Across the Wide Missouri: Friday Links: The Repulsion of the Moopish Invasion: "Nice to see the conspiracy theories already heating up already...:
...The reviews of Scalia’s dissent continue to come in. (Tushnet has been on this beat for a while, and his analysis looks more prescient than ever.) Lead plaintiff David King, earlier this month:
Mr. King said that he was not really worried about the outcome of the case, King v. Burwell, because as a Vietnam veteran, he has access to medical care through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Yeah, really sorry you lost this one, buddy. Smart analysis from Brianne Gorod, Nicholas Bagley, Ian Millhiser, and Jon Cohn. Cue Nelson Muntz.
THE DEFEAT OF THE MOOPS.: "Don't drink all the King v. Burwell tears...:
...you'll get a stomach ache. However, please enjoy responsibly Wayne Root from Glenn Beck's The Blaze:
Is the idea implausible that this same Obama administration that orders IRS attacks, then orders destruction of key evidence, would stop at nothing to save Obama’s signature achievement? Is it impossible to believe that Obama and his socialist cabal that learned from Saul Alinsky that ‘the ends justify the means’ would hold something over a Supreme Court justice’s head?... Just blackmail one or two key conservative leaders to stop the GOP from blocking Obama’s agenda. Just find out the weak link of a key opposition leader or government official and hold it over their heads. It’s that simple... Am I being too cynical? Really? Did anyone suspect former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was a child molester who commited crimes with underage boys?
Doom for a Cynical Assault on Obamacare: "What principle was at stake?... None. This is a contrast to [NFIB].... In that case, the plaintiffs argued that Congress lacked the constitutional authority to pass the law.... King v. Burwell... was... a sophisticated game of gotcha, based on... a typographical error... trying to destroy the law by denying insurance to millions and setting in motion a death spiral of raised premiums, cancelled policies, and more rate hikes until the system collapsed. (The sheer callousness of the plaintiffs’ lawyers in King was something to behold. Millions tossed off health insurance? Hey, deal with it.):
For writing the opinion upholding the law, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., is being hailed (and denounced) as... a secret liberal. This is hardly accurate. Roberts... still... gutted the Voting Rights Act, and [is] an eager member of the court majority... that undermined our system of regulating political campaigns. But... he is not a partisan ideologue.... As Roberts wrote, ‘The statutory scheme compels us to reject [the plaintiffs’] interpretation because it would destabilize the individual insurance market in any State with a Federal Exchange, and likely create the very ‘death spirals’ that Congress designed the Act to avoid.’ Recognition of this obvious fact does not make Roberts a liberal; it makes him a judge.
Yet Again, A Scalia Dissent Is Used Against Him: "It was amusing to see Chief Justice John Roberts use Scalia's own dissent...:
...in the last major Obamacare case against him.... To defend making the subsidies available to consumers everywhere, Roberts cited a line the dissent to the 2012 decision in favor of Obamacare, in which Scalia said, 'Without the federal subsidies... the exchanges would not operate as Congress intended and may not operate at all.' Roberts used the line to argue that it 'is implausible that Congress meant the Act to operate' in a manner to limit the subsidies only to those states with state-operated exchanges, as the challengers in King v. Burwell argued. This is not the first time Scalia has seen one of his dissents used against him...
Symposium: The ACA is here to stay: "A majority of the Court properly concluded that the question...:
...is not even a close one: the law makes clear that tax credits should be available nationwide. Most significantly, the Court’s opinion recognized the relevance of the purpose and goals of the statute in understanding what its text requires.... Looking at the history of state experiments in health reform in the 1990s... recognizing that the ACA was shaped by these state experiences, the Chief recognized that:
the statutory scheme compels us to reject petitioners’ interpretation because it would destabilize the individual insurance market in any State with a Federal Exchange, and likely create the very ‘death spirals’ that Congress designed the Act to avoid.... It is implausible that Congress meant the Act to operate in this manner....
As the Chief’s opinion makes clear, the Court’s decision today was the only one consistent with long-established principles of statutory construction, not to mention the text and history of the ACA. But three justices still managed to come out the other way. Indeed, Justice Scalia’s dissent called the majority’s conclusion ‘absurd’ and accused the Court of engaging in ‘interpretive jiggery-pokery’ and ‘somersaults’.... Scalia['s]... opinion all but drips with contempt for the ACA and the Court decisions that have upheld it: ‘We should start calling this law SCOTUScare,’ he writes. Opinions like Scalia’s are what lead members of the public to conclude that the justices are just politicians in robes and that the Court is just an ‘extension of the political process’—exactly what the Chief Justice has repeatedly said he does not want.... [But] the Chief Justice and Justice Kennedy helped show that at least some justices can sometimes put law over politics. Let’s hope they continue to do that in the future.
