The Obama administration’s pursuit of an expedited U.S. Supreme Court review of its health care law is a roll of the political dice with enormous implications for the president and the 2012 campaign.
While the signature issue of Obama’s presidency has already figured prominently in rhetoric on both sides, an expected ruling on its constitutionality by June guarantees a dramatic pre-election debate in which Obama may have the most to gain.
A victory for the Affordable Care Act in a high court dominated by conservatives could tame the most fiery criticism from the right, undermining charges popularized by the Tea Party that the administration usurped its constitutional authority.
A ruling against it, while a setback to the law itself, could serve to embolden the argument Obama has already been making that Republicans across all branches of government have become obstructionists without solutions.
Democratic lawmakers on Thursday called for a federal investigation into Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' failure to report hundreds of thousands of dollars on annual financial disclosure forms.
Led by House Rules Committee ranking member Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), 20 House Democrats sent a letter to the Judicial Conference of the United States -- the entity that frames guidelines for the administration of federal courts -- requesting that the conference refer the matter of Thomas' non-compliance with the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to the Department of Justice.
The letter outlines how, throughout his 20-year tenure on the Supreme Court, Thomas routinely checked a box titled "none" on his annual financial disclosure forms, indicating that his wife had received no income. But in reality, the letter states, she earned nearly $700,000 from the Heritage Foundation from 2003 to 2007 alone.