The Supreme Court 2011 (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)
Give law careful study
BY THOMAS B. HILBURN
As an amateur court watcher, I found the recent three days of arguments before the Supreme Court about the Affordable Care Act (better known as "Obamacare") fascinating. I have little idea what the court's decision will be, but the debate over the health care needs of tens of millions of Americans versus the challenges to individual liberty is historic.
There was one exchange I found disturbing. Speaking about the size of the law, Justice Antonin Scalia asked, "You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages? Is this not totally unrealistic? That we're going to go through this enormous bill item by item and decide each one?" Justice Stephen Breyer also made comments about the problems with reading the entire act.
"Justice Scalia, you may mean your questions to be humorous, but I would like to take them seriously. Yes, I think the court should read and analyze all 2,700 pages, and use the analysis to decide the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.
"The Act speaks to life and death issues, affects the well-being of millions, and addresses concerns about one-fifth of the US economy. The court has shown the importance of this act by scheduling three days of arguments. Such a complex situation cannot be decided based on lawyer briefs, oral arguments, an executive summary, opinion pieces, or talking points about eating broccoli and gym memberships."Citizens see the Supreme Court as critical to our democracy and support it with funding. The citizenry expects the Court to treat the cases it accepts for consideration in a serious and thoughtful manner. We all depend on your diligence and industry to arrive at decisions that serve our constitutional form of government."