Legislators Kicking the Can to the Courts

How many times will our State and Federal Legislators abdicate their responsibility to govern and kick the can to the Courts?

I know it must be difficult to be an elected official; pulled from all sides by constituents, political party, and lobbyists; a cacophony of demanding voices who are never satisfied with the results. With a paucity of time and a dearth of reflection, it is easy to make the wrong choices in the face of such ethical dilemmas.

We can excuse a single lapse in judgment, but it’s becoming a bad habit; one that needs to be broken. Lawmakers refuse to work together, completely devoid of conciliation or mediation; abandoning the problem for the courts to tidy up. By tossing sand into the cogs of governance, all attempts at problem solving grinds to a halt. This bad habit resembles the proverbial roulette wheel; round and round she goes, where she stops nobody knows.

Make no mistake about it, forcing SCOTUS to make the final analysis on AHCA is the Right’s barely concealed attempt for a national referendum on President Obama and his first term in office. The AHCA is only the proxy target; a substitute for the person the Right wishes to censure. They’ve made it very clear over the last four years that their every effort and all of their energies will be concentrated on President Obama’s failure. Isn’t it nice to know that an entire country is being held hostage so as to grant the wishes of a few arrogant fat white men in Government? I don’t understand it and I can’t explain it.

To me, hearing the AHCA referred to as “Obamacare” is like fingernails down a blackboard. I know that using this moniker is supposed to be a political insult to our President; a connotative label meant to drudge up negative opinions and emotions. What many forget is that the AHCA is the product, the culmination of labors (or a lack of participation, as in the GOP’s case) by all that served in Congress in 2010; not President Obama. Therefore, if something is amiss with this bill, we have Legislators, on both sides of the aisle, to blame.

Virginia Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli filed one of the earliest lawsuits challenging the mandate and he admitted to the media on Monday that the opponents of the law have a broader message to communicate. He stated, “I do expect this to have an influence on this year's elections, both the election for president and for the U.S. Senate. Ultimately, we got here because of choices people made in elections.” I almost expected him to “wink-wink” after he made that statement.

No one is more guilty of kicking the can to the courts because of their personal hatred of Obama than our own State of Texas. Texas has filed suit against the Federal Government a total of SEVENTEEN times. See the interactive graphic at  http://www.texastribune.org/library/about/texas-versus-federal-government-lawsuits-interactive/#womens-health-program Doesn’t that make you proud to be a citizen of the Lone Star State—that grown men are playing a childish game of political volleyball with our future?

It’s an occupational hazard for me to view things from an educational perspective; but I’ve come to realize that many adults in leadership positions are merely children living in a grown-up’s body. When I was a classroom teacher, there were always a few students who refused to get their work done. They went to unbelievable lengths to avoid doing schoolwork. Getting work from them was like trying to drag a cow to the slaughter house. Amazingly, they spent more time and effort in trying “not” to do the work, than it would have required to simply get the work done. It took years for me to arrive at the reasons for this self-destructive phenomenon. They didn’t do the work because they believed they weren’t capable of doing the work. In the perplexing world of adolescence, it is better to be regarded as “bad”, than “dumb”.

I’ll leave it to you to make the connection between these thirteen year old slackers and our legislators.

I have just one question for our Legislators. If the courts must rule on every piece of legislation, why do we need you? You might want to search deep for your answer because leaving everything to the Courts makes your job irrelevant. And sooner or later, the people will act on this.


Carol Morgan is a career counselor, writer, speaker, former Democratic candidate for the Texas House and the award-winning author of Of Tapestry, Time and Tears, a historical fiction about the 1947 Partition of India. Follow her on Twitter @CounselorCarol1, on Facebook: CarolMorgan1 and her literary blog at www.carolmorgan.org  

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What is the point of having a legislator if they are just filing and voting on prefabricated bills cranked out of "bill factories" like ALEC, TPPF, Heritage Foundation, etc? Just tattoo them with the appropriate corporate sponsor's barcode and we can scan our legislator of choice at the supermarket self-checkout-slash-voting-booth.



lubbockleft, a bar-code tattoo around the wrist would make things easier. There would be no need for a photo-id when folks wanted to vote.

Wait, wait, in doing so, would that not be "The Mark of the Beast"?

Wait, wait, Jewish law prohibits tattoos.......

So much for expediency in making sure that all eligible to vote can vote.........



No, I meant for our legislators, not the voters. Like scanning an item to purchase at the checkout counter, not scanning the customer/voter's own wrist.


um... no

You say that Obamacare is the fault of all legislators. No Republicans voted for the final version of the bill. So actually we only have democrats to blame for it. And remember Democrats were trying to take all the credit when they thought it was a good thing.

