Republicans Look to the Courts on Health Reform Repeal

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Republicans view “Chief Justice John Roberts and the Supreme Court as a last line of defense against the new healthcare reform law,” The Hill reports.

Republicans admit it will be difficult for Congress to repeal the legislation in the next few years, but they see a potential ally in the Supreme Court.

“It’s very probable that a number of provisions in this monstrosity violate constitutional principles,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I think there will be a lot of ongoing litigation for years to come.”

Sessions said the provision in the law that requires individuals to buy insurance or face a penalty raises “very serious constitutional questions.”

“I think the Supreme Court could very well confront that issue, and there will be others in the legislation,” he said.

Senator Sessions “said he would prefer if Congress repealed the legislation and did not have to rely on the Supreme Court.”

Why it might be difficult for Congress to repeal the health law:

Even if Republicans capture majorities in the Senate and House, Obama would veto any repeal legislation. And if Obama loses reelection, Republicans must still overcome the 60-vote hurdle in the Senate.

Meanwhile, Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) says there are “such significant issues that the court could very well declare the bill unconstitutional.”

Would the Supreme Court take such action?

[Constitutional expert at Georgetown Law School Randy] Barnett said [Chief Justice John] Roberts “has shown no evidence of being radically inclined toward limiting congressional power,” adding that if the court strikes down the bill, “it would be exceptional.”

Barnett noted, however, that in recent years the court has curbed congressional powers in rulings that were considered very surprising at the time.

(credit image – getty)

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