In the final round of hearings in a Supreme Court term that has seemed closely linked to the 2012 election campaign, the Supreme Court turns its attention this week to the emotional subject of immigration controls.
James Madison’s concept of the separation of powers of the national government has always been thought to be a stroke of genius because it guaranteed a good deal of independence of the three major branches so that they could check each other, to prevent tyranny.
This week-in-review feature typically covers a variety of constitutional topics in the news. But this week, constitutional coverage was dominated by one topic: health care.
The centerpiece of the new federal health care law, and its most controversial part – the individual insurance mandate – looked to be doomed after the first hour of the Supreme Court’s hearing on it Tuesday.
Amid sure signs that the Supreme Court Justices are deeply interested in the constitutionality of the new health care law’s key sections, and definite signs that they have been studying up for the task, they moved on Monday to get beyond the preliminaries and get set for Tuesday’s crucial two-hour hearing.
Where, one may ask, will a Supreme Court ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act stand in history?
Here’s a brief look at the top constitutional news stories and commentaries from this week.
Few exercises in interpreting the Constitution are as bizarre as the one that the Supreme Court and lower courts go through if they strike down only a part of a multi-faceted law, and then decide what of the remainder can survive.
For both lawyers, most of the questions coming from the bench probably will be about Congress’s powers under the Commerce Clause, though some will explore the Necessary and Proper Clause, and at least a few questions may focus on the mandate as a form of tax.
Setting aside the important distinction between health care and health insurance, this argument simply lacks the legal force its proponents want it to have.