Also you mention the fact that Texas has sued that federal government a lot. That's great! It means we have an attorney general who isn't going to just take it when the federal government oversteps its reach. Remember that the intention of our government is for states to govern themselves in most matters. The federal government is only there to ensure that overall freedoms are protected.

The courts don't have to rule on every piece of legislation, just the controversial ones. Thats the great checks and balances system that we have. And they wouldn't have to rule on a lot of them if the government would take a step back and let the states run their own affairs.


the vote

The vote in Congress is the cherry on top of the icing on top of the cake. The real baking is done in everything else building up to the vote.

The final form of ObamaCare is due in large part to Republican obstructionism, Republican abandonment of their own plans and principles from the 1990s, and Democratic compromises.


@lubbockleft fascinating.....

lubbockleft, it has been fascinating to listen to the summations of views from the Justices. What is clear is that the Justices are blaming Congress for the faults they see in the legislation. Obama's name is not brought up--- "Obamacare:?

My take is that the Supreme Court may overturn the entire bill. And the cons will try to blame Obama for the bill.

Santorum is staking his campaign on repealing AHCA. So what happens to his campaign if the Supreme Court nullifies the bill.

What will happen to Romney?

It reminds me a bit of the game "Survivor" I have an inkling who will win.......



It's almost impossible for me to read about healthcare issues without feeling a little ill...

I began to have doubts about where healthcare reform was headed aftering hearing Pres. Obama use the phrase "health insurance reform" about midway through the process of writing the legislation.

If only the bill was simply an expansion of Medicare--there would have been no need for review by the Supreme Court.

Live and learn, but what a price to pay, with these justices deciding the fate of millions of people who need healthcare.


hang on

Alleged obstructionism and abandonment can't be blamed for what we have today. Obamacare was a "victory" for the BHO last week according to his campaign. All of the sudden when its under fire, we start hearing words like "bi-partisan" and "congressional plan."


Sour grapes rather than kicking the can

Elections have consequences and the republicans want to eliminate those consequences thru the courts rather than the ballot box. They are increasingly using the courts to roll back legislation that they were unable to stop thru parlimentary obstruction.

In my mind the SCOTUS has lost all legitimacy. From Gore v Bush, the imminent domain decision and Citizens United the court has taken a political view rather than a judicial one. The contorted opinions used to justify their increasingly political decisions amply illustrates this.

The fact that one justice has attended multiple events sponsored by opponents of the bill (and in one instance an event sponsored by people who would be arguing the case) add to that his wife headed an organization whose sole purpose was to repeal the AHCA demonstrates the courts willingness to throw even the illusion of non partisianship to the winds.

This is a horrific joke played on the American people by the media and the politicians. The vote will be 5-4 with the right carrying the day. This has been a foregone conclusion since the realization that this would find its' way to the top court.

The court has been corrupted with the likes of Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito who use their position to push right wing ideology rather than rule on the merits of the case. These two men are an embarrassment to the court, the judicial system and themselves.


Spencer!! You are exactly

Spencer!! You are exactly right on this.

The Right will use every strategy possible to get their way. Clarence Thomas should have recused himself on this case because of his wife's associations (just as you said)


ROTUNDA: Kagan must recuse

ROTUNDA: Kagan must recuse from Obamacare case Legal ethics guru finds cause to doubt her independence

The test that the federal statute imposes. It requires Justice Kagan to disqualify herself if she, as a federal employee (solicitor general) “participated as counsel” or as an “adviser,” or she “expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy.”



ObamaCare is a victory in the sense that it is what we could get done at the time. It's not perfect, but it is the most major improvement to US health care in 30 years or more.

Remember what the left wanted (and still wants): single payer. If we can't get single payer, we'll take the public option. If we can't get the public option, we'll take ObamaCare.

So yes, Republican obstructionism played a HUGE part in the final form of ObamaCare.

Or to put it in the language of Maury: it's your baby too.



You are, of course, correct in stating that maybe this was the only legislation we could get, but it did seem to me that the public option was taken off the table prematurely. I wish there had been some decent debate about it; at least it would have given progressives more of a voice in how the legislation might have been crafted.

Again and again, I think that progressives get shortchanged, and it troubles me. It's as if there's a prepared slap-down of efforts, as they are too "troubling" to consider for our president.

I'm sorry, I find this paternalizing and even infuriating at times. Bernie Sanders and Jim McDermott introduced single-payer legislation, in fact:

Single-Payer, Medicare-for-All Legislation Introduced Senator Bernie Sanders May 10, 2011 Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced today that he introduced legislation to provide health care for every American through a Medicare-for-all type single-payer system. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) filed a companion bill in the House to provide better care for more patients at less cost by eliminating the middle-man role played by private insurance companies that rake off billions of dollars in profits. The twin measures, both called the American Health Security Act of 2011, would provide federal guidelines and strong minimum standards for states to administer single-payer health care programs.


I agree

I agree completely westernm.

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