling would come this year. The courts will delay there ruling through the Anti-Injunction Act, which says that the Supreme Court may not halt a tax that isn't yet being collected. In this case, the taxes they think they can't halt are the penalties that the Affordable Care Act will implement in 2014 for those who don't have health care.

The Supreme Court's attempt to invoke the Anti-Injunction Act is especially alarming since both the Obama administration and the plaintiffs agree that it does apply in this case because they think that what the Supreme Court is arguing is taxes is actually just penalties. Even so, that didn't stop the Supreme Court from appointing two attorneys to argue that these penalties are, in fact, taxes.

Also, Republicans and Democrats seem to be in agreement that a speedy trial would be best in regards to health care reform. They want a ruling before the year is over but it doesn't look like the Supreme Court wants to give them one. This is possibly because the Supreme Court doesn't want to be picked on by candidates during an election year.

No matter what the reason for the Supreme Court's attempts at delaying the health care reform ruling, it shows that gridlock extends well beyond the bounds of Capital Hill.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for pointing out this article. There is a difference between what we have been studying in this class and what the Court may be doing here (and it is a big "may"). Court are by their nature, undemocratic -- they funciton through unelected judges who have the authority to strike down laws passed by elected legislatures. For this, and other reasons, courts traditionally restrain themselves from deciding issues that they do not have to decide or have not yet come into effect. In most instances, judicial prudence in only deciding the narrow issues that are ripe for resolution is applauded. In fact, a big criticism of the Citizen's United campaign finance case is that the Court reached well beyond the issues before them and issued a wide, sweeping opinion. So while I can understand your eagerness for this case to be decided, I can't agree that this is "gridlock" in the same sense we have been discussing in this course.