As always, we got rousing coverage from the cable news networks:

The Supreme Court upheld the individual insurance mandate of President Obama’s “Affordable Health Care Act” in a 5-4 decision on Thursday, sending cable news and Twitter into a frenzy.

Moments after the 193-page ruling was released by the court, several media outlets–including CNN and Fox News–erroneously reported on-air that the mandate had been struck down.

“BREAKING NEWS: INDIVIDUAL MANDATE STRUCK DOWN,” CNN’s on-screen scroll blared. “Supreme Court finds measure unconstitutional.”..

CNN, though, was not alone in its rush to report the news.

“Fox News was so eager to see the healthcare mandate fail they forgot to read past the 1st page of the ruling,” Jason Keath wrote, pointing to a screengrab of the network’s breaking news stumble.

4 Responses

  1. No one saw this result coming, which is always fun. I was just reading yesterday a list of 8 or 9 possible outcomes, of which this was not one.

    The mandate authorized by the commerce clause (and necessary and proper clause) was struck down, essentially 9-0, the government can’t mandate people enter the stream of commerce, because as the decision says, the commerce clause pre-supposes the existence of commerce to regulate, not the power to compel participation in commerce.

    What is not going to be a positive outcome here for the president is that the court has ruled that a tax is a tax no matter what you call it, and that Congress has the power to enact discriminatory taxes if it so chooses.

    I don’t know who won on this one yet, who is this going to energize? Both parties? Neither? Your mothers gargantuan ass? I don’t think the ruling that a tax has been levied squarely on the shoulder of the middle class is going to win the laws supporters any hugs.

    The commerce clause now has boundaries which is the most important thing to me and was my major hope for this case, that the mandate is not authorized by the constitution. Taxes, are however so authorized.

    I don’t know if republicans won here, but Obama didn’t win either, didn’t he say something about not raising taxes on the middle class? That’s who will pay the tax on people without health insurance.

  2. From what I gathered from news reports is that the four liberal Justices said the government has power under the Commerce Clause while the four conservative justices agreed. Roberts seems to be the only one who wants to call this a tax hike.

    And FOX, of course.

  3. Never mind. It looks like the majority joined in on Robert’s conclusion that this is only legal because it’s a tax.

  4. You are somewhat right, there were a few comments made that might point to their belief that the commerce and welfare clauses have no practical limitations, but as they more directly agreed that the fact that this is more along the lines of a tax on tobacco makes it permissible indicates otherwise.

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