Friday, June 04, 2010

Why does the Justice Dept need a delay to answer Obamacare lawsuits?

Remember how all the Democrats ridiculed constitutional objections to Obamacare as just frivolous lawsuits? Well, now that the suits have been filed, they wanted a one-month delay in answering the suits. The federal judge hearing the case denied their request.
'Frivolous," says Nancy Pelosi. "More to do with politics than with policy," in the words of Kathleen Sebelius. En masse, Democrats claim that the constitutionality of ObamaCare is so elementary that the matter doesn't deserve even a half-serious thought. The Obama Justice Department is finding it a bit more difficult.

Last week, Administration lawyers motioned for a one-month extension in Florida district court, where 20 state Attorneys General and the NFIB, the small business association, are arguing that ObamaCare is unconstitutional. Justice is asking for the suit to be dismissed, presumably on the same assumptions of the Washington establishment. Only "presumably," though, because the government lawyers say they need more time to file a brief. Could ObamaCare's constitutional problems be more serious than liberals advertise?

....Taking these matters with more gravity was Judge Roger Vinson, who denied Justice's extension request on Friday. A delay isn't warranted, he wrote dryly, because the defendants "have at their disposal the very substantial resources of the federal government, including numerous attorneys and staff within and outside the United States Department of Justice." Then again, maybe this is the first time they've actually had to think about what they've done.
Congress did something unprecedented: requiring that people buy something - health insurance - merely because they're adults and alive. Yet Congress wouldn't hold any hearings about that issue and rushed through the legislation. And now they want more time to figure out what arguments they should use to defend Obamacare. Cheers for the judge in denying their request.