Photo: AP Photo / Susan Walsh
Like Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi is also confident that the Supreme Court will uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In fact, she thinks the high court will uphold it by a wide margin.
“Me, I’m predicting 6-3 in favour,” Pelosi said at the Paley centre for Media in New York on Tuesday. “But we’ll see. It’s a lesson in civics, and I respect it. I respect the court and judicial review.”
There was no follow-up question — moderator and Paley centre CEO Pat Mitchell then turned to the subject of birth control and reproductive rights. But it’s not hard to see that Pelosi thinks that not only will the court’s resident “swing vote” Anthony Kennedy lean in favour of the government, but Chief Justice John Roberts will also join that side. The three dissenting votes would come from conservatives Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.
Pelosi’s prediction is rather bold in the sense that she is perhaps the highest authority to predict such a specific and wide margin of victory. It also marks a shift from her position last week, when she said she had “no idea” how the Supreme Court would rule the legislation.
“I have no idea. None of us does,” Pelosi told reporters, according to ABC News. “We are all now talking about something of which we have no knowledge because we’re not members of the Supreme Court. We have knowledge of the legislation [and] knowledge of the arguments, but we have no idea what the outcome will be.”
Pelosi’s confidence was as brash as Obama’s, but unlike the president she did not sternly warn the court of “judicial activism” if it ends up striking down the legislation. She emphasised to the audience the benefits of the bill and the 80 million people she said it already helps.
“We can’t roll that back,” she said. “So we have to find a way to keep it. Again, speaking in the theoretical, I think the bill will be upheld. But we really do have to find a way to keep what is in the bill and what is coming.”
Also last week, Rep. John Conyers, the top Democrat on the Judiciary committee, told ABC that he expected the law to be upheld by a slimmer margin.
“My feeling is that, and I’m predicting this, is that we will have a 5-4 decision supporting the mandatory provision,” Conyers said. “I’ll be checking with you in June to see which one of us were correct.”
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