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A Judicial War on Democracy

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opednews.com Headlined to H3 3/29/12

Justice Antonin Scalia also let his right-wing ideological uniform peek out from under his black robes when he dressed down Verrilli for noting that the United States has accepted the principle of providing medical treatment for a person who is injured or stricken with a sudden illness.

"We've obligated ourselves so that people get health care," Verrilli said, drawing a riposte from Scalia: "Well, don't obligate yourself to that."

In other words, what the world saw over those three days was the intrusion of five right-wing justices into the democratic process on behalf of an Ayn Rand-style "free-market" capitalism which says that lesser people -- or at least those with lesser money -- should be allowed to die untreated and that the people through their representatives in Congress shouldn't be allowed to do anything about it.

It might be noted here that when "free-market" champion Ayn Rand contracted lung cancer, she snuck into the Medicare system, using a revised spelling of her first name and her husband's last name, to get government-paid-for medical care.

It also might be noted that the individual mandate was a conservative idea devised by the right-wing Heritage Foundation and embraced by Republicans, such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Embraced, that is, until President Obama tried to demonstrate bipartisanship by reversing his earlier resistance to the idea and adopting the individual mandate as a way to expand health coverage and contain rising costs within a system of private health insurance companies.

Then, the individual mandate suddenly became an "unconstitutional" affront to American "liberty," even though conservative jurists like Silberman could find nothing in the Constitution or in court precedents to make it so.

Before the Supreme Court's ruling comes down in June, it is possible that Kennedy or another member of the GOP Five might have some second thoughts about the course they're on -- possibly after a shame-inducing flashback of their lofty pronouncements about "judicial restraint" and their beloved "strict construction" of the Constitution.

But the writing seems to be on the wall that the five Republicans on the Supreme Court will take out the Affordable Care Act as part of their larger judicial war on democracy.

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Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at more...)

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