Activist Judge Legislates From the Bench

Another federal judge has found the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional because of the individual mandate. That’s two federal judges saying it’s not constitutional, two saying it is, and about a dozen who wouldn’t even hear the challenges.

Even though the large majority of constitutional scholars and law professors say the arguments against the individual mandate are bunk, that doesn’t mean our illustrious Supreme Court won’t rule against it when it gets to the Court. As Greg Sargent says, the future of our health care is in Justice Anthony Kennedy’s hands.

The ever optimistic Ezra Klein

There’s a chance conservatives will come to seriously regret this stratagem. I think it’s vanishingly unlikely that the Supreme Court will side with Judge Vinson and strike down the whole of the law. But in the event that it did somehow undermine the whole of the law and restore the status quo ex ante, Democrats would start organizing around a solution based off of Medicare, Medicaid, and the budget reconciliation process — as that would sidestep both legal attacks and the supermajority requirement.

I still say the biggest reason the Affordable Care Act is safe is that the insurance industry wants to keep the individual mandate. And I think this is a development the Republicans didn’t anticipate and weren’t prepared for. They’ve got the faithful peons worked up into a tizzy to fight the evil mandate. But insurance companies are forging ahead re-tooling their business models and preparing for millions of new customers. If that gets yanked out from under them in a year or two by the Supreme Court, they will not be happy. Not happy at all.

Reactions to Egyptian Uprising From Potential GOP Presidential Candidates

Possible 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who is visiting Egypt, has come out on the side of propping up Mubarak and putting down the pro-democracy uprising. This essentially puts him on the same side as Israel but in opposition, so far, to the hard-core neocons, which is a very weird place to be in.

Possible 2012 Republican presidential candidate Sarah Palin has addressed the Egyptian issue and has firmly come out on the side of Sarah Palin. Thanks to a “media boycott” (i.e., Dana Milbank, in tongue-in-cheek mode), she trusts the media won’t blame her for it.

Possible 2012 presidential candidate Mitch Daniels was asked about Egypt by Laura Ingraham, and punted. “I don’t have a lot to say about it. I’m just a provincial governor out here.” No doubt President Obama’s political team is saving that sound byte for possible future use

I’ve been looking for positions on Egypt from other possible 2012 presidential candidates, but so far have not found anything for the following —

Mitt Romney
Newt Gingrich
Tim Pawlenty
Haley Barbour

If you do run across any positions on Egypt from any of the gentlemen listed above, do let me know.

Israel Sides With Mubarak?

I wrote a couple of days ago about the problem posed by the Egyptian uprising to the rightie worldview — namely, which side to root for. From what I can see, the rightie blogosphere is divided between those who think the uprising was inspired by Condi Rice and is a vindication of George W. Bush’s pro-freedom foreign policy; and those who think the uprising is being led by the Muslim Brotherhood and secretly orchestrated by Barack Obama as part of his plot to turn the U.S. into a Muslim Caliphate. We could argue with opinion is nuttier, as if it matters, but let’s not.

Anyway, the first view is now muddied by the news that Israel is asking western nations to stop dissing Mubarak and instead take steps to prop up his regime. From Haaretz:

Jerusalem seeks to convince its allies that it is in the West’s interest to maintain the stability of the Egyptian regime. The diplomatic measures came after statements in Western capitals implying that the United States and European Union supported Mubarak’s ouster.

See also Ian Black at The Guardian.

Since the pro-Israel neocons at National Review are chief among those cheering for the uprising (as vindication of George W. Bush’s Middle Eastern policy), it’s going to be fun to see how, or if, NRO responds to this.