The Wall Street Journal, on the Democrats’ Obamacare oopsie:
The drafters and defenders of the health-care law have only themselves to blame for this mess. With a filibuster-proof Senate and total domination of the House, they did not trouble to build the consensus necessary for transformative legislation of this scope.
More importantly, they did not take seriously their obligation to legislate within the limits set by the Constitution. Indeed, when a reporter asked in October 2009 what the constitutional basis was for the statute, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissively responded, “Are you serious?”
Either the drafters of the legislation should have stayed within the generous bounds of authority established by prior precedent, or the administration’s lawyers needed to offer a legal defense for going beyond those precedents that does not do violence to fundamental structural features of our Constitution. They could hardly expect the independent judiciary to write Congress a blank check of plenary regulatory authority, without discernible limit.
Although, to be fair to the Democrats: the judiciary had been more or less doing precisely that, up to now. Of course, that just encouraged Congress to spiral more and more inward, until it reached a point where the judiciary got alarmed.
Moral of the story: don’t get grabby.