Here in Maryland the governor is a Democrat, as are the leaders in the General Assembly, and a big majority of Maryland citizens as well.
So it's no surprise that there was excitement and possibly some relief at the State House on Thursday, when the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act came down.
Some states have been waiting to see whether the Supreme Court would uphold "Obamacare" as critics and supporters have called it.
Some of them actively tried to have it overturned -- but not here. Plans to implement the Affordable Care Act have been going on almost since the day it was signed into law two years ago.
Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown has been organizing a group known as the "Health Care Reform Coordinating Council" since 2010.
“For many years together we've worked hard to improve the health of all Marylanders. Today's ruling ensures that we will continue to build on our success,” he said.
ABC-2 News asked the lieutenant governor what he would say to Maryland residents who do not support the health care reforms.
“While there's debate around the affordable care act, there's very little debate around affordable health care,” was his response.
University of Baltimore legal expert Byron Warnken ( www.warnkenlaw.com ) has tried cases before the US Supreme Court. He says the decision surprised him, especially Chief Justice John Roberts' crucial vote affirming "Obamacare" is constitutional.
“Who would have ever dreamed that a very conservative Justice Roberts would join the four liberals and 5 to 4 uphold the statute,” Warnken said.
He says if a justice can find any way to see a statute as constitutional, then they must determine that it is. The Chief Justice found his by calling the mandate that citizens must buy insurance a "tax.” Warnken says he may have had another factor in mind.
“He realized that as a nation we're probably ready to move on,” Warnken said. “We don't want two more years of this battle that involves everybody. You and I everybody's involved in health care. So it was also a very pragmatic decision I think,"
Overall, Warnken says the ruling proves once again that the judiciary is "first among equals" -- of the three branches of government. “The Supreme Court doesn't speak last necessarily because it's right. But it becomes right because it speaks last,” Warnken said.
The other factor for Supreme Court justices is that they are appointed for life -- they don't have to worry who agrees or doesn't agree with their opinions.
Warnken says Thursday’s ruling is one of the 25 most significant of the past century.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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