This moment of anticipation around tomorrow’s Supreme Court decision reminds me of periods from previous momentous decisions: the Nixon tapes and Bush v. Gore. There are many theories of what and why the court will decide, often conflicting. (For a really helpful guide to how to read and begin to interpret tomorrow’s decision check this out. There is much speculation about the political consequences; it too, is divided.
You can read much better discussions of the potential policy scenarios depending on the court’s decision here:
But it is the politics that is our topic.
I will have more to say tomorrow when the decision is rendered, but, politically, I think this will all be about perceptions of the president. If the law is upheld, Obama will be somewhat stronger. If parts of the law are struck down — the mandate most obviously — then Obama will be much weaker; it will weaken further perceptions of his effectiveness as a leader. I will have more to say later about how the political nuances of the decision might impact voter turn-out within the respective party bases, or how it might alter messaging. But my initial read is this: If the Nixon tapes case was all about the re-balance of constructional power between the three branches of government, and Bush v. Gore was all about the politicization of the Supreme Court, tomorrow’s decision is all about the president.