Listen to the Complete Audio of This Morning's Supreme Court Hearing on ObamaCare's Severability


The audio and transcript of this morning's Supreme Court arguments over the question of ObamaCare's severability have now been posted. More on the severability question here

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  1. Breyer looking to sever?

    JUSTICE BREYER: I would say the Breast Feeding Act, the getting doctors to serve underserved areas, the biosimilar thing and drug regulation, the CLASS Act, those have nothing to do with the stuff that we’ve been talking about yesterday and the day before, okay?
    So if you ask me at that level, I would say, sure, they have nothing to do with it, they could stand on their own. The Indian thing about helping the underserved Native Americans, all that stuff has nothing to do. Black lung disease, nothing to do with it, okay?

    1. What’s with the okays? Though it would be great if Breyer sounds like the South Park m’kay guy.

  2. What the law says or, more importantly, doesn’t say? Nothing to with it, okay?

  3. JUSTICE KENNEDY: When you say judicial restraint, you are echoing the earlier premise that it
    increases the judicial power if the judiciary strikes down other provisions of the Act. I suggest to you it might be quite the opposite. We would be exercising the judicial power if one Act was — one provision was stricken and the others remained to impose a risk on insurance companies that Congress had never intended.

    Ha! Suck it, Dep SG Kneedler.

  4. JUSTICE SCALIA: Mr. Kneedler, there -there are some provisions which nobody would have standing to challenge. If the provision is simply an expenditure of Federal money, it — it doesn’t hurt anybody except the taxpayer, but the taxpayer doesn’t have standing.

    Fuck you taxpayer.

    Nice that the person who pays for the thing and is being hurt, has to take it.

    1. At least he’s being honest about it. Would he at least consider the taxpayer receiving a reach-around?

      1. I wonder if this is the reason they don’t want cameras in the court. Could you imagine the soundbite this would make? Not a lot of people listen to the procedings (or read the transcripts) outside of law geeks. But I think a lot of people would be upset on hearing this.

        1. Excellent point. I think they (everyone in Washington, D.C.) want to keep the populace ignorant of the law. I used to be a bill collector in law firms, and learned a lot. The Constitution is a legal document, and understanding it doesn’t take a law degree. But they want us to think it does.

  5. At the risk of sounding like Stossel, here’s a tidbit about the enormous size of the law and the impossibility of comprehending and complying with it:

    JUSTICE SCALIA: Mr. Kneedler, what happened
    to the Eighth Amendment? You really want us to go
    through these 2,700 pages?
    JUSTICE SCALIA: And do you really expect
    the Court to do that? Or do you expect us to give this
    function to our law clerks?
    JUSTICE SCALIA: Is this not totally
    unrealistic? That we’re going to go through this
    enormous bill item by item and decide each one

    It also brings to mind the former speaker’s analysis that we have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it and several congressmen’s comments about reading the bill before passage. I wonder if anyone has ever read this whole thing…

  6. I can’t be the only one that caught this yesterday. But, did I hear General Verrilli admit in his opening remarks that the problem Obamacare is suppose to address was caused by government regulations? “It does not do so because, because the multi billion dollar subsidies that are available for the, the employer market are not available in the individual market. It does not do so because ERISA and HIPAA regulations that preclude, that preclude discrimination against people based on their medical history do not apply in the individual market. That is an economic problem. And it begets another economic problem. JUSTICE SCALIA: Why aren’t those problems that the Federal Government can address directly?” That’s a very good question Justice Scalia.

    1. That’s a good catch. It seems like the defenders of the law are trying to completely ignore the constitutional arguments.

  7. Anybody know what Damon Root was alluding to in this earlier tweet?

    Scalia again scored big laughs but Kagan landed a good zinger at his expense.

    1. JUSTICE KAGAN: I mean, we have never
      suggested that we’re going to say, look, this
      legislation was a brokered compromise, and we’re going
      to try to figure out exactly what would have happened in
      the complex parliamentary shenanigans that go on across
      the street and figure out whether they would have made a
      Instead, we look at the text that’s actually
      given us. For some people, we look only at the text.
      It should be easy for Justice Scalia’s clerks.

      1. Which was referring back to the quip from Scalia about reading the 2700 page law that I quote upthread.

      2. The text doesn’t have a severability clause. It was deliberately taken out. Next issue.

  8. Britain Deserves Better

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