Supreme Court justices may have decided the first day of arguments over the national health care law was necessary to get "technicalities" out of the way. But they were right to express no support for the position taken by President Barack Obama's administration, that it is premature for them to be deciding whether the law is constitutional.
Incredibly - but probably as part of a strategy to force the law on Americans before we can do anything about it - the government's position is that issues of constitutionality should not be addressed before 2014.
Only then will the law's provisions go into effect fully. And only in 2015 will Americans who refuse to obtain government-approved health insurance pay fines, government attorneys argued last week.
According to reports of last Monday's Supreme Court hearing, justices expressed no sympathy for that argument. They should reject it out of hand.
Part of the devious nature of "Obamacare" is that its provisions are phased in slowly during a period of several years. But by 2014, state and federal governments, insurance companies, health care providers - and more than 300 million Americans will, in effect, be locked in to the law. Obama and liberals who crafted the statute want there to be no turning back by 2014.
Obamacare is unconstitutional, unquestionably. Supreme Court justices should move on to arguments about that, and brush aside the government's attempt to paint the public and the courts into a corner. Then, as quickly as possible, the court should rule the whole rotten edifice that is Obamacare be torn down.