Supreme Court Justices Will Issue ObamaCare Opinion and Exit the Building for Summer Break: My Prediction and Here's Why and What It Means to Your Law Blog

Cocooned in my own little world, with a keyboard, a screen, and a deadline (or three), I haven't been aware until this weekend of all the hoopla surrounding the impending Obamacare opinion coming down from the United States Supreme Court over the past few weeks.

Seems there was a bunch of folk that thought we'd have their decision long before now, and I have to wonder why ... ratings?  over-eager? never met a judge (much less been one)?  Now, things are getting fever-pitched. 

Here's the thing:  this is going to bring a big, huge spotlight shining on those Justices and don't think for a minute that those Legal Brainiacs are not fully aware of this upcoming scrunity.  Which means that they aren't going to issue that ruling until they are ready to zip out for the summer break. 

That's this week.  We should have the Obamacare ruling this week -- unless they decide to hold off until right before the Presidential Election (which they can).  The U.S. Supreme Court will be on vacation for the next few months. 

It's the smart thing to do, issue the opinion right before the break, and not for the cameras.  Though there is that - and it's a valid reason. 

It's also somewhat savvy to hold off on the opinion until after the hiatus, though you can spin that argument either way, politically speaking.  I'm thinking they'll issue their opinion this week, if they're done with it. 

Here's the United States Supreme Court Docket Page on Obamacare -- it's actually a series of cases that are being considered regarding the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 

It's the smart thing to do because the opinion (and its inevitable concurrences and dissents in all or in part) should stand on its own.  It is the opinion that should get the spotlight, it is the opinion that should be read and reread and discussed by the Talking Heads.

Why?  Because the opinion is what counts. It is the law and it is written to be analyzed, discussed, and used in the years to come.  The rationale for their decision (the "why") will be addressed in those paragraphs, and this should be the only answer we need.

Also, there's the fact that Justices don't give press conferences.  Not that they aren't smart to get the heck out of Dodge as this thing hits the media.  I'd go escape to some pretty place with a water view, too. 

If you're really interested in all this, SCOTUS blog is live blogging the events this week.  Go here for details. 

What This Means to Your Law Blog

Jumping down from my soapbox, here's my second point which I will be sharing with my consulting clients this week:  reading the comments to various news stories, it's clear that lots of people do not understand the impact of precedent upon their lives.  They get that they vote on people to go to Congress or the state house and vote on laws.  They get that the President can order things to happen.  Many understand the impact of agencies on their lives (particularly workers' compensation).

One thing ObamaCare does is bring an opportunity for lawyers to discuss how the judiciary works - not just in Washington, but in their own neck of the woods.

And not in legalese.  I would suggest NOT writing your posts in a lawyer-to-lawyer manner.  Write about the importance of courts and what power they exert in the vocabulary and sentence structure most clients will appreciate. 

  • Court cases, not legal precedent
  • Decision, not opinion
  • Sent for reconsideration by a higher court, not sent up for review

You get the idea.


Mingly Review: Maybe I'll Be Back, After It's Out of Beta.

In my previous post, I wrote about trying out Mingly. I was so excited! Mingly promised to organize my GMail, Twitter, LinkedIn (and Facebook if I was on Facebook) accounts and help me communicate better with everyone.

Sounded so good.

Still does.

However, my Twitter account never loaded; neither did GMail. LinkedIn did, but those accounts never seemed to full organize themselves on the site. So, I decided to back out of Mingly.

It took awhile.

I found that tweeting about Mingly got a response. I don't know that email ever did; I know that my phone message was never acknowledged or returned. I revoked access at Google.com and LinkedIn.com and it appeared that Twitter never gave access in order to allow revocation.

It's in Beta. 

Mingly is still working out the kinks. I hope they do, because I think they've got a great idea. However, I won't be using Mingly until it's a proven commodity out there. Till then, I'll make due with HootSuite etc. and just keep my fingers crossed that Mingly gets things ironed out soon.


Mingly: Let Me Be Your Guinea Pig.

As I type this, the new freeware Mingly is compiling all sorts of social media information for me, organizing my GMail account along with my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, and putting all this into a pretty little website dashboard.

Here's what the dashboard looks like:

I've been instructed that this will take a bit of time - seems that I have lots of stuff to sort - and that I shouldn't worry, this stuff is private (my personal stuff isn't on here anyway).  Meanwhile, anxious to get this going and write this post, I've already used the Mingly Dashboard to send James R. Marsh of the Marsh Law Firm up in New York a Happy Birthday e-message. 

JRM and I are LinkedIn friends.  I've promised him that I'm no stalker, but I hope he's not too creeped out.  I mean, how often do your LinkedIn connections send you happy birthday greetings?

Well, maybe they'll do it a lot more often now that Mingly is on the scene.  We'll see.  I read about this over at MediaBistro and decided it sounded fabulous. 

I'm testing it out now - the free version.  Just email me or comment if you have questions about Mingly.  I'm a pretty happy guinea pig right now.

Here's the MediaBistro scoop on Mingly; there's also an article explaining Mingly on Business 2 Community you might find interesting.  Caveat: it's written by Mingly.