How do you think the Supreme Court will vote on Obamacare?

Which way, and how many votes?

ETA: for nitpickers, let’s call it ‘against’ if they strike down enough of the law to render it basically unworkable, and ‘for’ even if they strike down some peripheral aspects, as long as they leave the basic structure in place.

I think they’ll uphold the law by a 6-3 margin. Roberts will join Kennedy and the Clinton/Obama appointees so that Roberts can assign the opinion to himself and keep the scope narrow.

They are really only considering the mandate, so if they strike that down, it is against.

And based on the reports of those in attendance, Kennedy was very argumentative against the mandate.

There are 5 conservatives on the court. It will be 5-4 to strike it down.

The question is, will they strike down the whole law, or just the mandate? If they just strike down the mandate, the insurance companies are still bound by the ban on pre-existing conditions requirement, which will bankrupt them because then people can just wait until they are sick to get insurance.

The really clever play would be for Obama to veto any change to the rest of the law, with the Democrats sustaining the veto in Congress. This results in the implosion of the private health insurance industry, and we get single payer universal health insurance by default.

I love it when a plan comes together.

I’m leaning towards this. It was a very hot bench, and seemed to be progressing along party lines. OTOH lower courts were also very probing in their questions and conservative in makeup and yet still somehow came up with a verdict in favor.

Don’t forget, they also asked for a third lawyer to argue separately on the third day about the issue of severability. So this is more of a three way decision than a simple dichotomy.

Which means theoretically, there could be a tie! What happens then?

I saw one op-ed somewhere suggesting that, if they strike down the law (in its entirety, or just the individual mandate, which would amount to the same thing), it could be the best outcome in the long run – because it gives the next Congress the chance (and more-or-less forces them) to start over and do a new health care law, in which a single-payer system would arise. I suppose this assumes Obama is re-elected and the Democrats increase their control of the Senate and re-take the House, but that op-ed didn’t overtly say that. Sorry, I don’t remember where I saw this or who the op-edder was.

I’ll post a link if I can find it in the next few minutes.

I reckon the five reublicam justices will strike it down. The four democrat justices will be vociferous in their dissent. All will faithfully adhere to the Constitution, of course.

5-4 against. As much as I support the law, I don’t think it’ll survive.

I actually just read an article that says that striking down the individual mandate might be a good thing–that it was just a way to get the insurance companies to sign on, and that Obama et al didn’t really want it anyways.

No, it is not the same thing, and as I posted elsewhere, this could be the break liberals are looking for:

I think it’s been assumed since the bill passed that the Supreme Court would rule 5-4 one way or the other, and the only unknown was which way Justice Kennedy would vote. I’m inclined to think yesterday’s questioning was Kennedy’s way of being his own devil’s advocate, trying to resolve doubts in his mind. It passes, 5-4.

I would be interested in the companion poll, asking if the Court will decide on the law, on their politics, or something else. Rachel Maddow reported on a poll that had been taken where 75% of the respondents said that they thought the ruling would be a purely political one.

I’m afraid it’ll be 5-4 against, but I’d be happy to be wrong.

Democrats should be wary of trying to sneak single-payer in through the back door if the individual mandate fails to pass a constitutionality test.

They should remember their congressional losses of 2010, mostly due to public dissatisfaction with the health care law. There is no public mandate for single-payer, and any party that tries to put it in place will face the wrath of the voters plenty fast.

Or it might’ve had something to do with the fact that the economy was in the crapper (unemployment in particular was getting worse, not better, in the last few months before the midterm). Also see below.

The public is strongly supportive of the very large single-payer program that they’re all quite familiar with: if you want to see the wrath of the voters, just try to mess with Medicare.

One of the big things that hurt the Dems in 2010 (other than massive unemployment) was that the GOP convinced a lot of people that the Dems were gutting Medicare. This was false, but quite effective anyway.

I voted 5-4 against. Based on what I’ve heard reported on godless heathen NPR this morning, Justice Kennedy is having none of it.

If there is a tie, the lower court decisions are sustained. But I don’t think the lower courts have all agreed.

The lower courts are using precedents to decide cases. The outstanding precedent seems to be a 1940 or so decision that a farmer could be fined for growing more wheat than he was allowed even if he never sold it. But SCOTUS seems to have stopped relying on precedents, each judge voting according to his or her own political leanings. I say this as much about the liberals as the conservatives, incidentally.

After reading about Kennedy’s rough questions yesterday, I conjecture it will be voted down 5-4. Eight of the votes are already certain, so only Kennedy’s matters. The lack of health care in the US is keeping me in the frozen northland.

My reading of the entrails spread all over my living room floor indicates that (in order of arguments), the court will rule that the mandate is not a tax, that it is unconstitutional, and that it is severable.