By the Left Coast Rebel
From Fox News Insider:
Fox News Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano broke down how the Supreme Court will go about determining the constitutionality of the health care bill. He noted that the Supreme Court is not supposed to hear a case unless it is timely. “In other words, you can’t just ask the court to declare a statute unconstitutional because you think it’s unconstitutional. You have to have been harmed by it, or have a harm coming your way,” he explained.
There is a statute that says if someone wants to challenge a tax, then they must pay that tax first. In this case, the health care law says that if you don’t buy health insurance, then the government will extract money from you. The question Judge Napolitano says the court must first answer is, “Is that extraction a penalty, or is that extraction a tax? If it is a tax, then this 150-year-old statute would say you got to pay the tax before you can challenge.”
However, the judge thinks that from listening to the sentiment expressed today, the justices want to hear the arguments and rule on it as much as the American people want to get an answer. He doesn’t predict that the tax statute will impact the proceedings.
Shepard Smith asked him if the timing of this case is political. Judge Napolitano replied, “I think the court wants to get heavy cases off its docket so it can get back to its normal routine. If they’re anxious to resolve this, it’s a normal human anxiety; it’s not an effort to want to influence the presidential election.”
MORE: At Memeorandum, SCOTUSblog, "Argument recap: Moving on to the mandate (FINAL UPDATE)"
Updated: From Reason.com:
Reason's Damon Root got a coveted seat for the Supreme Court oral arguments on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Day one of this epic judicial showdown focused primarily on whether or not the individual mandate constitutes a tax. If the justices rule that the penalties associated with the mandate should be considered a tax, the challengers to ACA would have to wait until 2015, when the law goes into effect to challenge it.
The main event of these proceedings, the arguments over whether or not the individual mandate is constitutional, will take place tomorrow.
For more of Root's coverage of the Obamacare-SCOTUS hearings, go to Hit & Run.