Rich Galen
Just about everyone in Washington was wrong about what the Supreme Court would do yesterday on the Obamacare case. Well, we were sort of right but in the end we were wrong.

First of all the official title of the case is:


Who knew that? Put your hand down, you didn't know it until today, either.

I, along with everyone else, believed the Court would rule the Individual Mandate to be an Unconstitutional extension of the Commerce Clause.

In case you were absent that day from Dr. Robert Hill's Con Law class at Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio, 45750 the clause in question which is Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 begins with the words, "The Congress shall have the power" and then follows with 18 things the Congress shall have the power to do.

The third power is:

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

The Court ruled by 5-4 that indeed the Individual Mandate was an Unconstitutional expansion of the "commerce clause."

But, as CNN and Fox News Channel discovered to their collective professional embarrassment, Chief Justice Roberts went on to say that the Mandate is legal if it is considered a tax because the very, very first power the framers granted to the Congress was the power

To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises …

I know you are asking: "What in the world is an "impost?" so I looked it up for you.

According to Webster's Third Unabridged it is defined as: "Something imposed or levied" which sounds redundant to a tax but maybe the framers were being paid by the word.

So, when CJ Roberts wrote that the individual mandate could be considered to be a tax, maybe he should have written it could be considered an Impost, but I don't think they'll throw out the 193 page opinion because of that.

On Monday, the Chief Justice had sided with the Majority to overturn almost all of the Arizona immigration law. There were those who wondered whether that decision was a foreshadowing of Roberts' opinion yesterday.

I guess it could be looked at that way, but I don't think the Chief Justice of the United States has much trouble separating the word "Arizona" from the term "Health Care" in his mind.

The four Justices who voted in the minority were clear, and to some degree harsh, in their dissent saying they would have repealed the entire law.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at