Handicapping the Obamacare verdict

 In this Oct. 8, 2010, file photo U.S. Supreme Court justices pose for a photo at the Supreme Court in Washington. Four Republican-appointed justices, front row from left, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony M. Kennedy and top right, Samuel Alito Jr., control the fate of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. For the law to stand only one of the four needs to decide that it, and its centerpiece of requiring almost every American to buy insurance or pay a penalty, passes constitutional muster. At top left is Justice Stephen Breyer.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais | AP
In this Oct. 8, 2010, file photo U.S. Supreme Court justices pose for a photo at the Supreme Court in Washington. Four Republican-appointed justices, front row from left, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony M. Kennedy and top right, Samuel Alito Jr., control the fate of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. For the law to stand only one of the four needs to decide that it, and its centerpiece of requiring almost every American to buy insurance or pay a penalty, passes constitutional muster. At top left is Justice Stephen Breyer.
By Alexandra Petri, The Washington Post
Posted June 23, 2012, at 3:27 p.m.

The waiting gets to you.

For the past few weeks, all eyes have been fixed on the Supreme Court, waiting for its ruling on the president’s health-care law. Will the individual mandate be upheld? Will it be overturned? Will the whole law sink if the mandate meets the ax, or will individual sections survive?

We have peered through magnifying glasses. We have inquired of psychics and gazed at tea leaves. The ruling is expected next week. “When you walk away from me,” people murmur to Justice Antonin Scalia, “it looks like a no, but when you walk toward me, there is a yes-like vibe.” It’s getting a bit ridiculous.

Here are some of the signs. See if you can make heads or tails of them.

— Justice Scalia spotted buying large quantities of bacon. “It seems unlikely that he would do that if the health-care individual mandate were going to be upheld,” experts noted. “Maybe he just likes bacon,” countered supporters of the bill.

Verdict: unclear.

— Justice Scalia spotted yelling at some pigeons.

Verdict: uphold.

— Justice Elena Kagan spotted buying bacon and Brussels sprouts.

Verdict: unclear.

— Justice Stephen Breyer saw “Prometheus” and said he was disappointed but that he could not deny Michael Fassbender’s performance was excellent.

Verdict: Some portions of the bill overturned but others upheld.

— Justice Breyer sighed and noted, “I wouldn’t see it again, though.”

Verdict: unclear.

— A 64-carton shipment of small blue pills delivered to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s doorstep.

Verdict: overturn.

— Justice Kennedy, on opening the door, scowled and yelled, “I didn’t order these!”

Verdict: uphold.

— Justice Kennedy kept half the boxes, and everyone agreed not to make a fuss about it.

Verdict: unclear.

— Justice Kennedy took his wife for a hot-air balloon ride and sprinkled confetti into the treetops.

Verdict: overturn.

— Justice Kennedy went for a jog.

Verdict: uphold.

— Justice Kennedy spent Saturday sitting on his sofa catching up on “Girls.”

Verdict: uphold.

— Justice Kennedy called Justice Kagan and was heard asking her, “So what do you make of Jessa’s wedding?”

Verdict: overturn.

— Justice Kennedy was overheard in a bar tearfully calling an old girlfriend and mumbling, “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry, Sandy,” over and over.

Verdict: unclear.

— Justice Sonia Sotomayor delivered a commencement address in which she used the expression “man date” several times in what seemed like a meaningful fashion.

Verdict: unclear.

— If you play “Strawberry Fields Forever” backward, you can hear Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg saying, “We overturned the mandate,” very quietly.

Verdict: unclear.

— Justice Kagan spent most of the weekend taking her cat to the vet. She seemed pretty disgruntled.

Verdict: overturn.

— Justice Samuel Alito was heard placing several calls to his wife and saying repeatedly, “Are you sure it wasn’t the 24th? I really think it was the 24th. Please don’t be upset.”

Verdict: unclear, but sounds like an overturn.

— Justice Alito bought a large quantity of chocolate.

Verdict: overturn.

— Justice Alito bought a large quantity of flowers.

Verdict: uphold.

— Justice Alito bought two tickets to Cirque du Soleil.

Verdict: unclear.

— Chief Justice John Roberts bought a lot of health insurance and kept cackling to himself.

Verdict: unclear.

— Justice Breyer spent the weekend surprising his close friends with hip replacements.

Verdict: unclear.

— Justice Scalia yelled at some mourning doves.

Verdict: uphold.

— It turns out that Justice Clarence Thomas has been sending a fully articulated wax replica of himself to oral arguments for the past decade. He is spear-fishing off the Cap d’Antibes.

Verdict: unclear.

Alexandra Petri is a member of The Washington Post’s editorial staff.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/06/23/opinion/handicapping-the-obamacare-verdict/ printed on September 19, 2014