ReutersBy Joan Biskupic | Reuters – 2 hours 39 minutes ago
(Reuters) - Conventional political wisdom holds that the U.S. Supreme Court, scheduled to hear a challenge to President Barack Obama's healthcare law beginning on Monday, is likely to strike it down on partisan lines. The court's Republican appointees enjoy a 5-4 majority.
But a review of lower court rulings by conservative judges, subtle signals from individual justices, and interviews with professors and judges across the ideological spectrum suggest that presumption is wrong - and that the court will uphold the law.
Not that conservative court-watchers like to broadcast such a view in this combustible atmosphere.
"It's almost like they're confessing to some secret vice when they say they don't think (the law) should be struck down," said former U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Michael McConnell, a George W. Bush appointee who now teaches at Stanford Law School, referring to some fellow conservatives.
Several legal experts who do not necessarily favor the law, but bet it will survive, point to the decisions of two leading conservative federal appellate judges who already have sided with the Obama administration. The core of its healthcare law is a requirement that most people in the United States buy insurance by 2014.
In decisions upholding that so-called individual mandate last year, those judges stressed the classical conservative regard for judicial restraint and deference to Congress. While they wrote that the healthcare law might be flawed as a policy matter, they said decisions on how to reform the system were best left to legislators.
By contrast, three conservative judges who rejected the law took what some critics said was a more activist approach and said they were compelled to strike down the law because it exceeded congressional power. One invoked the 18th-century Boston Tea Party, in a decision widely viewed as a salute to the modern-day Tea Party movement's advocacy of less government involvement in people's lives. Read More>http://ca.news.yahoo.com/analysis-wh...233316172.html