Pelosi: Obamacare is constitutionally 'ironclad'

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., predicted that the Supreme Court would uphold President Obama's health care law, which she called "ironclad," by a 6-3 vote.

"Because I know the constitution," Pelosi answered when asked to explain her confidence. "This bill is ironclad. It is ironclad."

Pelosi indicated that concern for the constitutionality of the legislation guided the authors. "No one was frivolous with the constitution and the health of the american people in writing the bill," she told reporters, "so that's where my confidence springs from: the merit of the bill and the nature of the constitution."

In 2009, then-Speaker Pelosi took a different tone. "Are you serious? Are you serious?" she said dismissively when a reporter asked her "where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?"

Pelosi seemed to acknowledge the vague possibility that the law could be overturned, but seemed to blame that on the justices currently on the court. "The makeup of the court -- well, we'll see," she said.

Moments earlier, Pelosi had cited Marbury vs. Madison (1803) to say "We [Democrats] believe in judicial review [and] we believe in the Constitution" when she was discussing the Defense of Marriage Act -- a law that she opposes.



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