Scotus Fuctus on Obamacare

Roberts arrogates god-like powers to himself


So the Supreme Court ruled in favor of handing out subsidies through federal exchanges in King vs. Burwell, once

rtcosmin / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

again letting the administration snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat.

What is interesting in a quick skimming of Chief Justice John Roberts' opinion is that he does not deny that the text of the law is thoroughly ambiguous. He also doesn't deny that administrative agencies — aka the IRS in this case — shouldn't have the final word in interpreting this ambiguity as per stare decisis considerations. Indeed, he goes out of his way to reject the 4th Circuit Court's reliance on the Chevron test — the notion that in instances of textual ambiguity, courts must defer to the interpretation of administrative agencies in interpreting a statue — as binding in this case. Why? He notes:

When analyzing an agency's interpretation of a statute, we often apply the two-step framework announced in Chevron…This approach "is premised on the theory that a statute's ambiguity constitutes an implicit delegation from Congress to the agency to fill in the statutory gaps…In extraordinary cases, however, there may be reason to hesitate before concluding that Congress has intended such an implicit delegation…This is one of those cases. The tax credits are among the Act's key reforms, involving billions of dollars in spending each year and affecting the price of health insurance for millions of people. Whether those credits are available on Federal Exchanges is thus a question of deep "economic and political significance" that is central to this statutory scheme; had Congress wished to assign that question to an agency, it surely would have done so expressly.

So if the text is ambiguous and the court can't defer to administrative agencies, then what should it do? A genuine opponent of judicial activism as conservative justices are supposed to be, would find a way to get Congress to clarify its intent – especially given that most of the legislators who actually wrote the damn thing are still in office. This would have required Roberts to rule in favor of the plaintiffs — which would have effectively invited Congress to clean up its own mess.

 But that's not what Roberts chose to do. He notes:

Given that the text is ambiguous, we must turn to the broader structure of the Act to determine the meaning of Section 36B

In other words, he decided to clarify the ambiguous text by turning to something even more ambiguous (that, as per Nancy Pelosi's admission, they Congress didn't even read in its entirety before passing). In fact, if there was anything clear about the law it was that one of its chief architects, Jonathan Gruber, not once, not twice, but many times said explicitly that subsidies through federal exchanges were expressly not part of the law's "broader structure."

So why did Roberts make this move?

If Congress had been sympathetic to Obamacare — and clarifying its intent vis-à-vis the federal subsidies were not a super-contentious issue — surely Roberts would have taken the tack of restraint. But it's precisely because Congress isn't sympathetic and might take the opportunity to actually gut Obamacare that Roberts took matters in his own hands because he was loath to get blamed for brining down the president's signature piece of legislation.

In other words, he was moved by political considerations — maintaining the institutional integrity of the court (also called turf protection) and not come across as a partisan hack — to arrogate such vast legislative powers to himself.

And we elect Republican presidents why, again?

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  1. Goddamn that photo is hot… WHAT AN ASS!!!

    1. Talking about the president, of course…

    2. That photo is asking for a subpoena.

    3. Photo not believable, the Dear Leader likes them WAY more butch

      1. Or he likes men. There, I said it

  2. What is interesting in a quick skimming of Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion is that he does not deny that the text of the law is thoroughly ambiguous.

    Is it backwards day? The text is not ambiguous. Roberts wants it to be ambiguous so he can ignore what it says and get his pony. As do the other concurring justices.

    1. Do not question a judge on reason.com. You have been reported to the cyber police. You dun goofed.

      1. Roberts is too soft for an effective woodchipping, anyway.

        1. Freeze ’em first, he’ll chip up nice

        2. In theory, a steamroller should work for something gummy and squishy.

      2. I concur – don’t ruin it for the rest of us with your reasoned opinion and overt truth

    2. I hadn’t thought it was ambiguous either until I read Roberts’s opinion, but it persuaded me that it was. If the administration can establish “such an exchange”, how do we know Congress didn’t mean that to include all the properties of an insurance exchange established by a State? Remember that this bill was cut & pasted many times. It really is unclear to me whether the scope of that “such” was meant to be all encompassing or not.

      1. If the administration can establish “such an exchange”, how do we know Congress didn’t mean that to include all the properties of an insurance exchange established by a State?

