Efforts by the watchdog group Judicial Watch to demand that Justice Elena Kagan recuse herself when the Affordable Care Act (Health Care Reform) is brought before the Supreme Court later this year resulted in the release of emails between Kagan (back when she was Solicitor General) and a top Department of Justice official which, unsurprisingly, confirm what pro-lifers have been saying all along about the phony agreement which Democrats have claimed prevented health care reform from creating new abortion funding streams.
Namely, that the executive order signed by President Obama to give cover to Congressman Bart Stupak and his “pro-life” Democrats for them to support health care reform was a sham (emphasis mine):
Kagan, while serving as President Obama’s Solicitor General, exchanged emails with her then-colleagues in the Justice Department indicating her support for the Obamacare legislation when it was under consideration in Congress.
“I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing,” Kagan wrote, in an email obtained by Judicial Watch, on the day Obamacare passed through Congress. Larry Tribe, a Harvard Law professor and Supreme Court attorney who served as “senior counselor for access to justice” in the Department of Justice (DOJ), replied to Kagan that the bill’s passage was “remarkable.”
“And with the Stupak group accepting the magic of what amounts to a signing statement on steroids!” Tribe added in delight, and in derision for the pro-life Democrats.
Here’s what Tribe means by a “signing statement on steroids” — he means the executive order was little more than a photo-op. Why? Because the president doesn’t write the law – Congress does.
In other words, Obama got Rep. Stupak and the last Democrat hold-outs to accept the “magic” (fake political theater) of voting for a bill while claiming they didn’t vote for it because the executive order changed it. But the executive order did no such thing, because the actual health care reform bill is the law now, not any executive order.
Imagine a contract that’s very important to you. How confident would you be in that contract if your lawyer explained how it actually works is “magic”? Not very confident? You’d be correct.
I think it’s important that we don’t lose sight of how significant this behind-the-scenes glimpse at the opinion of a top Department of Justice official is. It confirms what many of us suspected all along, that the final Stupak “compromise” amounted to a total collapse and capitulation of the “pro-life” Democrats.
There are those on the pro-abortion Democrat side that absolutely dispute these pro-life claims. One of the Stupak congressman who went on to lose re-election in 2010 is (last I heard) waging a legal battle against the Susan B. Anthony List over this very issue of abortion funding in Obamacare and the executive order. So this isn’t small potatoes, this is absolutely essential to the fundamental disagreement between the pro-abortion and the pro-life side about what the new health care law actually means for the unborn and for federal funding of abortion providers.
I guess the simplest way to put this revelation is as follows: add a Harvard law professor and the “senior counselor for access to justice” of the Department of Justice to the long list of experts who agree that President Obama’s executive order was a sham — “magic”.
I hope Judicial Watch and other watch dog groups continue to demand transparency from the administration on this point to discover what other officials in the administration knew in advance that the final compromise brokered between the President and the “pro-life” Democrats was fundamentally misleading to the American public. Nothing more than “magic” that will have decidedly unmagical consequences for the rest of us.