CNN's GUT CHECK for June 28, 2012
June 28th, 2012
05:09 PM ET
11 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for June 28, 2012

CNN's GUT CHECK | for June 28, 2012 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING… HOLDER FOUND IN CONTEMPT: The House of Representatives voted 255-67 Thursday to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal contempt for refusing to turn over documents related to the Fast and Furious gun-running sting.

“Today’s vote is the regrettable culmination of what has become a misguided and politically motivated investigation over an election year,” Holder said in a press conference following the vote. “By advancing it over the past year in a half, Congressman Issa and others have focused on politics over public safety. Instead of trying to find ways to improve law enforcement.... they have led us to this unnecessary and regrettable outcome.”


10:10 a.m. ET… Chief Justice Roberts from the bench: “Congress did not intend the payment to be treated as a “tax” for purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act. The Affordable Care Act describes the payment as a “penalty,” not a “tax.” That label cannot control whether the payment is a tax for purposes of the Constitution, but it does determine the application of the Anti-Injunction Act. The Anti-Injunction Act therefore does not bar this suit.”

Around 10:20 a.m. ET… Mood in the White House – “elation”: Kathy Ruemmler, the White House counsel, informed President Obama, who was watching cable news initially report that the individual mandate had been overturned, that the Affordable Care Act was upheld by the court. They really did not know what was going to happen, a source tells CNN’s Jessica Yellin. They are bit surprised Roberts ruled to uphold but not Justice Anthony Kennedy, the source told Yellin. The only word for the mood, they said, was elation.

Around 10:50 a.m. ET… House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi tweets: Victory for the American people! Millions of American families and children will have certainty of health care benefits + affordable care.

11:42 a.m. ET… Mitt Romney delivers remarks with the sparkling Capitol behind him: “Let's make clear that we understand what the court did and did not do. ... What the court did today was say that Obamacare does not violate the Constitution. What they did not do was say that Obamacare was good law or that it's good policy. Obamacare was bad policy yesterday, it's bad policy today. Obamacare was bad law yesterday, it's bad law today. … If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we're going to have to replace President Obama. My mission is to make sure we do exactly that.”

12:05 p.m. ET… Sen. Marco Rubio talks about the differentiation between constitutional and good: “They decide whether something is constitutional or not constitutional and they don't decide whether this is a good idea. And it is specific, and when they found that it was constitutional and the reason they said it is constitutional, is because it is a tax increase.”

12:20 p.m. ET… President Obama steps to the podium: “That's why even though I knew it wouldn't be politically popular and resisted the idea when I ran for this office, we ultimately included a provision in the Affordable Care Act that people who can afford to buy health insurance should take the responsibility to do so. In fact, this idea has enjoyed support from members of both parties including the current Republican nominee for president. Still I know the debate over this law has been divisive. I respect the very real concerns that millions of Americans have shared. And I know that a lot of coverage through this health care has focus on what it means politically. Well it should be pretty clear by now that I didn't do this because it's good politics, I did it because I believed it was good for the country. I did it because I believed it was good for the American people.”

(Answer below)
Who described the Supreme Court as “seriously hamstringing the peace forces in our society and strengthening the criminal forces”?

MARK (@PrestonCNN) & MICHELLE (@MJaconiCNN)
What caught our eye today in politics

One-thousand-two-hundred-twenty days after President Obama told the nation in his State of the Union address, "We can no longer afford to put health care reform on hold," a chief justice who Obama did note vote for when he was a senator gave the president's historic legislation constitutional blessing to proceed.

Ninety-three days after being ridiculed for his fumbling, nervous presentation of oral arguments in front of sharp questioning from the bench, U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli wins the biggest case of his boss' presidency. And he did so by publicly contradicting his boss.

While Obama repeatedly stressed that the health care mandate did not constitute a "tax" - insofar as telling ABC News "he rejected that notion," the Supreme Court was swayed by that notion specifically.

Verrilli's argument to view that key section of the health care law not as a mandate for people to buy health insurance, but rather as a tax penalty on those who refuse to, won over the chief justice: "The federal government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance. ... The federal government *does* have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance,” reads the court's majority opinion on page 44.

