Wednesday, March 4, 2015

SCOTUS Will Hear King v. Burwell, Affordable Care Act Case, Today

A straightforward explanation of the points at issue is available from Jessica Mason Pieklo at RH Reality Check. A live-blog of the decision as it is issued is provided by SCOTUSblog's Kali Borkoski. Note that only decisions will be live-blogged; live-blogging of arguments from within the chamber is not permitted. (SCOTUSblog has a workaround: aperiodically one of their attendees leaves the chamber and reports. If I recall, that person cannot be readmitted, but I'm not sure of that.)

ACA (Anti-Care Actors)?
If plaintiffs petitioners succeed in persuading the Court to rule that, based on four words in isolation, Congress really intended to punish citizens of states that did not set up their own exchanges (depending instead on the federal exchange), millions of Americans will lose their newly acquired health insurance.

This is Chief Justice John Roberts's second chance to kill and bury the Affordable Care Act... or not. He is regarded as the swing vote on this case. The Act survived the Court's first ruling.

A subset of Republicans has been trying again to kill the ACA ever since. Very probably, if Roberts votes against it, the ACA will go down in flames; if that happens, Roberts will earn his "ace" rating for exhibiting the baldfaced inconsistency of voting against his own earlier ruling. Republicans in Congress whine endlessly about the ACA, but they have carefully avoided constructing their own viable alternative. As always, they'd rather spite the President than save your health insurance.

Is this a great country, or what? (Hint: I'm betting on "what.")

AFTERTHOUGHT: Scalia is a piece of work. Here's Sahil Kapur at TPM, quoting parts of the verbal sparring in the hearing...
WASHINGTON — Justice Antonin Scalia expressed confidence on Wednesday morning that Congress would act to mitigate the damage if the Supreme Court ruled to invalidate Obamacare subsidies for millions of Americans.

"You really think Congress is just going to sit there while all the disastrous consequences ensue?" he asked Obama administration lawyer Don Verrilli.

The U.S. solicitor general had a sarcastic retort.

"This Congress, your honor?"

The audience in the packed courtroom laughed.

"Yes," Scalia protested, "I think this Congress would act."

NO rational person... no RATIONAL person... could come to that conclusion about the TP-controlled Congress we have right now. If the Supreme Court kills Obamacare, I am sure as I'm sitting here that it will stay dead.

UPDATE: No decision in King v. Burwell today. Not too surprising...


  1. I have no doubt this Congress will act. They will impeach Obama for not having come up with an alternative executive action.

    1. ntodd, I wonder at the fact that this Congress (at least this House) has not already impeached Obama. It's clearly not that they don't want to or intend to, and their failure with Clinton a few years back wouldn't stop them or slow them down... they are, after all, spiders, and impeaching opposing presidents is what spiders do. The fact that it's politically bad for the GOP wouldn't give them a moment's hesitation, either. I have to assume that the TP version of the GOP is so incompetent at base that they can't even coordinate among themselves to work on things they didn't campaign on...

  2. Roberts is above all a supreme corporatist, and the aca is a superb vehicle for furthering the (a) the privatization of medicare and especially medicaid, and (b) the overall profitization and corporatization of medicine and especially the financialization of medicine - he'll find a way to keep the taxpayer-funded subsidies flowing to the insurance-company parasites.

    1. ps - yes, that's me = hipparchia

    2. Nonny/hipparchia, how did we end up with a SCOTUS like the Roberts Court? Corporatist (with some exceptions), Catholic (with only three exceptions), ready to politicize any matter that comes before them, and if it's not before them, willing to solicit a case that they *can* politicize... I've never seen a SCOTUS like it. As little interested as I am in Hillary in 2016, I hope she is elected to 2 terms and appoints 8 Justices, if indeed the Justices she appoints are any better than those appointed by Reagan and his Repub successors...



• Click here to view existing comments.
• Or enter your new rhyme or reason
in the new comment box here.
• Or click the first Reply link below an existing
comment or reply and type in the
new reply box provided.
• Scrolling manually up and down the page
is also OK.

Static Pages (About, Quotes, etc.)

No Police Like H•lmes