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Supremes to GOP Leaders: Man-Up On Obamacare

Supreme Court Justices


Conservatives have been rightly outraged at the decision of the Supreme Court’s majority – and especially at Chief Justice John Roberts – for re-writing the Affordable Care Act and saving Obamacare from one of its more obvious defects.

That conservative outrage was channeled perfectly in Justice Scalia’s dissenting opinion in which he wrote, "The Court's decision reflects the philosophy that judges should endure whatever interpretive distortions it takes in order to correct a supposed flaw in the statutory machinery. That philosophy ignores the American people's decision to give Congress ‘[a]ll legislative Powers’ enumerated in the Constitution."

Scalia’s conclusion that the Court’s “jiggery-pokery” in King v. Burwell and “The somersaults of statutory interpretation they have performed ... will be cited by litigants endlessly, to the confusion of honest jurisprudence" is, of course very much in line with our thinking.

And his dicta that, "This Court, however, concludes that this limitation would prevent the rest of the Act from working as well as hoped. So it re-writes the law to make tax credits available everywhere. We should start calling this law SCOTUScare." will no doubt spark an endless parade of law journal articles and opinion pieces from conservative lawyers, armchair jurists and commentators.

But the principled stands of Scalia and his two fellow dissenters, Justices Thomas and Alito, do not really address the core of Justice Roberts’ decision, which was not to view the exchange language in the Affordable Care Act in isolation and, most importantly, as MSNBC’s Ari Melber put it, “because Congress turned on this spigot for national health care funding, only Congress can turn it off.”

This is what we’ve been saying since opposition to Obamacare brought Republicans back into the majority in the House in the 2010 Tea Party wave election and contributed mightily to the Republicans’ more recent midterm victory in 2014.

Only Congress can unwind the mess of Obamacare and Republicans must stop looking to the Supreme Court to save them from the hard work of cleaning up a statute that is well on its way to wrecking the American economy and bringing the federal government to its knees financially.

However, rather than use the tools, power and authority (or as we see it the responsibility) that the Constitution bestowed upon Congress to hold the purse strings of government and to legislate a repeal and replacement of Obamacare the Republican leaders in Congress have looked to the Supreme Court to save them from that hard work and also to save them from the hard work of selling to the American people their solutions to Obamacare’s many defects.

And this “tough love’ from Justice Roberts to the Republicans in Congress applies to other areas of Obama overreach and governmental “jiggery-pokery.”

Rather than stop Obama’s executive action on amnesty for illegal aliens by defunding it or actually sending a bill to President Obama’s desk for him to sign or veto, Republican leaders in Congress have tried to use the Courts to handle the politically difficult work that the Constitution gave to them alone.

What Justice Roberts’ opinion and the Supreme Court majority said to Congressional Republican leaders in King v. Burwell was in essence “don’t expect us to save you from the bad policies previous Congresses passed into law,” so “man-up” and do the work the Constitution gave you to fix them or live with them.

For the better part of the five years since the Tea Party wave started building in 2010 Republican leaders on Capitol Hill have been promising to “repeal and replace” Obamacare and to stymie a host of other destructive policies that Obama and the Pelosi Congress imposed upon the American people – and they’ve kept none of those promises.

From the standpoint of statutory interpretation and legal reasoning King v. Burwell may indeed be the legal outrage that Scalia and conservative commentators claim. But from the political standpoint Roberts is right on the money: if Republicans in Congress want Obamacare amended or repealed they should man up and do it.

Republican leaders in Congress have been looking to the Supreme Court to save them from the difficult job of doing what they’ve been promising to do since 2010 – to “repeal and replace” Obamacare and then selling their fix to the American people. In this sense we have to agree with Justice Roberts: It IS time for Republicans to man-up on Obamacare, and the fast approaching 2016 election is the time to do it.

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Manning up nothing to do with it

What SCOTUS means by "man up" is "cave in." Give in to the illegal government control over something that is not its concern. Give in to yet more government regulation over our lives, which is what libs live for. Give in to an extremely foolish and ill-conceived plan that never should have gotten past square one. Let's hope the next president has enough sense to abolish it and has a congress that will allow it to be done.

Court's Actions Violate Constitution

Yesterday, the Supreme Court invalidated itself as an institution that would act as an objective umpire, limited to calling the balls and strikes. Yesterday, the liberals on the Court decided that they would make the law instead of doing their job as honest interpreters of the laws passed by Congress. In doing so they became nothing but politicians...unelected...not subject to being voted out...outside of any control over their behaviour.

Everyone knows by now about the terrible opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts in which he invalidates the plain meaning of the text that requires States to set up exchanges or lose the health care subsidies, without which the ObamaCare law will not work. Roberts says, that's not what Congress meant. How can that be? What other language in any other law will he decide means the exact opposite of the written word?

(You see the problem. What is the control over the Supreme Court if all justices decide to read the opposite meaning into the text of the law)?

Perhaps you didn't focus on the second bombshell out of the Court yesterday. They also approved the concept of "Disparate Impact". Limited to housing in this instance but sure to be expanded, Disparate Impact uses statistics to prove discrimination. Years ago, National Review had an article intended to be light humor in which the Feds were coming down on a particular street in your town because there were less than 13% of the houses owned by minorities (in keeping with their numbers in the general population). Guess what? Welcome to June 25, 2015.

In the Texas case yesterday, despite the Fair Housing law that requires proof of intentional bias before discrimination lawsuits can proceed, the Court is saying that since the law doesn't explicitly ban Disparate Impact, the Court is interpreting Congress's failure to ban disparate impact is an opportunity to inserting it into the law.

Think of that from a control viewpoint. What other progressive concepts can be read into any existing law if Congress refused to ban it.

Supreme Court

Sorry. Can't agree. Republicans in Congress had every right to rely on the control system built into the Constitution. The Supreme Court should have been relied upon to do its job. Republicans had every right to believe that the two decisions were such slam dunks that ObamaCare should have been laughed out of Court. As for attacking ObamaCare through the legislative process, it has been impossible for Republicans in Congress to do anything about ObamaCare with Harry Reid blocking ALL action in the Senate.