TOP NEWS: Democracy: June 28, 2012
- Supreme Court Allows Health Care Law Largely to Stand
- What Analysts Are Saying: Roberts to the Rescue of Liberals
- Some Dems keep President Obama far, far away
- Immigration Ruling Leaves Issues Unresolved
- House to Vote on Holder Contempt
Excerpts and More Top Stories
SUPREME COURT/HEALTHCARE: Supreme Court Allows Health Care Law Largely to Stand
John H. Cushman Jr., NY Times – The Supreme Court on Thursday largely let stand President Obama’s health care overhaul, in a mixed ruling that Court observers were rushing to analyze. The decision was a striking victory for the president and Congressional Democrats, with a majority of the court, including the conservative chief justice, John G. Roberts Jr., affirming the central legislative pillar of Mr. Obama’s term.
SUPREME COURT: What Analysts Are Saying: Roberts to the Rescue of Liberals
Eric Randall, The Atlantic – By giving health care’s advocates a 5-4 victory, siding with a liberal majority and writing the decision himself, it looks like Roberts is embracing the “umpire” role he said he’d take on during his confirmation hearings. This one, in other words, is the big daddy — important not just for its impact on health policy, but for providing us our chance to understand how the Court will act on issues ranging from the role of a chief justice to the ability of Congress to intervene in national affairs.
DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Some Dems keep President Obama far, far away
John Bresnahan and Manu Raju, Politico – The glare of the White House race is forcing vulnerable Democrats to choose between their president and their political future. Democratic lawmakers and candidates for Congress are bailing in droves on the national convention in Charlotte, a three-day gathering that’s supposed to be a celebration of Obama and a unifying moment for the party. Steve Israel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is flatly telling candidates not to go to Charlotte and to stay in their districts to campaign.
SUPREME COURT: Immigration Ruling Leaves Issues Unresolved
Julia Preston, NY Times – The Supreme Court’s mixed decision on Arizona’s tough immigration enforcement law has laid the ground for years of legal and political wrangling in many states over racial profiling and civil rights, making it likely that the court will be asked to revisit immigration. Legal groups opposed to Arizona’s law said the court’s opinion clears the way for them to come forward with challenges based directly on claims that the statute will lead to racial profiling of Latinos and immigrants.
CONTEMPT: House to Vote on Holder Contempt
Evan Perez, Wall Street Journal – House lawmakers are set to vote Thursday on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress in a dispute that began over a botched federal gun-trafficking probe but has become more of a test of political wills. If approved, as expected, the vote would mark the first such contempt citation against a sitting attorney general. It would likely set up another conflict if the Justice Department, as expected, effectively dismisses the congressional vote and refuses to prosecute the attorney general.
FAST & FURIOUS: The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal
A Fortune investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. How the world came to believe just the opposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political bloodlust.
SUPREME COURT/HEALTHCARE: Supreme Court Upholds Mandate as Tax
Brent Kendall, Louise Radnofsky, and Jess Bravin, Wall Street Journal – A divided Supreme Court largely upheld the mandate as a tax, in an opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts. The justices also found fault with part of the health-care law’s expansion of Medicaid, a joint federal-state insurance program for the poor. The ruling is a victory for Democrats and President Barack Obama, who had passed the biggest reworking to the health system since the creation of Medicare in the 1960s and faced the prospect of the court nullifying their effort.
ELECTION 2012: Obama’s Bain Attacks Are Paying Off
Sam Stein, Huffington Post – A slew of new battleground state polls released this week lend credence to the Obama campaign’s argument that attacks on Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital are a winning strategy. While President Barack Obama maintains a small lead nationally, in swing states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and elsewhere his margins are larger. The reason offered is the negative focus on Romney’s private sector career.
SUPREME COURT: Justice Scalia’s partisan discredit to the court
Washington Post, Op-Ed – For many Americans, the Supreme Court’s decision on President Obama’s health-care reform poses a keen test of legitimacy. In an atmosphere of intense partisanship, can these five Republican-appointed justices and four Democratic-appointed ones pass judgment in a way that impresses most Americans as an act of law rather than politics? The recent behavior of one member of the court, Justice Antonin Scalia, makes that presumption harder to sustain, who strayed far from the case at hand to deliver animadversions on President Obama’s recent executive order.
SUPREME COURT: Future of an Aging Court Raises Stakes of Presidential Vote
Sheryl Gay Stolberg, NY Times – The winner of the race for president will inherit a group of justices who frequently split 5 to 4 along ideological lines. That suggests that the next president could have a powerful impact if he gets to replace a justice of the opposing side. It is, of course, impossible to predict when a vacancy will occur.
Ezra Klein, Bloomberg, Op-Ed – The Democrats’ commitment is to provide every American with health insurance. The Republican Party’s commitment is to prevent any American from being forced to have health insurance. It wasn’t always this way. Democrats and Republicans used to argue over how best to achieve universal coverage, but both agreed on the goal. The first president to propose a serious universal health-care plan was Harry Truman, a Democrat. The second was Richard Nixon, a Republican.
Michael Medved, The Daily Beast, Op-Ed – The ideal running mate for Mitt Romney would make three simultaneous contributions to the Republican ticket: Reassuring the general public that he (or she) is ready to assume the daunting responsibilities of the presidency, provoking the sort of ecstatic enthusiasm that the presidential nominee might not generate on his own, and broadening the Republican brand by refuting Democratic claims that the GOP remains a country-club party of rich, old, white males.
ROMNEY: Which is the Real Mitt Romney?
Nicholas Kristof, NY Times, Op-Ed – By now, we have a pretty good feel for how Obama governs. Democrats and Republicans may disagree about him, but they largely know what they’re getting. In contrast, Romney is an enigma. He was a moderate governor of Massachusetts, but he has tried very hard to prove to right-wing conservatives that he is one of them. So a crucial question for voters: Which is the real Romney?