Although decisions have not been released, the U.S. Supreme Court have appeared very cool to the Obama administration in two very high-profile cases: the review of the president’s health care insurance reform law and the administration’s opposition to Arizona crafting its own anti-immigration laws.
Some political observers have suggested that President Obama’s re-election campaign, as well as the Democratic Party’s national campaign committee, could “run against the conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court.” If both the ObamaCare and Arizona immigration law cases go against the Obama administration, the assumption is that popular outrage over the high court verdicts could help Obama and Democrats in November.
However, poll data from Quinnipiac University polling suggests that tactic would not work. In an April 20 national poll, a strong plurality of respondents, 49 percent, believe that the U.S. Supreme Court should overturn the health care law. In regards to Arizona’s anti-immigration law, a strong majority, 62 percent, say the high court should uphold the Arizona law. Only 27 percent of respondents want it overturned. (Read)
These numbers question the assumption that a conservative U.S. Supreme Court is out of touch with mainstream America. In fact, if the high court rules against ObamaCare and for Arizona, it appears its opinion is one that most of us agree with. Also, the poll data contradicts the assumption that overturning ObamaCare, or upholding Arizona’s law, would be an effective campaign tool for the president. At best, anger over the decisions could motivate progressive voters to the polls, but I have not seen data that might confirm that.
The consequences of the Arizona law being upheld is fascinating because it eliminates a constant argument from detractors that any state action that attempts to enforce federal law is unconstitutional. That is the basis for many lower-court decisions striking down state-directed immigration laws, and it is the main argument of the Obama administration as well. The high court was very skeptical of that argument. If its tossed by the Supreme Court, there’s no reason Utah’s recent immigration laws, that are tied up in litigation, should be delayed from implementation. The same applies to many other states.