Supreme Court justices “We have to pass the bill to find out what is in it”

Arguments have been heard the last few days by the United States Supreme Court regarding the 2,700 page health care legislation passed by President Obama known as “Obamacare”.  Right now many Conservatives seem hopeful that “Obamacare” will be declared unconstitutional or at least that the individual mandate portion of the bill will be struck down.  This may or may not happen although the American people will have to wait until June to discover how the Supreme Court justices ruled.  The AP states that it is likely the justices will know by the time they head home for the weekend (most likely Friday, March 30, 2012 meaning they may already know).

What is interesting is that while the Supreme Court is deciding such a historic case, some of the justices have admitted that they have not read every word in the bill.  In fact, Justice Stephen Breyer seemed to joke about it, stating:

“This is the mandate in the community, this is Titles I and II, the mandate, the community, pre-existing condition, okay? Here’s the rest of it, you know. And when I look through the rest of it, I have all kinds of stuff in there,” said Breyer. “And I haven’t read every word of that, I promise. As you pointed out, there is biosimilarity, there is breast feeding, there is promoting nurses and doctors to serve underserved areas, there is the CLASS Act, etcetera,” said Breyer.

“What do you suggest we do?” said Breyer. “I mean, should we appoint a special master with an instruction? Should we go back to the district court? You haven’t argued most of these. As I hear you now, you’re pretty close to the SG [the Obama administration’s solicitor general]. I mean, you’d like it all struck down, but we are supposed to apply the objective test. I don’t know if you differ very much.”

He then suggested that it would be unreasonable for the justices to read the entire 2,700-page bill as it could take them one year.  This writer thinks that if a justice is to rule on something, it should be read in its entirety, regardless of how long that takes. This legislation could be a massive turning point in America, opening the way for any number of government mandates.

Justice Scalia also turned the concept of reading the bill into a joke, even going so far as to call it cruel and unusual punishment for all 2,700 pages of the bill to be read before a decision is made.

“Is this not totally unrealistic? That we’re going to go through this enormous bill item by item and decide each one?” he said.

It seems that again they have to pass the bill to find out what is in it…

 

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