January 3, 2014

Sotomayor vs Obama - the jaded view of it

Given that Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor is Hispanic but is also definitely a very liberal Justice, it came as no real surprise that this news item appeared, to the apparent surprise of many.  The Supreme Court Justice apparently issued a religious challenge to Obamacare.  Is that shocking? Jaded from having watched the American political scene for years, I don't find it hard to see through as nothing more than a political ploy.

The details, via Fox News:
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has put religion at the forefront of the ObamaCare debate by offering a reprieve to some Catholic groups who want to opt out of the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate.

Sotomayor issued the order late Tuesday, one day before major parts of the health care law went into effect.

In her order, Sotomayor said the government is temporarily prevented from enforcing contraceptive coverage requirements against the Denver-based Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged and must respond by 10 a.m. Friday.

The White House responded Wednesday, saying the group isn’t subject to the requirement because it doesn’t apply to self-funded church plans.

The White House said the Justice Department has already made clear the mandate doesn’t apply to such organizations and that it defers to the agency on litigation matters.
And why exactly is this not surprising?  Because given the family and religious values of very many in Hispanic communities, not responding would make Sotomayor look less true to her culture than to the liberal agenda.  This order, clearly deliberately last minute, deliberately narrowly focused and deliberately controvertible in nature is designed to do two things.  Firstly, it is designed to show Sotomayor as an independent Justice, not beholden to the Obama administration, and that her conscience is that of both her heritage and her independent nature.  Sure.  I don't buy it.  Nevertheless she may have garnered some 'street cred' by her action.  Whether that buys her any long term benefit as not a puppet or liberal ideologue is not clear, but it really shouldn't.

Ironically, if you think this decision came as a surprise to the Obama administration I'd be willing to call you naive at a minimum.  Notice the scope of her order?  It applies to something that the administration has already made clear does not fall under the scope of Obamacare.  QED.  Which brings us to the second objective of the order.  It's meant to be overcome.  Because the order does not apply in this case and it provides a clear way in which it circumvented, it is designed to make the administration look like it has a firm grasp on the implications of Obamacare. Yeah, right.  More importantly though, if it points to a workaround for religious institutions, not enamored with Obamacare it just might provide a way for them to give up their resistance to it because they can now manage outside its confines once this issue has been put to rest for them.  Opponent neutralized.

Perhaps that is an overly jaded way to look at this development, but that's what I've come to expect from the cabal in the Obama administration and their adherents beyond the White House lawn - trickery and political machinations.  I don't think I'm wrong for having that view.

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