The Supreme Court's Obamacare Decision Is The Biggest Possible Win For The Obama Administration | ThinkProgress: "The message here is clear...:
...In this and in future litigation, judges should turn aside clever attempts to undermine the law if there is any possible way to read the law otherwise. The attorneys and activists behind this lawsuit came to the Court hoping to gut Obamacare; instead, they placed it on the strongest possible legal footing.
Chief Justice Roberts Just Gave Obamacare Opponents A Major Smackdown: "‘You’ve got six justices, in a clear, strong statement...:
...ruling that the statute can’t be read any other way,’ Abbe Gluck... told The Huffington Post. ‘It can’t get any better than that for the government.’ ‘The biggest surprise is that the court refused to defer to the IRS's interpretation of the statute,’ said Nicholas Bagley.... ‘The court decided that the only plausible reading is that subsidies are available nationwide. The court's refusal to defer suggests that a future president won't be able to revisit the IRS rule.... The government couldn’t have won bigger.’... To others, the decision was vindication of what they had said all along: The lawsuit was absurd. ‘This case should never have been brought,’ said Andrew Koppelman, a leading constitutional scholar at Northwestern University.
Jonathan Adler, the clever Case Western University law professor who -- along with the Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon -- was a chief architect of the lawsuit, let out a rueful tweet when the decision came down: ‘Maybe it’s a liberal Supreme Court after all.’... Maybe Republicans are serious about crafting a replacement or maybe, at this point, they are just going through the motions in order to rile up their base. Either way, they got a pretty clear message from the Supreme Court on Thursday: Take a sledgehammer to the Affordable Care Act if you’d like. Just don’t ask us to do it for you.
Conservatives Unleash Fury at One-Time Hero John Roberts: "After the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to reject an existential challenge to Obamacare on Thursday...:
...conservatives took direct aim at the author of the decision: their one-time hero Chief Justice John Roberts. Their sentiments were channeled by several Republican presidential candidates, who lashed out at the Roberts Court for its purportedly activist pro-Obamacare ruling. ‘Roberts told everybody he was just going to be an umpire and call strikes and balls, but now as justice he’s got two results-oriented decisions that go far beyond that role,’ said Club For Growth President David McIntosh....
Competitive Enterprise Institute general counsel Sam Kazman told reporters that Roberts’s rationale seemed to abandon the logic of ‘what words mean’ in favor of executive power.... Elsewhere on the right, Roberts’s decision was being interpreted as a failure of Republicans to properly vet nominees–or worse. Phil Kerpen, whose group American Commitment had popularized videos of Obama administration consultant Jonathan Gruber appearing to make the plaintiffs’ case in King, directed followers to a 2005 column that decried Roberts as a ‘political’ appointee who would not rely strictly on the Constitution. The author of that column, Ben Shapiro, took a sort of Twitter victory lap. ‘Republicans should be asked: knowing then what you know now, would you have voted to confirm Chief Justice John Roberts?’ Shapiro wrote.
Conservatives had plenty of help from their presidential contenders.... Senator Ted Cruz of Texas... came out swinging against the ruling as 'judicial activism, plain and simple,' and swiped the majority as 'robed Houdinis' who made a 'nakedly political' move. 'These judges have joined with President Obama in harming millions of Americans,' he said. 'Unelected judges have once again become legislators, and bad ones at that. They are lawless, and they hide their prevarication in legalese. Our government was designed to be one of laws, not of men, and this transparent distortion is disgraceful.'
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee was no less fired up. 'Today's King v. Burwell decision, which protects and expands Obamacare, is an out-of-control act of judicial tyranny,' he said. 'Our Founding Fathers didn't create a 'do-over' provision in our Constitution that allows unelected, Supreme Court justices the power to circumvent Congress and rewrite bad laws.'
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a likely candidate, adopted the attack with a string of tweets quoting Justice Antonin Scalia's dissent that the law should now be called 'SCOTUScare.'
Senator Marco Rubio subtly accused the justices of taking policy in their own hands, saying they 'erred in trying to correct the mistakes made by President Obama and Congress in forcing ObamaCare on the American people.' Other Republican candidates took aim at Obamacare but not the Supreme Court.
A blog post by Michael F. Cannon of the libertarian Cato Institute, an architect of the King v. Burwell lawsuit, blared 'Supreme Court Validates Obama’s Power Grab.' 'Today the Supreme Court allowed itself to be intimidated,' he wrote, warning that the ruling 'establishes a precedent that could let any president modify, amend, or suspend any enacted law at his or her whim.'
The anger at Roberts spanned generations.... David Limbaugh, the author and brother of radio host Limbaugh, asked why Republicans ‘end up with so many Trojan Horse Supreme Court appointments.’ Sean Davis... wrote bitterly that ‘every fancy conservative legal foundation said Roberts was the most amazing nomination ever.’... Wayne Root wondered in the website The Blaze: 'Has Supreme Court Justice John Roberts been blackmailed or intimidated? I would put nothing by the Obama administration that lives and rules by the Chicago thug playbook.'