Must-read Abbe Gluck and Michael Graetz on the severability argument in the health care case. It concludes:
It’s not clear why the Obama administration has chosen this course. Perhaps it made a strategic choice to raise the stakes of striking down the mandate by asking the court to also invalidate the law’s more popular provisions. Or it may be concerned that, if the mandate alone is struck down, there would not be enough votes in Congress to pass new provisions to compensate the insurance industry for its loss. But as a legal matter, the court should reject the argument.
We believe that imposing the mandate was within Congress’s powers to regulate commerce and that the legislation should be upheld. But if the Supreme Court strikes the mandate down, the rest of the law should stand, and Congress should have to decide what happens next.
Why should an unelected court free the insurance industry from having to do its own political lobbying work in Congress? Why should the court choose whether or not to deny injured and sick Americans health insurance? These crucial decisions must be left to our elected officials, who — unlike the Supreme Court — can then be held accountable for them by the voting public.