The Robert’s Court has been very deliberate in their decisions. They stay very direct to the primary question at hand and do not stray into wide sweeping decisions.
In June of 2012, the Court decided the Obamacare question. They rejected the argument that the law was under the Commerce Clause, but accepted the argument that it was a tax. The Court ruled that Congress had the power to pass a tax on the people.
The Pacific Legal Foundation, of California, filed a suit in the District of Columbia saying the Patient and Affordable Care Act originated in the U.S. Senate and not the House of Representatives and violates Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution, and is therefore unconstitutional. A little bit of U.S. history is in order so please bear with me.
The Founding Fathers created the structure of our government with an idea that was new to the world. In all the governments of the world, the rich and powerful controlled the governments. They taxed the masses to their own benefit. We did something completely different. Our Founders created a Senate, made up by the wealthy, mostly land barons, who were appointed by the State Legislatures or Governors, and the House of Representatives, elected by the people based on population. The House was composed of local folks, average people or the masses. The 17th Amendment passed in 1913 made the Senate elected by the people. Then they did something amazing. All tax legislation had to start in the House. If the masses felt they were being overtaxed, the common folks were the ones responsible. No longer were the rich and powerful able to extract massive taxes on the poor without their consent. And because the Representatives had to stand for election every two years, they were under control of the people.
Lets get back to the current situation. In 2009, The House passed a piece of legislation called The Home Ownership Tax Act. This legislation provided members of the Armed Services special credits for first time home buyers. The Senate hadn’t taken up the bill. Harry Reid didn’t like the Healthcare bill that passed the House, so he created his own bill. He gutted the Service Members Tax Act and substituted his Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act language in its place. The legislation then went back to the House, where the Democrats pushed it through on a straight party-line vote. They were able to avoid all the hearings because it was a bill already passed by the House.
The argument is that because the bill began in the Senate, and it was a tax (as later ruled by the Robert’s Court), it is unconstitutional. The Court has already ruled it doesn’t qualify under the Commerce Clause, it is a tax.
The matter is currently before the D.C. Court, and could find its way back to the Supreme Court shortly if the lower courts fast track it. With the Supremes focusing on direct questions and not taking broad positions, the entire act could be ruled unconstitutional in the near future.