The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

A George W. Bush-appointee and up-and-coming conservative jurist joined a Democrat to uphold the constitutionality of the healthcare law and its individual mandate to purchase health insurance today, giving the Obama administration its first bipartisan legal victory on the issue.

“We find that the minimum coverage provision is a valid exercise of legislative power by Congress under the Commerce Clause and therefore AFFIRM the decision of the district court,” reads the ruling by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“By regulating the practice of self-insuring for the cost of health care delivery, the minimum coverage provision is facially constitutional under the Commerce Clause for two independent reasons. First, the provision regulates economic activity that Congress had a rational basis to believe has substantial effects on interstate commerce. In addition, Congress had a rational basis to believe that the provision was essential to its larger economic scheme reforming the interstate markets in health care and health insurance.”

This is the first time a decision on the law has not broken down explicitly along partisan lines. Judge Boyce F. Martin, appointed by Jimmy Carter, wrote the majority opinion, and was, crucially, joined by Judge Jeffrey Sutton, a conservative who clerked with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

“I do think that’s the headline from this decision,” said Jamal Greene, professor of law at Columbia University. “Sutton is not just a garden variety Republican. He’s a conservative legal star. The fact that he came out in favor is a big deal.”

Separate challenges to the law have yet to be ruled on by the appellate courts, and the issue is likely to be decided definitively in the U.S. Supreme Court sometime next year.

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Michael Flynn

Former Trump administration National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has made more than his fair share of disturbing, jaw-dropping remarks-- like telling the former guy he should impose martial law to hold a new election or suggesting a Myanmar-like coup at a QAnon conference in May. But he seemed to reach a new low when he joked about using a newly gifted assault rifle to carry out an assassination in the nation's capital.

"We were trying to come up with a rifle that we thought was appropriate for a general, so we went with an old-school Woodland camouflage...one of our top-quality guns," said Jason Parker, a gun company employee who gifted the weapon to Flynn.

Keep reading... Show less

Sean Hannity

Photo by Andrea Austria / Media Matters

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Fox News host Sean Hannity disclosed during his radio show on Friday that he had made peace with a fellow right-wing radio host whose content mill had warned that Hannity's "feverish support of the vaccine" against the novel coronavirus betrayed his conservative audience.

Keep reading... Show less
x

Close