The Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling today that will impact the lives of every American for generations to come. Unsurprisingly, politicians and talking heads on both sides of the aisle had a lot to say on the split decision.
Justice John Roberts writing for the majority:
“In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress's power to tax…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.”
Justice Antonin Scalia writing for the dissent:
“To say that the Individual Mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute but to rewrite it. Imposing a tax through judicial legislation inverts the constitutional scheme, and places the power to tax in the branch of government least accountable to the citizenry."
Republican Presumptive Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney:
“What the court did not do in its last session, I will do on the first day if elected president of the United States, and that's to repeal Obamacare.”
Former Obama Chief of Staff and Current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel:
“The president had the courage to bend the needle of history and did something presidents have tried to do for 60 years.”
Republican Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann:
“Now, for the first time in the history of the country, Congress can force Americans to purchase any product, any service. This is truly a turning point in American history. We’ll never be the same again. This is a more far-reaching decision than anyone had expected or imagined.”
Democratic California Congresswoman and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:
"In passing health reform, we made history for our nation and progress for the American people. We completed the unfinished business of our society and strengthened the character of our country. We ensured health care would be a right for all, not a privilege for the few. Today, the Supreme Court affirmed our progress and protected that right, securing a future of health and economic security for the middle class and for every American."
Republican Ohio Congressman and Speaker of the House John Boehner:
"The president's health care law is hurting our economy by driving up health costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire. Today's ruling underscores the urgency of repealing this harmful law in its entirety. What Americans want is a common sense, step-by-step approach to health care reform that will protect Americans' access to the care they need, from the doctor they choose, at a lower cost. Republicans stand ready to work with a president who will listen to the people and will not repeat the mistakes that gave our country ObamaCare."
Democratic Nevada Senator and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:
"Mr. President, I'm happy. I'm pleased to see the Supreme Court put the law ahead of partisanship and ruled that the affordable care act is constitutional. Mr. President, it's a long opinion and we know that when we come back here after the elections there may be something we need to improve the law and we'll do that working together. But today millions of Americans are already seeing the benefit of that law that we passed, seniors are saving money on their prescriptions and checkups.”
Former Alaska Governor and Reality Television Star Sarah Palin:
"Obama lied to the American people. Again. He said it wasn't a tax. Obamalies; freedom dies."