There’s talk of judicial challenges should Health Care Reconciliation pass the House. Some would have us believe ‘deem and pass’ is not constitutional, others that the 10th amendment allows states to ‘opt out’ of any federal initiative and still others claim individual mandates are not permitted.

There’s also talk of multiple points of order and amendments that republicans have planned for next week. Could one of those involve ‘deem and pass?’ Not being on Senator McConnell’s mailing list I can’t say, but I’d bet a ducat at least one of them involves Senate rules as they relate to Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution. Some urge Democrats not to use ‘deem and pass’ in order to remove it from the discussion; after all the Supreme Court is a republican’s delight (see Bush v. Gore, Citizens United, etc.). I hear a challenge to ‘deem and pass’ would necessarily need to overcome numerous hurtles to get to the Supremes, but never doubting republican talent for legal jujitsu nobody should be surprised if they could have something up to the D.C. circuit within a week or two. If they prevail there it would then become the purview of the Roberts court. Does anyone doubt what would happen then?

Why then would House Democrats not wish to vote on the Senate language? It is generally accepted members may have issues with the Senate version; the pro-choicers who aren’t comfortable with provisions on abortion and liberals who dislike the lack of a public option come to mind. Many, including republicans, say ‘pass and deem’ won’t provide cover for Democrats. Is there any way the Speaker could cover Democrats from republican wrath? Heh.

The tenth amendment and individual mandates challenges may have their day in court, but those are believed to be further down the road.

The Speaker is working hard to get the 216 votes necessary for a positive outcome on reconciliation Sunday afternoon. I don’t doubt she will achieve it. Then we are left to cross the legal challenges/Senate obstruction bridge trusting that the best legal minds in the caucus have gamed all possible republican tactics to successful outcomes. Let’s hope they have.

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"Trusting the Caucus" by was published on March 20th, 2010 and is listed in Congress, Election 10, Healthcare, Politics.

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