Will a Tea Party Supreme Court guarantee Obama a second term?

The court's conservative wing appears ready to engage in some despicable judicial activism on ObamaCare. Politically, at least, the justices are doing Obama a favor

Robert Shrum

Recall the scorn toward health reform dripping from the lips of Injustice Antonin Scalia. Or think of the tight-lipped Clarence Thomas, who could send a mannequin to sit in his place at the court's oral arguments for all the difference his brooding presence makes. Along with the more plausibly judicious Samuel Alito, he too had more than likely made his decision. And so on the nation's highest court, satire replaced stare decisis in a slightly altered version of the Red Queen's jurisprudence in Alice in Wonderland: First the verdict, then the trial.

Some observers, and administration officials, hold out hope that Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy will decide to save health reform from the revanchist claims of right-wing constitutionalism. I'm pessimistic because I lived through Bush v. Gore, when the court acted like a political ward committee, stopping the vote count in Florida to hand the presidency to George W. Bush by the margin of a single judicial vote.

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