Thus along with the historic policy win comes a potentially debilitating political albatross.

The Republicans were quick to jump on the fact that they can now add a Supreme Court endorsed "tax" increase label to the American Care Act - a label even more polarizing than the once shunned, now embraced label of "Obamacare."

The fine print is key in that the "tax" that it refers to is for only those who do not have health insurance - a minority of Americans, and of voters.

Nonetheless, even after what CMAG calculates as $235 million in negative ads about the health care bill since its enactment in 2010, a new battle for message dominance has begun. With 131 days until the election, you get to decide whose message wins.

The facts behind the "tax" in the health care act: For your edification, CNN's Jeanne Sahadi broke down what this "tax" is: "Starting in 2014, individuals must be insured or pay a penalty. The amount of the penalty rises annually from 2014 to 2016 and is adjusted for inflation thereafter.

“In 2014, the penalty will be no more than $285 per family or 1% of income, whichever is greater. In 2015, the cap rises to $975 or 2% of income. And by 2016, the penalty would be up to $2,085 per family or 2.5% of income, whichever is greater."

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNNPolitics: Court ruling cements Obama's political legacy, experts say
Thursday's Supreme Court ruling upholding President Barack Obama's signature legislation health care legislation effectively cements the cornerstone of his political legacy, observers said. – Matt Smith

Leading Drudge: Take Your Medicine!
The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld virtually all of President Barack Obama's historic health care overhaul, including the hotly debated core requirement that nearly every American have health insurance. – Mark Sherman

Leading HuffPo: Time For Plan B: 'Replace President Obama'
Speaking on Capitol Hill shortly after the Supreme Court's historic decision, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said the fact that health care reform was upheld as constitutional on Thursday makes it more urgent than ever for the American people to vote President Barack Obama out of office in November. – Amanda Terkel

Leading Politico: SCOTUS ruling shakes up 2012 race
The Supreme Court’s stunning vindication of President Barack Obama’s health care law represents a huge victory for the president and a morale boost for his battered campaign in the short term — but it’s one with unpredictable consequences on the 2012 presidential election. Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman

Leading New York Times: Supreme Court Lets Health Law Largely Stand
The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld most of President Obama’s health care overhaul law, saying it was authorized by Congress’ power to levy taxes. The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four more liberal members. – Adam Liptak and John H. Cushman Jr.

The political bites of the day

- The law ‘quacks like a tax and looks like a tax and it is a tax’ -

NEAL KATYAL, FORMER PRINCIPAL DEPUTY SOLICITOR GENERAL, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN: “The constitutional question is first of all does it function like a tax? What the chief justice said it quacks like a tax and looks like a tax and it is a tax. Every American knows that, because if you don't pay the individual mandate, then on the 1040 tax bill, you have to check a box saying so. Everyone knows that this functions like a tax.”

- Next up: political solution -
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN: “We have exhausted now our legal solutions to be able to rid the nation of Obamacare. Now we have to look for a political solution.”

- The opinion team Romney doesn't want you to read -
SUPREME COURT JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG IN HER CONCURRING OPINION: “Massachusetts, Congress was told, cracked the adverse selection problem. By requiring most residents to obtain insurance … the Commonwealth ensured that insurers would not be left with only the sick as customers. As a result, federal lawmakers observed, Massachusetts succeeded where other states had failed. … In coupling the minimum coverage provision with guaranteed issue and community-rating prescriptions, Congress followed Massachusetts’ lead.”

–Boehner uses broccoli argument -
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE JOHN BOEHNER IN CAPITOL HILL PRESS CONFERENCE: “The government could decide that we are going to tax you if you don’t eat broccoli on Tuesday. Apparently now that is constitutional but I don’t think it is a very wise law.”

What stopped us in 140 characters or less









Republican candidate Richard Nixon made the court's 15-year record of "liberal" decisions under Chief Justice Earl Warren a big "law and order" campaign theme in his 1968 campaign. Nixon said those rulings were "seriously hamstringing the peace forces in our society and strengthening the criminal forces."

Nixon went on to win in 1968, defeating Democrat Hubert Humphrey and independent George Wallace.

