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King v. Burwell on SCOTUSBlog

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  • King v. Burwell on SCOTUSBlog

    Some interesting pieces on todays arguments:

    First two are summaries as the arguments were happening. The third is an analysis piece.

    http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/03/fi...ing-v-burwell/

    http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/03/co...ing-v-burwell/

    http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/03/ki...-consequences/

    I agree with the focus of the analysis piece, Justice Kennedy. Flash back to last year when in a mini shocker Justice Kennedy sided with the conservative block and Chief Justice Roberts jumped to the liberal block.

    I don't see that happening this time, with CJ Roberts, so I agree with the focus on Justice Kennedy.

    Kennedy’s concern is about the federal/state balance and his distrust of a reading that puts a gun to the head of states that fail to set up their own exchanges – threatening them with the almost certain destruction of their statewide insurance systems if they do not comply. That concern might be interpreted (as a matter of legal theory) in a few different ways: Justice Kennedy might believe that Congress would not have intended to set up such a dubious system; he might believe that this reading is required but actually unconstitutional (so that he would strike down the statute’s condition that subsidies apply only to exchanges established by the state); or – perhaps most likely – he might believe that the statute should be interpreted so as to avoid the “serious constitutional problem” he identified.
    Will wait for more pieces on SCOTUSblog. The one above was after the plaintiffs questioning and before the government presented.
    “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
    “To talk of many things:
    Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
    Of cabbages—and kings—
    And why the sea is boiling hot—
    And whether pigs have wings.”
    ― Lewis Carroll

  • #2
    SCOTUS has made it clear that regardless of what the law intended, the law that was written is the only one that legally matters.
    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
      SCOTUS has made it clear that regardless of what the law intended, the law that was written is the only one that legally matters.
      No, not really. Not if you read what they questioned the two sides about. It all comes down too Justice Kennedy and his read. The others are most likely set.
      “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
      “To talk of many things:
      Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
      Of cabbages—and kings—
      And why the sea is boiling hot—
      And whether pigs have wings.”
      ― Lewis Carroll

      Comment


      • #4
        SCOTUS made a very clear statement:


        "It may not be the statute Congress intended, but it may be the statute Congress wrote," Scalia said of the provision in question. The case focuses on four words in the law, "established by the state." The challengers say those words are clear and conclusive evidence that Congress wanted to limit subsidies to those consumers who get their insurance through a marketplace, or exchange, that was established by a state.
        http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015...bamacare-case/

        Doesn't get any clearer than that.

        Intent cannot be consider by SCOTUS.
        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

        Comment


        • #5
          Another analysis piece is up. This one after both sides had presented.

          http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/03/ar...a/#more-225701

          Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who seemed decidedly more sympathetic to the government than might have been expected, worried over a constitutional blow against the states. But even the two Justices most openly sympathetic to the challengers — Justices Samuel A. Alito, Jr., and Antonin Scalia — seemed to concede the dire consequences that could follow, by suggesting ways to alleviate it. Alito said the Court could delay its ruling to allow time to adjust, and Scalia said Congress could be counted on to fix it.
          Chief Justice Roberts pulled a Justice Thomas and was virtually silent for the day.

          If those impressions hold, that means Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justice Kennedy could be holding the deciding vote when the Court makes up its mind in the end of the process. The Chief Justice said so little that there was no dependable reading on what was on his mind. One might suspect, though, that he would not necessarily be comfortable in voting on the losing end in this historically profound case.
          That leaves Justice Kennedy. In one sense, he sort of leaned toward the idea that the language of the ACA as it deals with the subsidy system and the exchanges might be clear enough that the Court would have no choice but to rule against the government, and find that Congress made subsidies available only on marketplaces run by the state governments.

