Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bets on the Health Care Decision (Obamacare)

Should have done this sooner but any bets or predictions on the health care vote and decision or tomorrow?  Reporters have asked me repeatedly for predictions.

I say either 6-3 to uphold the individual mandate (Roberts majority opinion) or more likely 5-4 to strike down the individual mandate on commerce clause grounds (maybe upheld on taxing authority). Everyone here predicts here that Kennedy writes the opinion and safe money is here.  However, given the AZ v. US opinion, I go with a less orthodox answer with Roberts also as the author.  The case was badly argued and based on that Obama should lose but precedent is with the government on this.  I say 55-45 probability that the mandate is gone.  Precedent is not in favor with this Court.

The rest of the law remains in place.  Kennedy will not upend that many settled expectations (see the Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision on this).

Low probability of dismissal on ripeness or rescheduling for a new hearing.

Other bets:
Broccoli is mentioned at least 5-6 times in the various decisions.

Scalia rails on and on no matter the outcome.

The final decision is 150+ pages.


This is the most difficult prediction I have ever had to make.

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