A key talking point of Democrats and liberal pundits regarding the Supreme Court's ObamaCare case is that if the justices overturn the law — or even just the individual mandate portion — it will damage the "legitimacy" of the court. President Obama himself said that it would be an "unprecedented" action to overturn a law that was "passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress." The implication being that the court would face a popular backlash if it voted to overturn.
Several commentators have already pointed out that Obama was wrong on constitutional history. The Supreme Court can and regularly has overturned laws passed by Congress going back to Marbury v. Madison in 1803. Others have noted that the House's 219-212 vote on the law hardly counts as a "strong majority."
And polls continue to show it has little popular support either. For example, a poll just conducted for IBD by TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence found that only 22% said they wanted the justices to uphold the entire law, while 37% said strike down the whole thing and 30% said to strike down only the law's individual mandate to buy health insurance. Another 10% were unsure.
Strikingly, the same poll found that while 39% of Democrats wanted the law upheld, 38% wanted the mandate struck down and another 12% wanted the whole thing thrown out. In other words, 50% want part or all of the law tossed. Even taking into account that some of those may be liberals who dislike ObamaCare because it isn't more expansive, it's a striking rejection of the president's main accomplishment by his own party.
Among independents, the numbers are even worse for the president: 40% want the whole law repealed, 33% want the mandate overturned and only 18% want the whole thing upheld. Unsurprisingly, Republicans hate it even more: 66% want the whole thing thrown out, 19% want just the mandate gone and only 10% want it all upheld. That's based on a poll of 906 people, conducted from March 30 to April 5.
So, in other words, if the Supreme Court does throw out part or all of ObamaCare, it's a pretty sure bet that the American people will not be rising up in outrage.