          But in a broader sense, he displayed a deep concern — entirely consistent with his long-held view that the Court owes utmost respect to the semi-sovereign states and their role under what he calls the Constitution’s “design” — that Congress should ordinarily not be allowed to coerce the states into doing something that Congress wants.
          “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
          “To talk of many things:
          Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
          Of cabbages—and kings—
          And why the sea is boiling hot—
          And whether pigs have wings.”
          ― Lewis Carroll

          Comment


          • #6
            It always come down to 5-4, which is why I care less and less what SCOTUS thinks about anything.

            The odds on that kind of decision making being anything other than purely political is astronomical.
            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
              SCOTUS made a very clear statement:


              http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015...bamacare-case/

              Doesn't get any clearer than that.

              Intent cannot be consider by SCOTUS.
              Justice Scalia speaks for himself, not the others. His vote is already squarely in the plaintiffs favor, so his statements really don't matter. The swing vote is Justice Kennedy with a tiny chance of the CJ swing over also.
              “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
              “To talk of many things:
              Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
              Of cabbages—and kings—
              And why the sea is boiling hot—
              And whether pigs have wings.”
              ― Lewis Carroll

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                It always come down to 5-4, which is why I care less and less what SCOTUS thinks about anything.

                The odds on that kind of decision making being anything other than purely political is astronomical.
                I'm sure they have the same opinion on your thoughts. However yours, and mine, carry no weight. The Justices opinion decides the case and the way forward.
                “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
                “To talk of many things:
                Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
                Of cabbages—and kings—
                And why the sea is boiling hot—
                And whether pigs have wings.”
                ― Lewis Carroll

                Comment


                • #9
                  ...and his distrust of a reading that puts a gun to the head of states that fail to set up their own exchanges – threatening them with the almost certain destruction of their statewide insurance systems if they do not comply
                  But, I would bet that is exactly what the Democrats intended. They wanted to force states to set up exchanges.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                    But, I would bet that is exactly what the Democrats intended. They wanted to force states to set up exchanges.
                    Nope, they were quite willing to have the Feds do it for them, they just cocked up the wording. Only thing left is to see what SCOTUS says about it.
                    “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
                    “To talk of many things:
                    Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
                    Of cabbages—and kings—
                    And why the sea is boiling hot—
                    And whether pigs have wings.”
                    ― Lewis Carroll

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hospital Stocks Surge After Justice Kennedy Criticizes Obamacare Challenge

                      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articl...itals-insurers
                      (Bloomberg) -- Tenet Healthcare Corp. and HCA Holdings Inc. led a rally among hospital companies as a Supreme Court challenge to Obamacare’s insurance subsidies drew questions from a pivotal justice.

                      Anthony Kennedy, who is often a swing vote in important cases, said Wednesday there is a “powerful” point to the Obama administration’s argument that the health-care law would fall apart if the subsidies were ruled unlawful.

                      “There is a serious constitutional problem,” Kennedy said, if the court rules for the challengers’ attack on tax credits designed to help people afford insurance.

                      Hospitals rose more than all other stocks on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index on Wednesday, as of 11:28 a.m. in New York. Tenet was up 7.4 percent to $50.52, and HCA rose 7 percent to $75.71. Community Health Systems Inc. advanced 6.3 percent to $52.70.
                      Homo homini lupus

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It's simple. If the law was written as such then it must be as such. The Supreme Court has no authority to rewrite the law.

                        And if Kennedy doesn't like it. ....then declare it unconstitutional.
                        Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TacCovert4 View Post
                          It's simple. If the law was written as such then it must be as such. The Supreme Court has no authority to rewrite the law.

                          And if Kennedy doesn't like it. ....then declare it unconstitutional.
                          No constitutional question involved in this case. Purely a matter of law.

                          His questions seem to indicate he has other thoughts.

                          However trying to guess their vote by their questions is always iffy. We'll see.
                          “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
                          “To talk of many things:
                          Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
                          Of cabbages—and kings—
                          And why the sea is boiling hot—
                          And whether pigs have wings.”
                          ― Lewis Carroll

                          Comment

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