It's really no longer a question of "will" ObamaCare get to the U.S. Supreme Court. Friday's decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit makes it all but a certainty.
In a discussion about the most recent appeals court decision by the 11th Circuit declaring the individual mandate unconstitutional, I told Pat Robertson today on The 700 Club that this legal road challenging ObamaCare will end at the Supreme Court. With the 11th Circuit decision, there is now a conflict in the Circuits, with the 6th Circuit declaring the individual mandate constitutional just six weeks ago. And, a decision by the 4th Circuit could come at any time.
With conflicting decisions at the appeals court level, it's clear this issue will be decided by the Justices. I believe this issue is on the fast track, likely to be before the high Court next term with a decision in advance of the 2012 elections.
How the legal arguments and appeals shape up is still to be determined. But the language expressed by the majority in the 11th Circuit decision should become a template for future arguments.
"This economic mandate represents a wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority: the ability to compel Americans to purchase an expensive health insurance product they have elected not to buy, and to make them re-purchase that insurance product every month for their entire lives," the appeals court determined.
Yes, the appeals court only declared a portion of the health care law unconstitutional - the individual mandate, which forces Americans to purchase health insurance.
But the decision on why the mandate, the cornerstone of ObamaCare, is unconstitutional is very much the same argument that should be made to strike the entire law. ObamaCare clearly represents an "unbounded assertion of congressional authority." If Congress can tell Americans what to do about health care, it can tell Americans what to do about anything.
The individual mandate is a big part of the problem. But the fact is the entire law must go. In our view, the two can't be separated - one can't exist without the other.
As you may know, we represented 74 members of Congress and more than 70,000 Americans in the 11th Circuit case, filing an amicus brief backing Florida's challenge. And our preparations continue for oral arguments scheduled for September 23rd in our own legal challenge of ObamaCare. We will present our case before a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.
As I have said before, all legal roads regarding ObamaCare end up at the Supreme Court. And it looks like a precedent-setting, blockbuster decision will come just in time for the run-up to the November 2012 elections.