Big Week

If there was anything that happened over the weekend (Rick Santorum’s Louisiana victory, the latest developments in the Trayvon Martin case, the determination of the NCAA Final Four, the return–zooby zooby zoo–of “Mad Men”) you’d like to hear discussed in the chattering classes today, prepare for some disappointment.

Although we are very unlikely to learn anything other than hints during the Supreme Court’s oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, the three days beginning this morning will present a multi-layered series of legal and political disputes of great magnitude and intensity. This morning’s must-read is Ezra Klein’s nicely succinct review of the four separate constitutional issues the Court will consider; only one issue, the constitutionality of the individual mandate, has gotten much public attention prior to today.

Also this week the House will move towards adoption of the Ryan Budget proposal as the framework for its official budget resolution. While nobody expects Ryan’s blueprint to have any traction in the Senate, the House action will tighten the identification of the GOP with Ryan’s plan, delighting Democrats.

So it will be a week of events that don’t necessarily mean much in themselves, but will cast a long shadow over the rest of the year, and perhaps the decade.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.