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Posted at 5:26 PM ET, 02/ 9/2011

Rendell says Democrats should join Republican call for quick Supreme Court review of health care law

By Rosalind S. Helderman
Rosalind S. Helderman

Former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell (D) says Democrats should sign on to a Republican request for expedited Supreme Court review of constitutional challenges to the federal health care law.

At a Health Care Reform Roundtable in Washington, sponsored by the Aspen Institute, Rendell said he would have signed a letter penned by 28 governors to President Obama Wednesday morning, asking that the Supreme Court take the cases immediately to end legal uncertainty over the sweeping federal law.

"Were I governor of Pennsylvania still, I would have joined in that because it is important to the country and important to the states that we get an expedited decision," Rendell said, in comments that were immediately seized on by Republicans who have been pushing for the expedited review and circulated by the Republican Governors Association.

Rendell's comments came during a debate with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R).

Virginia Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli (R) on Tuesday formally petitioned the nation's highest court to take up the case immediately, a decision which would bypass review by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Federal judges have issued conflicting rulings in four cases. Judges weighing the Virginia suit and a case filed jointly by 26 states in Florida have ruled a key plank of the law unconstitutional. Two other judges have said the law is constitutional.

Legal experts have said it is extremely unlikely that the Supreme Court will take up the case before lower court appeals have concluded and the Justice Department is opposed to bypassing appellate courts.

U.S. Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) meanwhile wants Congress to urge for expedited legal review as well.

According to his office, Forbes has introduced a resolution that would put Congress on record as supporting expedited review of challenges to the sweeping federal health care overhaul pending in Virginia and Florida.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | February 9, 2011; 5:26 PM ET
Categories:  Ken Cuccinelli, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman  
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Comments

Let us take an example of Texas. The "Wise Health Insurance" is quite popular in Arizona. It provides so many offers for the low income people.

Posted by: martinmorriss | February 10, 2011 4:38 AM | Report abuse

Many existing laws and regulations apply specifically to pregnant women. Several provisions of the Affordable Care Act offer new benefits for expecting mothers. Search online for "Wise Health Insurance" if you need affordable insurance for yourself or your wife.

Posted by: martinmorriss | February 10, 2011 4:42 AM | Report abuse

My abiding concern is this: what if an expedited hearing by SCOTUS occurs and Justice Kennedy, the "swing voter", votes with his liberal colleagues who are politically disposed to support the individual mandate? Do we yet again obsequiously roll over and dutifully obey even when most of us know it is unconstituional and economically ruinous to the nation?

Shouldn't it give us all pause to realize that leaving the fate of the Republic in the hands of one swing voter on the court, a mere mortal no less nor more corrupt than the rest of us, is obscenely dangerous and most certainly a situation not at all intended or envisoined by the framers.

This is why Thomas Jefferson warned that the court was inexorably evolving into a "judicial oligarchy" which valued "judicial supremacy" over "constitutional supremacy", which, of course, is where we find the ideologically-driven court today. The guardians of the Constitution are parochial political hacks. Nothing more.

This is precisely why he counseled that nullification was the "rightful remedy" to federal overreach by any of the branches of gov't. He even urged an amendment to to more effectively reign in the unelected, unaccountable court.

Enough is enough. The states must stop their hand-wringing and costly litigation and nullify Obamacare and any other patently obvious federal overreach perpetrated on the country. Such is their constitutional duty to the people they represent.

Posted by: jdelaney3 | February 10, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse


Is it really a good idea to feed more decisions to a Supreme Court which has been heavily politicized? They have overridden histories of case law to reverse course and declare legitimacy for the right-wing Talking Points they get from Fox and the Filthy Rich who own them.

Let's do some impeachment of those who lied in their confirmation hearings, and those who have demonstrated political prejudice.

Posted by: gkam | February 10, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Gkam,

Impeachment of those judges who fail to uphold the clear meaning of the Constitution is, of course, a MUST; however, we need to remember that it was something less than unimpeachable politicians who put them there in the first place. The court is the political tool of the political party in power at the time of the judges' appointment. Also, the high bar for impeachment of judges militates against their impeachment. No, an amendment to the Constitution which would provide a state-federal check on the court should be our goal.

Teh litany of errant, corrupted, revisionist case law since ratification of the Constitution is ample proof of the court's long-standing infidelity to the Constitution and their heavy reliance on case law over the clear meaning of the Constitution.

In lieu of an amendment, therefore, the more expeditious and effectual constitutional solution is, unfortunately, NULLIFICATION.

Posted by: jdelaney3 | February 10, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Gkam,

Impeachment of those judges who fail to uphold the clear meaning of the Constitution is, of course, a MUST; however, we need to remember that it was something less than unimpeachable politicians who put them there in the first place. The court is the political tool of the political party in power at the time of the judges' appointment. Also, the high bar for impeachment of judges militates against their impeachment. No, an amendment to the Constitution which would provide a state-federal check on the court should be our goal.

Teh litany of errant, corrupted, revisionist case law since ratification of the Constitution is ample proof of the court's long-standing infidelity to the Constitution and their heavy reliance on case law over the clear meaning of the Constitution.

In lieu of an amendment, therefore, the more expeditious and effectual constitutional solution is, unfortunately, NULLIFICATION.

Posted by: jdelaney3 | February 10, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to former Gov. (and former DNC Chairman) Rendell, for recognizing the importance of prompt Supreme Court review on this major issue.

There is already great uncertainty over the massive health-care law, among businesses and in state governments. That uncertainty will not be resolved until the Supreme Court rules. Perpetuating a lengthy intermediate appeals process only adds to the uncertainty.

It's regrettable that the Obama Administration wants to keep this litigation on a slow track. They should listen to responsible leaders in both parties -- such as Gov. Rendell (D) and Gov. McDonnell (R) -- who support prompt Supreme Court review.

Posted by: jrmil | February 10, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Just don't understand why so many folks cling to the illusory belief or inane hope that SCOTUS is the ultimate solution to this or any other seminal constitutional issue.

By in large, for decades the court has been notoriously revisonist and politically activist to be counted on to honor a sober adherence to the principle of "constitutional supremacy".

In short, since I have precious little faith in their fidelity to the clear meaning and intent of the Constitution,my lingering fear is that if we blindly rely on the court's probity, objectivity and fidelity, we may all be very, very badly disappointed, and the republic will pay a heavy price.

Posted by: jdelaney3 | February 10, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

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