Europe Is Baffled by the U.S. Supreme Court


us-supreme-courtBy John Hudson

Europe is scratching its head over possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down President Obama’s signature legislative achievement. As the judiciary and the Obama administration trade legal barbs over the high court’s authority, the idea that health care coverage, largely considered a universal right in Europe, could be deemed an affront to liberty is baffling.

“The Supreme Court can legitimately return Obamacare?” asks a headline on the French news site 9 POK . The article slowly walks through the legal rationale behind the court’s right to wipe away Congress’s legislation. “Sans précédent, extraordinaires” reads the article. In the German edition of The Financial Times, Sabine Muscat is astonished at Justice Antonin Scalia’s argument that if the government can mandate insurance, it can also require people to eat broccoli. “Absurder Vergleich” reads the article’s kicker, which in English translates to, “Absurd Comparison.” In trying to defeat the bill, Muscat writes, Scalia is making a “strange analogy [to] vegetables.”

Over in Britain, the  opposition is more direct. The Guardian‘s Kevin Powell called the debate “surreal” in his Monday column. “Wasn’t the point to make sure the richest and most powerful nation on the planet could protect its own people, as other nations do?” he wrote. “If Americans are promised not just liberty but life and happiness, is there not a constitutional right to affordable healthcare?”

The Independent’s Rupert Cornwell, meanwhile, is astonished by the high court’s legal sway. “When an American president nominates a new member of the Supreme Court, I sometimes used to wonder, why all the fuss? Is this appointment of a single judge – just one justice among nine – really important enough to throw Congress into a spin, dominate the blogosphere and mobilise every lobbying group in the land?” The Telegraph‘s Mark McKinnon, meanwhile, just marvels at the court’s power. “These six men and three women will have a voice in determining not only Obama’s long-term legacy, but also his short-term future as the November election looms,” he writes. “They are six men and three women, aged between 51 and 79, and two of them have been in the same job since Ronald Reagan was in the White House.” What can we say? Welcome to America, Europe.

{The Atlantic Wire/ Newscenter}


  1. They are all missing the point and confusing law with liberal logic and emotions.

    The matter revolves around one simple point. Can the govt force you to buy something.

    Can they force you to buy spinach and give you a penalty/tax if you dont? Insert healthcare or anyword in place of spinach and leave your emotions out of it.

  2. Europe may be baffled, but let’s remember, the United States was the first country to have a constitution. Thereafter, the European countries followed, one by one, by one. They all eventually had revolutions with a new constitution, although they were originally baffled by ours.

    So, now they will learn from us how to uphold a constitution – even in the face of a socialist, dictator wannabe.

  3. There are American citizens who are baffled by the current US Supreme Court. Tne again, considering that there seem to be several conflicts of financial interest involved among the Justices, maybe it isn’t so baffling.

  4. It’s very simple: Give me a choice, and I want it, even if I don’t use it. Take away my choice, and I will fight it, even if I don’t need it.

  5. The Europeans must have lost something in translation. The American government protects the right to “Life Liberty & ‘pursuit’ of happiness” because our can’t guarantee happiness.

    Additionally, the reason we are the richest and most powerful country in the world is because we don’t waste money frivolously on never ending social baselines and because we reward risk. Take that away and tragically we will become Europe.

  6. Evidently Europe does not understand American notions of liberty and indepemdemce that form the American psyche. The most sacred right conveyed by the constitution the limitation of government so that one can be left the heck alone.