Killing Obamacare Would Show Supreme Court's Stripes, Analyst Says

Democratic strategist says such an over-reach from the right could damage Supreme Court's credibility.

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If the Supreme Court overturns key parts of President Obama's healthcare law, it will stigmatize the conservative majority of justices as "totally partisan" and will damage the court's credibility over the long term, says Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg.

[See a collection of political cartoons on healthcare.]

Greenberg, a former key adviser to President Bill Clinton who still counsels Democratic leaders in Congress and elsewhere, told me that overturning the law in full or in part would fit a pattern of high court over-reach from the right.

He said the court's earlier ruling that allowed unlimited political spending by corporations has already caused widespread consternation and opposition among Democrats and good-government reformers. They say the decision opened the way to political abuses and is leading to vast amounts of campaign spending by political action committees aligned with different candidates, with much of it going to negative advertising.

[Read Would Dick Cheney Get a Heart Under Obamacare?]

The court began hearing oral arguments Monday in a legal challenge to Obamacare, notably the provision that would require most Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. Those arguments are scheduled to continue today. Conservatives say the provision is an unconstitutional expansion of federal power.

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