        The relevant portion calls out exchanges by who established them, not by their functional characteristics. That HHS may establish an exchange otherwise identical to a state exchange does not change the fact that HHS established the exchange.

        Remember that this bill was cut & pasted many times. It really is unclear to me whether the scope of that “such” was meant to be all encompassing or not.

        The history of the bill is irrelevant when there is no ambiguity. The judges in the majority are manufacturing ambiguity in order to draw in the context of the bill’s writing. But even then they exclude the contradictory evidence that the relevant provision was specifically established to prevent residents of states that did not establish their own exchanges from receiving subsidies.

        So they first fail at addressing the question of law, and they fail at addressing the question of fact. It is a wholly terrible decision.

        1. In a less eloquent fashion, in deciding King v. Burwell, Roberts first muddies the water then he shits in it.

        2. Then what was the purpose of the federally-established exchanges? People could buy & sell insurance before. AFAIK it remains legal to buy insurance outside of exchanges.

          1. You do not need to by Individual Insurance on the exchange. But that is the only place that you can get federal subsidies (premium and cost-sharing reduction). However the ACA’s rating rules (modified community rating, only metal plans that at least cover EHBs, guarantee issue, etc) still apply off the exchange.

            Clear as mud?

      2. Remember the part that was already found “unconstitutional”? Where the Feds were threatening all Fed funding of Medicaid to states that didn’t expand their eligibility rules?

        Why would anyone think this was different?

  3. A law that’s facially invalid is now validated. The long coup against constitutional government continues.

    1. The Constitution is Sonny Corleone and this decision is just one of the many machine gun rounds being pumped into it.

      1. Even if you love this law, this is a bad decision. Any government action can be rationalized.

        1. Indeed, if you love the law, the correct answer is to fix the law.

          1. Is it rule of law or rule of flaw? Rule of claw?

            Guess the Republicans really do love socialism, too. I mean they aren’t acting like they plan to repeal the law, either.

            1. NOT Claw…the Craw!

          2. I blame Bush. John Roberts is his creature.

        2. I agree. I think you could actually make that case convincingly to intellectually honest liberals (yes, I’m sure they exist, just not among the pundits).

          1. Everything is results oriented. No respect for process, whether legal, moral, ethical, traditional, whatever. Just get me from point A to point B, and damn the torpedoes.

          2. That’s an oxymoron of I’ve ever read one. Right there with fiscally conservative Republican Establishment…..

        3. “Officer, I’m aware of the fact that I ran over that pedestrian, but my intent was miss them, so clearly, by my intent, I’m completely innocent.”

          1. Funny. But more analogous to the majority opinion would be as follows:

            Perp: Officer, I’m aware of the fact that I ran over that pedestrian, but he had it coming.

            Officer: I think what you meant to say was that you didn’t intend to run him over.

            Perp: No, that’s not what I meant. He had it coming, and so I ran him over.

            Officer: Whether the man that has been turned to juice by your vehicle’s undercarriage had it coming is neither here nor there. What matters is you clearly did not intend to run him over.

            Perp: No, but you see –

            Officer: Stop talking. I know what’s good for you.

            1. Damn…I’m trying not to laugh, while still dying inside.

            2. Officer: Stop talking I know what’s good for you. while I defer to your judgement and let you off.

            3. Sounds accurate if you assume that Perp is also a cop.

          2. Well, this, and “If you look at the broad scope of my driving, you will see that, in general, I try to avoid pedestrians. So you have to see this in context of my great driving habits, which proves my intention.

        4. If you love this law, you probably already rationalize every government action.

          1. True enough. Our doom has many faces.

      2. Not really related, but I can’t help posting:


    2. That coup began from day one. A group of politicians enabled by men with guns cannot and never will be constrained by a piece of paper.

  4. And we elect Republican presidents why, again?

    Well, despite the fact that Roberts is a complete embarrassment and affront to the integrity of the Constitutional republic for which he was sworn to serve, at least he’s not uh……..

    ….wait…….at least he’s not as bad as um……..wait….I’ll think of something.

    1. Uhhh, gun rights, I guess? Also Citizens United was pretty great. So I guess there’s those two we can be glad about.

    2. To turn the crazy ideas of Democrats into semi-workable government programs that will live in perpetuity.

  5. I also find interesting the comments of Justice Scalia.

    Did he take this past the “polite” level ?

    1. I wish he would expend some of that impoliteness on police and prosecutors when they deserve it.

  6. Wow, I haven’t seen Shikia so angry since her last gardener escaped from the crawlspace.

  7. This is just interpretive jiggery-pokery. After all, Matthew Yglesias assures me Scalia’s dissent was wrong because words don’t mean things.

    No – I’m not unfairly paraphrasing. That’s what he says:

    “The letters “paragraf” in my paragraph above do not form a proper sentence of the English language. But the meaning of the sentence to understand a phrse or paragraf or an entire txt rekwires the use of human understanding and contextual infrmation not just a dctionry is clear despite the inclusion of many non-words. This is because meaning isn’t built from the ground up by assembling individual word-bits. It’s constructed holistically.”

    See, if you take a holistic approach, the words ‘the states’ can be understood to mean whatever we want them to mean. For example, in the phrase ‘I like the states,’ the term ‘the states’ actually means peach cobbler.

    Do you understand?

    1. Matthew Yglesias

      There’s your problem, right there.

      1. My favorite part is that he says “the word ‘paragraf’ in my paragraph above do not form a proper sentence” when he clearly means “do not form a proper word” since the faux-word “paragraf” appears within a larger sentence.

        So Matthew Yglesias appears to not know what sentences are.

        1. But how do you know that by ‘sentence’ he didn’t mean ‘word’? This is truly revolutionary stuff — not only then end of typos, but also the end of all manner of bad, illogical writing. Genius!

          1. The Matrix has you.

    2. I find myself having a tiny modicum of sympathy for someone like Yglesias. I mean, he truly believes he is an intelligent, impartial commenter on the political scene. That, in turn, means he must have some truly terrible mental issues.

      1. He is the guy who once said he doesn’t like eating outside with ‘colleagues’ (note he did not say friends) and prefers being inside at all times because outside sucks. And he once wrote a rapturous ode to burritos he found in a Washington, D.C. Walgreens.

        There’s something wrong with him.

        1. Outside does suck, though.

          1. In Columbus it does. Still beats the office though.

          2. You really are the worst!

            *looks longingly out office window*

    3. I like the States too, especially right out of the Aircraft Carrier. But you should be verbose cause it can nurple the roof of your Reginald.

      You’re right…words don’t matter.


    4. What’s really remarkable is that today is George Orwell’s birthday. Yep.

      1. A fitting quote by him…

        Political chaos is connected with the decay of language… one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end.

    5. Well, as far as that goes, he is largely correct. Still doesn’t mean you get to make up whatever meaning you want.

    6. He’s right, but not in the sense that he wishes he were right. Every sentence requires interpretation, which is why a line preventing “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press” is also taken to protect sign language, handprinted writing, and other forms of communication. It’s taken for granted that the letter of the “law” can’t contain the full magnitude of the law.

      The problem with that in this case is that once you open the can of worms labeled Intent and Interpretation, it’s clear that the ACA was written to punish states that did not establish their own exchanges. Many states called them on it, the fedgov called backsies, and a bunch of political actors called justices did what they always do, which is subordinate the evident meaning of legislation to their arbitrary wishes.

  8. I’d say something about Roberts and where I believe he belongs in the fictional afterlife, but I think Reason’s lawyer probably doesn’t need that property in cabo he’s been eyeing

    1. Like a certain analogy to a certain 90’s cult film – taking place in a town rhyming with “Largo” – that was posted on this board.

      There’s mulch to make!!

  9. “So why did Roberts make this move?” Because the NSA gave Obama some copies of a secret novel Roberts is writing about Bondage and Bestiality? Or they have photos of him and someone not in his family having carnal relations? Or some other compromising scenario? These are admittedly far fetched ideas, but who can say it’s impossible…Hmmm?

    1. It’s more likely that they just didn’t give a shit, either way. I’m as disappointed as anyone here, but quite frankly, Stevie Wonder could have seen this one coming. They’re all government officials and if there’s as much as a nanometer of wiggle room to extend or preserve government power they’ll take it.

      1. The Iron Law:

        In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.

    2. Why wouldn’t Roberts like the legislation?

      The idea that JR is some Buchanan-loving, George Will-reading paleoconservative who is inherently opposed to nationalizing a bunch of shit for political points strikes me as odd. Very few people who are employed in politics are opposed to socializing costs at some level or another–getting somebody else to pay for your stuff is sort of the point of a democratically elected government–and the guy was imposed on us by W, not exactly a president noted for advocating do-nothing government.

      If the ACA had been proposed by a GOP president in some fit of Part D-esque madness, many Republicans would have tripped over their own feet in the rush to support it. Roberts seems to be exactly that kind of “conservative.”

  10. When Shikha’s not writing about immigration or Bobby J. she’s pretty entertaining.

    The picture and alt text earns her some karma points with me.

    1. Can’t see alt-text on Android. What does it say?

      1. “Screwing Americans”

        1. Nice:) Thanks:)

    2. The picture and alt text earns her some karma points with me.

      Your cultural theft of ‘karma’ from Shikha was, like, an atomic trigger.


      1. She’s the one who called Jindel a “fake guru”

  11. As much as I hate this decision, it is not surprising to me. If we want to look to “drafters” like Gruber, we have to look at all of them. Unanimously, all the legislators who were involved in writing ACA say that they intended subsidies to be available on the Federal Exchanges. No other part of the act contains text that assumes the Federal Exchange won’t have subsidies. Indeed, when talking about reporting and accounting of subsidies in other sections, there is a clear assumption that the Federal Exchange will have subsidies.

    That leaves one person, Gruber, who has said “Restricting subsidies from Federal Exchanges” was intended, and he said it years after the law was written, and recanted it afterwords. His word, against the many, many people involved in the drafting who have said otherwise. I know that on this forum, Gruber’s claim is taken as gospel, but the weight of evidence does not support this reading.

    A more reasonable conclusion is that this was a mistake in the text. To me, the only right thing to do would have been to force congress to fix the issue- not rewrite the law by judicial fiat. There would have been no difference, as no GOP congresscritter would have ever endured the backlash of stripping millions of people of other people’s money.

    The only good thing to come of this ruling is that it refused to take Chevron and Federalism arguments as the basis of its ruling. It is narrowly tailored to a reading of the ACA and only the ACA.

    1. Gruber was not the only person making those claims at the time the law was being debated. There was a clear carrot/stick approach.

      1. When I tried researching this, I found no other cites, Nikki. If you have them, please point me to them. I have seen lots of people SAY that there were statements supporting the carrot/stick argument, but I have yet to see any real quotes from the time. I have seen a LOT of after-the-fact quotes, and all but Gruber’s say that Federal Exchanges were meant to get subsidies.

        Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if the carrot/stick approach wasn’t originally considered, but rejected (and perhaps this language being there is an artifact of that process that survived multiple re-writes), but I haven’t even seen quotes from relevant legislators to address that. Again, much of the text throughout the act assumes that the Federal exchange will have subsidies, which is where the vagueness comes in.

        In any case, the decision still sucks because it does Congress’s job for them. Oh well.

      2. I do actually think it’s better that the situation was ‘fixed’ this way. If a Repub congress had to do it (which they would’ve) they would have been complicit. Now they, and hopefully the American people, can cite the outrageous defiance of the legislative process at the hands of the Supremes. Obamacare will come crashing down financially soon enough. This just keeps the ownership of the derelict sinking ship quite clear.

        1. Now they, and hopefully the American people, can cite the outrageous defiance of the legislative process at the hands of the Supremes.

          Dude, can you tell me where you got the industrial grade shit you’re smoking? Because I could sure use a toke off of it.

          The operative phrase is “encourages congressional lassitude”. Congress is going to get away with resiling their responsibilities, and the President will get to keep rewriting laws to satisfy his whims.

  12. I stated this in another thread, but it bears repeating:

    When a law is written in such a way that it doesn’t work well or has unintended consequences, the way to fix it is to have Congress rewrite and pass a new law. The SCOTUS has essentially rewritten a new law under the urging of the POTUS — the two branches of the government who AREN’T supposed to be able to pass laws have combined to effectively do so.

    1. Not the first time. Congress has effectively ceded all of it’s powers to the executive anyways.

      1. Some of its power has been ceded to the regulatory agencies. And, there has been some arguments that some laws are written vaguely so as to allow courts to step in thus allowing the legislators to deny responsibility for the consequences.

        1. And sometimes the courts just do nothing when congress refuses to act like with gitmo.

    2. If we had a functioning Congress, the solution was to introduce an amendment, report it from committee and debate it on the floor of both chambers. Like it says in “How a Bill Becomes A Law.”

      But we don’t, and they didn’t, and they suck.

  13. If that headline and pic is a crude attempt to endure yourself to the commentariot I say nicely done.

    1. Tip: You might include a woodchipper reference next time.

  14. The fact that layers of gov’t are needed to decide on something that blatantly violates the rights of others explains how useless such an institution is.

    These douchebags are far removed from the consequences of rights and life in general. Tgey get their lifetime jobs, they are not held liable for their decisions, and never feel the effects of their decisions. They wouldn’t want anyone forcing them to purchase something, yet have no problem ruling in favor of forcing others to abide by the “rule of politicians and bureaucrats”.

    So I work hard, only to be told the benefits I work for should be discouraged, taxed and made less effective. That my bonus from hard work and dedication should be extorted @ 52%.

    The stolen money gets redistributed and goes mostly to feed the bureaucracy with little left that goes toward productivity that could never match what free individuals are capable of producing.

    1. “The fact that layers of gov’t are needed to decide on something that blatantly violates the rights of others explains how useless such an institution is.”

      THIS. How many minarchists have seen their last scintilla of hope for the state trampled today? It’s like an ancap holiday.

  15. Remember that scene in Holy Grail where Sir Bedever gently leads the dumb peasants through the process of logic with leading questions to help them conclude that she’s a witch?

    I think Roberts sees that as his role. But the ACA is NOT at witch, they conclude. Not a fair cop.

    1. Does it weigh the same as a duck?

  16. Shorter Roberts: taking away the only accomplishment of the first black president might make me look bad in the history books.

    1. I’ll look much better in the history books as an unprincipled lickspittle, too cowardly to live up to the responsibilities of my office..

      1. Depends on who writes the history books.

        1. Academia.

  17. Shikha, I love you for this headline.

  18. Also, Apple just removed all Civil War games from their App Store because they contain the Confederate Flag.

    There is no peak retard – retard just keeps growing and growing forever, reaching ever higher pinnacles which we previously could not have dreamed of.

    1. Stars and Bars == Swastica

      1. No, no, no, southstika.

      1. Where were you in the PM links yesterday when we needed you?

        Puns everywhere and not a narrowed gaze in sight.

    2. I never wanted to play civil war games more in my entire life.

    3. After watching CNN at the DFAC today I realized that because my Captain went to the citadel I am essentially a member of ISIS because:

      White supremacist are like ISIS.
      The confederate flag is used by white supremacist.
      My captain went to the Citadel.
      The Citadel was used to protect a confederate city.
      Thus, the Marines that work for the Captain are all members of ISIS.

      Super awkward being deployed to the ME and realizing that you are a de facto terrorist while on active duty because of CNN reporters.

      ***the above is all satire if any three letter agencies are monitoring reason tonight***

    4. I wonder if eBay will allow sellers to sell Avalon Hill’s Gettysburg now…glad I have two copies.

      1. I still have a copy, too. Never played. Wonder if I can sell it on eBay… fuck. Amazo– damn. Is Silk Road still up? Fuck. Fucking wood-shitters.

    5. Would PR be met if named-after-slave-owner Wash DC were renamed Obama DC?

      1. There are only Eight Divines, bitch.

    6. Wait, what? Any Nazi games?

    7. That’s fucking ridiculous.

      South Carolina should stop officially flying it. But this is getting silly. Ebay banning all confederate flag items seems a bit much too. I’m pretty neutral about retailers like Walmart stopping sales.

    8. So games depicting the killing of human beings are okay, but a flag isn’t?

      Humanity is frightening.

      1. There are some things worse than death…like racism

  19. And we elect Republican presidents why, again?

    WTHF? I may be misreading this but, it sounds to me like Shikha is blaming Bush for the ACA/this ACA debacle.

    1. He appointed Roberts.

      1. Nah, it has to be a ‘With friends like this, who needs enemies?’ statement but it’s hard to tell what absurdity Shikha’s got in her head.

        Otherwise, she’s just screaming ‘BOOOOOOSH!’, when it just as well could be ‘REEEAAGAN!’ or ‘CLIIIIIINTON!’ instead. WTF do any of them have to do with it that you shouldn’t be shouting ‘ROOOOBERTS!’ or ‘OBAAAMA!’ first?

      2. Without obama there’s no obamacare. Yes, roberts is an asshat, but in no way can you blame the existence of this law on team red.

        1. But they do bear a little responsibility for it not having been gutted by now. And I haven’t see a repeal bill pass since the Rs have controlled house and senate.

  20. “[…]So why did Roberts make this move?[…]”

    I’m going with: He’s an ignoramus who curries favor.

    1. I see what you did there.

  21. George Orwell would be proud.

  22. Learn to lose, Shikha, honey. Obama iz da bomb.

    1. You spelled your name wrong Vanneman! Again!!!!!

      1. I lol every time.

    2. Re: Anal Vanneman,

      Learn to lose, Shikha, honey. Obama iz da bomb.

      “He could do the Jedi mind-trick on justice Roberts!”

      Actually, Anal, justice Roberts saved O’s ass once again.

  23. So to conclude today’s lesson: words have utterly subjective and “holistic” meanings that can be shape-shifted into whatever a person wants but a piece of fabric has one and only one possible meaning as a symbol of racism and slavery.

    1. ^ SECONDED

    2. Give up man, it’s just a meaningless symbol.

  24. Oh shit

  25. Here is a question: can the next president effectively reverse this decision by hiring people into the agency in charge that will decide the statute does not allow the federal government to offer credits to non-state exchange participants? Could anyone even challenge that change in policy in court based on the ruling today?

    1. Could anyone even challenge that change in policy in court based on the ruling today?

      Yes they could. The court ruled that the subsidies applied to the Fed exchange, and that future President would be in defiance of a court order. The Court didn’t explicitly rule that the President has the power to unilaterally reinterpert the law, so that sort of turnabout is off the table.

      But… They’ve opened the door to all sorts of other jiggery pokery.

    2. The court ruling was on what that bit of the statute meant, & explicitly repudiated the idea that IRS would determine what that bit of it meant. So yeah, the admin. couldn’t reverse it legally.

  26. And we elect Republican presidents why, again?

    Because if we’d elected a Republican there wouldn’t be an Obamacare to uphold?

    1. I would have felt a lot better about that if Bush the Lesser hadn’t hit us with the prescription drug “benefit”.

      That argument certainly doesn’t impress me coming from establishment Republicans.

      McCain wouldn’t have done this?

      Romney wouldn’t have done this?

      If they thought it behooved them to do so, I think they’d have done the same damn thing.

      America might have been a better place if Kerry had beaten Bush. I’m not sure he would have been worse than Bush, and I know he would have been better than Obama. And who would Hillary Clinton be if she’d never finagled herself into being SOS under Obama?

      1. Yeah. Romney already did the exact same thing in MA and is proud if it. McCain doesn’t have a small government principle in him. I could easily imagine either of those guys supporting exactly the same sort of thing had they been elected.

        1. Romney already did the exact same thing in MA and is proud if it.

          Romney didn’t do it, the Mass legislature did. Romney was along for the ride regardless of how he feels about it.

      2. True, but at least Bush believed we had a surplus, and similar amounts went to tax and debt reductions (prospectively). Meanwhile no democrat will ever try to reduce taxes, and will only try to reduce debt if the alternative is reducing taxes.

        Plus: from my perspective at least this taught Reps a lesson about compromising with Dems. They get all the blame and none of the credit, so don’t do it.

    2. Right? I can’t fathom how this sentence makes sense unless you have a mind where Republicans are inherently inept and evil except to occasionally appoint justices who occasionally prevent Democrats from straying from the Golden Path.

      1. It’s a question and it makes sense as a question. Answer it.

        1. Name the last judge nominated by a Dem that veered conservative…

      2. As a rhetorical question, it is a response to the people who are always saying we need to elect Republicans because of SC nominations.

        I think that the biggest reason is that you need to change things up as often as possible so no one can get too comfortable and fuck things up too much.

        1. I think that the biggest reason is that you need to change things up as often as possible so no one can get too comfortable and fuck things up too much.

          The best situation is a split congress where both the House and Senate have wide partisan margins (in opposite directions), and the President is a Republican. It’s better to have a Republican President because the bureaucracy itself is Democratic, along with the media and academia.

  27. Maybe I missed something, but wasn’t the vote 6-3? If so, how did Roberts ‘fuc’ us (unless you believe he swayed one of the other judges who voted with him — like, ah…)?

    It seems to me quite possible/probably that Roberts realized that Obamacare would be held up and there was nothing he could do about that. Rather than be a useless 4th vote on the losing side, he decided to vote with the majority. A 5-4 decision would be more divisive and play in to the hands of those who want to label him as a conservative. But more importantly, it allowed him to write the Courts opinion and craft it in such a way as to do as little long term damage as possible — which would explain some of the doublespeak involved.

    1. “it allowed him to write the Courts opinion and craft it in such a way as to do as little long term damage as possible”

      An interesting hypothesis had he not singlehandedly given the ACA new life three years ago. For whatever reason, Roberts supports the administration in its application of the legislation.

  28. The Supreme Court is a joke.

    And it always has been.

    Fuck the Supreme Court.

    They’ve been ridiculously wrong before, and they’ll be ridiculously wrong again.

    There is another court of last resort that is ultimately responsible for protecting our rights and keeping government within its bounds–it’s the court of public opinion.

    We just need to spread the libertarian gospel, spread the good news. People just need to accept themselves (rather than the government) as their own personal savior.

  29. I hope we’ve stopped nominating people to the Supreme Court based on how they feel about issues like abortion.

    1. I am willing to take even odds on that proposition for any amount of money you would like.

  30. It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times.

    Fuck it, you know what I mean.

  31. The libs are dancing in the streets. And we the people will be paying hard tack even more as soon as the states that have been having a bad time keeping an exchange working call it quits – and quickly, because they may as well allow the Feds to handle everyone….can you say Universal Healthcare?? I thought you could.

  32. Roberts referred to the US as a ‘democracy’ – as any typical globalist commie would

    lease inform Sovietized Roberts – THE USA IS A CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC

    1. Which is the same as a constitutional democracy.

  33. “A genuine opponent of judicial activism as conservative justices are supposed to be, would find a way to get Congress to clarify its intent” .. I did a search, and could find no precedent for the Supreme Court contacting Congress to clarify a law. That’s not to say it has never happened. And honestly, if there is a problem with the wording of the ACA, it isn’t surprising to find that Congress messed it up. (In fact, that’s why we have such a convoluted tax system..IRS has to try to cut through the Gordian Knot that Congress wrote,)

    But ultimately, I find it amazing that there are those that fight having a Single Payer system like all other developed nations, that provides better care, and at about 1/2 the price for all of it’s citizens. How is that even logical?

    1. Other countries doing something makes it logical? We are different. And if they have better healthcare at half the cost, why do their citizens come here for health care when their lives are at stake?

    2. I did a search, and could find no precedent for the Supreme Court contacting Congress to clarify a law.

      I don’t think they’re allowed to. However, members of Congress might be allowed to submit unsolicited briefs as friends of the court.

  34. There is no doubt that Roberts has been compromised. Probably the NSA or some other spy / blackmail agency. There is no other explanation for his convoluted reasoning. They’ve got him.

  35. “So why did Roberts make this move?”


    1. I liked this.

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  37. If you’re going to be viewed as political no matter what you do, a smart person goes ahead and does the right thing. The USSC thinks too highly of itself.

  38. Sometimes I must conclude that a number of our Supreme Court Justices are not equal to a horse’s butt plug. We’re going the way of Liberia. . . Merely a buch of freed slaves. . . Oops! Not so free.

  39. I believe the title of the article certainly thrust towards its blunt point, Butt ? respect is always in season ? here on reason?.. Love the Boxers!!!

  40. I believe the title of the article certainly thrust towards its blunt point, Butt ? respect is always in season ? here on reason?.. Love the Boxers!!!

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