Obamacare & The Supremes

by Stephanie Berenbaum – June 28th, 2012

How Much Do You Know about the Highest Court?

By now you’ve all heard about today’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act – aka “Obamacare.”  And no, Fab & Fru is not about to jump into all the intricacies of the ruling – at least not right now.  But we thought we’d start with one important takeaway: whatever your opinion of Obamacare, it’s this kind of decision that shows how the Supreme Court can directly impact YOUR finances! 

Getting To Know You

Let’s face it, many Americans cannot even name the 9 Supreme Court Justices, much less really make a connection between their lofty positions and our day to day lives.  The Supreme Court decisions that get the most publicity tend to be the ones surrounding ethical issues (Roe V Wade, for example) but today’s ruling is a great reminder of the role the highest court in the land plays in your financial future.  Not only does today’s ruling affect the cost and availability of health care for millions of Americans, it also has an immediate impact on the stock market – particularly on insurance and healthcare related companies.

Introducing…The Supremes!

Ok, so just who are they, anyway? The Supreme Court is:

  • Chief Justice John Roberts – Conservative – nominated by  President George W. Bush
  • Associate Justice Antonin Scalia – Conservative – nominated by President Ronald Reagan
  • Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy – Conservative – nominated by President Ronald Reagan
  • Associate Justice Clarence Thomas – Conservative – nominated by President George H.W. Bush
  • Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Jr. – Conservative – nominated by President George W. Bush
  • Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Liberal – nominated by President Bill Clinton
  • Associate Justice Stephen Breyer – Liberal – Nominated by President Bill Clinton
  • Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor – Liberal – Nominated by President Barack Obama
  • Associate Justice Elena Kagan – Liberal – Nominated by President Barack Obama

The Job of a Lifetime!

What’s that, you don’t remember voting for any of these justices?  That’s right – because they are all nominated by the President and then subject to Senate confirmation. And talk about job security – Supreme Court appointments are LIFETIME appointments – so until the justice decides to retire or passes away, they are in.

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3 Responses to “Obamacare & The Supremes”

  1. Ann says:

    Though Kennedy was nominated by Reagan, most people would never label him a Conservative.

  2. Ian says:

    In response to the comment above, although Kennedy is often a swing vote, many legal analysts consider him a Conservative. And rightly so! After all, he was with the conservatives majority in Bush v. Gore.

  3. louie says:

    The real point of the matter is , when voting for a President, you are voting for someone who has the authority of appointment to the Supreme Court, amongst many other key positions. As you have noted, appoints to the court are lifetime. You really need to take this into consideration when casting your vote for a President. The Court was designed to be an impartial (non political) ultimate branch of our Gov’t., unbeholding to any party and a strict defender of our “Constitution”. If politicized opinions are cast, you subvert the constitution and consequently re-write it defacto. The current opinion of the Court on the Constitutionality of the Health Care legislation throws everything back to Congress, as deeming it a Tax, which the court has no authority on, a Taxation is a voting function of Congress. Basically, Robert’s written opinion was, voters, be careful of who you put in Congress, and he’s right. It’s really in the individual citizens hands, not the Court’s.

Any Thoughts?