Warren retired in 1969, a year after the election, and Nixon eventually named four justices – Warren Earl Burger, Harry A. Blackmun, Lewis F Powell Jr. and William H. Rehnquist – to the high court.

The subsequent elections of Ronald Reagan (who nominated three justices) and George H.W. Bush (who nominated two) also helped move the federal judiciary to the right for decades.

(why aren’t you in it)

Congratulations to Matthew Gilbertson ‏(@MattRGilbertson) for correctly answering today’s Gut Check Trivia Question. Clearly Matthew is a Supreme Court expert.

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Tips or comments? Send them to Michelle; send complaints to Preston, because he is already in a bad mood. We also want to give a shout out to Dan Merica, who runs our Twitter account @gutCheckCNN and enriches this product every single day.

Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. WiredweirdinSF

    All any Republican has to do win this fall is play the tape of Obama saying the HCRAct (commonly known as Obozocare) and the one where he said it would not cost the American taxpayer one more dime. Just keep repeating that until even his most drug addled supporter and every welfare fraud will understand, HE LIED. Then the more honest media might point out that he gave exemptions from it to the corrupt unons. Just remember HE LIED, sat there, look in to the camera and flat out LIED.

    June 28, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Gut Check: CNN is refusing to report on the part of the SCOTUS' ruling on the ACA that held that the Anti-Injunction Act, which applies to all taxes, does not apply to the individual mandate, thus indicating that the Court viewed the mandate not purely as a tax, but something that functions like a tax while serving the purpose of a penalty.

    June 28, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  3. ge

    sounds like some powerful people in the NRA and border states republicans want holder shut down wonder why–when a guy on foodstamps can go and buy a truck load of guns that disappear some things fishy

    June 28, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Former Atty General Alberta Gonzales was one of the most corrupt attorneys in history and assisted Bush in war crimes, he quit before he could be prosecuted. Former VP Dick Cheney when asked questions about anything pertaining to the people's business he always replied "SO" and no one did anything in fact all the cowards like Darrel Issa tucked their tails. I've lost what little respect for Republicans in office and Boehner has no control, they're just running away from the Teabaggers like a bunch of whipped cowards at any ones expense including the American people.

    June 28, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. Bill in Florida

    John "Broccoli" Boeher is a ABSOLUTE IDIOT and an ABSOLUTE DISGRACE to the US House of Representatives. How much would it take to defeat him this coming November? I'll contribute $20 to his opponent today!

    June 28, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. Thomas

    All any Republican has to do win this fall is play the tape of Obama saying the HCRAct (commonly known as Obozocare) and the one where he said it would not cost the American taxpayer one more dime. Just keep repeating that until even his most drug addled supporter and every welfare fraud will understand, HE LIED. Then the more honest media might point out that he gave exemptions from it to the corrupt unons. Just remember HE LIED, sat there, look in to the camera and flat out LIED.

    Buddy , you need to change your meds !

    June 28, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  7. DENNA

    Why doesn't the GOP get to work on the peoples' business? They grandly promised "jobs, jobs, jobs", but the sheeple who call themselves Tea Partiers, etc. not saying a peep about that very important broken promise.

    June 28, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  8. joshua

    Obama lied on Mexican tv. Holder wrote his lies on Department of Justice letterhead. Neither will be able to hide the truth forever.

    June 28, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  9. Larry L


    All any Republican has to do win this fall is play the tape of Obama saying the HCRAct (commonly known as Obozocare) and the one where he said it would not cost the American taxpayer one more dime.
    If you get insurance you won't pay the tax. The tax would compensate for the money you'll be costing Americans for bailing you out when you go to the emergency room without having insurance. It's a choice moron. Taxpayers who do the responsible thing and obtain insurance will not pay more – they'll pay less than they're paying now. Other provisions of the law will lower costs – costs that have been going up 7-9% per year. Get somebody to explain the math to you.

    June 29, 2012 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  10. stars

    Dick Cheney sure is quiet on this subject. You would think that he would be the first one to speak bad about Mr. Holder. He must be scare about this thing Issa got going on. trust me this thing is going to blow up in thier face.

    June 29, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |