Georgia is one of 26 states arguing that Obamacare’s “individual mandate” — its requirement that every American must buy health insurance — is unconstitutional.
The Court has given the plaintiffs only six seats in the courtroom.
“It would have been nice to be in the hearings all three days, but when they’re only giving us six seats … I’m just honored to have one of them,” he told Around Town late this week. “It’s the hottest ticket in D.C. in a long time.”
Indeed. Interest in the case is nearly as high as when the court heard arguments in the 2000 presidential election case and during the Watergate scandal. No cameras or video equipment are allowed in the courtroom.
Only 50 seats in the courtroom are allotted to the public, and people start standing in line days ahead of time to try to procure seats in such cases. Another small bloc of seats is saved for the media and a few are held for senators and congressmen. Olens said he expects he and the other five occupants of the plaintiffs’ seats will be seated directly behind the plaintiffs’ attorneys. He said he did not know how many seats the defendants in the case had been given.
“I’m guardedly optimistic (about the outcome),” he said. “They’ve done a great job preparing the briefs. We’ll all listen for any little hints the justices give (as to how they might rule), then await their order in late June.”
Nels Peterson of east Cobb was lead counsel for Perdue, now is policy director for Olens and is the one who put together the team.
Josh Belifante, former attorney for then-Gov. Perdue, is running as a Republican for the Georgia District 6 seat in the state Senate representing Smyrna/Sandy Springs now held by Doug Stoner (D-Smyrna) and also being sought by Republicans Hunter Hill of Cobb and Beth Beskin and Drew Ellenburg of Buckhead.
W. Pitts Carr’s name should be a familiar one by now to those who have followed the Cobb EMC legal saga. He represents the plaintiffs in the long-running suit against the management of the utility, which is now nearing its end.
And Ben Mathis Jr., is managing partner of Freeman, Mathis & Gary at the Galleria and lives in Marietta.
It’s heady stuff for someone who just two years ago was voting on rezonings as Cobb Commission Chairman.
“Yes, but that rezoning is just as important to the person who lives next to it as what the Supreme Court does,” he chided.
THE HONEYMOON IS OVER with new School Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa for Cobb County School Board member Kathleen Angelucci, who made it clear at Thursday night’s board that she’s ready to begin cleaning house at the Central Office, voting against five of the 15 executive contracts that were up for renewal.
“It was a trust issue related to their jobs,” she told Around Town on Friday, explaining her votes against renewing the contracts of Deputy Superintendent Alice Stouder, Chief Academic Officer Dr. Judi Jones, area assistant superintendents Ed Thayer and Angela Huff and Communications Director Jay Dillon. Angelucci was joined by member Alison Bartlett in the votes against Jones, Thayer and Dillon.
Angelucci said she had gone along with the super’s modest cabinet reshuffling last fall, “giving him the benefit of the doubt,” but still having doubts of her own.
The reorganization amounted to “rearranging the deck chairs with the same folks and new titles and a little more pay,” but nothing substantive, according to a source close to Angelucci. Her votes against the five did not come as a surprise to the super, she said, “but I could tell by his demeanor that he was not pleased.”
The board discussed the personnel decisions in executive session, then voted in public. Angelucci told AT that Stouder had a few things to say to her in private, adding, “She was not very nice about it.”
“I told her it was not personal, but was about her job performance,” said Angelucci, declining to comment further.
On the other hand, deputy Superintendent Chris Ragsdale, whose contract was unanimously renewed, reportedly told Angelucci in the hallway afterward, “You really sent a message throughout this building tonight.”
A former school board member told AT she thinks Hinojosa has been a “do nothing super” rather than a “change agent” since taking over from Fred Sanderson nine months ago. She’s said to be upset that he tried to “backdoor” the Teach For America program into Cobb and was secretly working with board member David Morgan to set up a board-operated charter school in south Cobb in violation of state law.
POLITICS: Former East Cobb Commissioner Thea Powell is hosting a meet and greet from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday for county chairman candidate Tea Partier Mike Boyce; Marietta attorney John Skelton, who is vying for Superior Court clerk; and Marietta attorney Nathan Wade, who is running for a Cobb Superior Court judgeship. The event is at Powell’s house, located at 3354 Weathertop Way in east Cobb. …
Scott Johnson, Jason Shepherd, Dawn Levine, Justin O’Dell, Tom Cauthorn and Tom Browning are hosting a reception for Superior Court clerk candidate Rebecca Keaton. The event will be from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the offices of Browning & Smith, 31 Atlanta St., Marietta. … Also on Tuesday, Charlie and Marsha Crowder will host a fundraiser for Superior Court Judge candidate Van Pearlberg at 5:30 p.m. at their home, 325 McDaniel Road in Marietta.
“We are aware of some allegations that ‘nothing is changing’ and nothing could be more wrong,” write new Chair Ed Crowell and members David Tennant, Cheryl Meadows and Malcolm Swanson.
CONGRATULATIONS to Elizabeth and Alexandria Elizabeth Brown, whose children’s book, “Who I’d Like to Be,” has now gone into a second printing and is being used by Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal, a former teacher, in her tour of Georgia reading to preschoolers.
The book was written two years ago by Elizabeth Brown, then 90, who is the mother of longtime Kennestone Hospital administrator Bernie Brown of Marietta, founder of what is now the WellStar Health System. The book was illustrated by one of Mrs. Brown’s 19 great-grandchildren, Alexandria, 10, who has suffered from cancer during much of her young life, but whose disease is now in remission.
Proceeds from the sale of their upbeat, brightly illustrated book benefit Blue Skies Ministries, a Georgia-based nonprofit that provides retreats and support for children with cancer and their families.