Charles Fried Vows To Eat A Kangaroo Hat If The Supreme Court Repeals Health Care Reform

06/16/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

[H/T: The Wonk Room] Repealing the health care reform bill! It remains an oft-talked about goal of insurgent Republicans looking to stoke the enthusiasm of their base. And yet, it also remains something that is not likely to happen, because you would need supermajorities in the Senate to survive a certain filibuster and then supermajorities in both the House and Senate to override President Barack Obama's veto.

So, it remains something of a fantasia. But what about all of those lawsuits, that are seeking to undo the measure in the courts? Charles Fried -- who served as the U.S. Solicitor General during the Reagan administration -- is so sure of the relevant legal precedents that he's certain that the Supreme Court will uphold the signed law. And he's vowed to Greta Van Susteren that he will perform an extreme act of digestion if he's wrong.

FRIED: So, the question is, is it constitutional? And it seems to me, though there are a lot of things to object in this, and I would be the first to say so, the constitution is not one of them. If you don't like it, repeal it or amend it. But don't ask the courts to do the job for you, because they won't. [...]

VAN SUSTEREN: The issue that will confront the federal judge, and the Supreme Court if it goes on, is whether or not the Commerce Clause gives the federal government the power to do this....And does the constitution in your opinion, sir, enable them?

FRIED: It certainly does. The statute which I have in front of me, I bothered to read it, says that the health insurance industry is an $854 billion dollar industry. That sounds like commerce. The Supreme Court just five years ago with Justice Scalia in the majority said that it is all right under the Commerce Clause to make it illegal for California for residents in California to grow pot for their own use, because that has affect on interstate commerce. Well, if that has affect on interstate commerce, what happens in an $854 billion national industry certainly does.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is there any possibility, in your mind, or any thought that you could be wrong?

FRIED: Well, I suppose I could. But I'll tell you what, I would be happy to come on this program and eat a hat which I bought in Australia last month made of kangaroo skin.

Well, that sure sweetens the pot for the state attorneys general who are filing these lawsuits, doesn't it? The sad irony here is that you have to imagine that if this wager turns out badly for Fried, and health care reform is overturned, he'll probably be immediately dropped by his insurer, because they'll have "ate a kangaroo hat for fun" on his medical history.

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