Supreme Court

Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Subsidies in King v. Burwell

SCOTUS rules 6-3 in favor of administration in major defeat for critics of the health law.

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Obamacare's health insurance subsidies will live, thanks to the Supreme Court. 

The High Court has ruled 6-3 in favor of the administration to uphold the subsidies in Obamacare's federal exchanges. The case challenged the administration's decision, through the Internal Revenue Service, to allow subsidies in the 36 exchanges run by the federal government under the law.

The challengers argued that the plain text of the law, which states that subsidies are only available in an exchange "established by a State," defining "State" to mean the 50 states or the District of Columbia, prohibited subsidies in the federal exchanges. The administration argued that the IRS rule allowing those subsidies was consistent with the overall structure of the law, and with congressional intent. 

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the administration's position, saying that although the health law contains "more than a few examples of inartful drafting," the Court nevertheless believes that the relevant section of the law "can fairly be read consistent with what we see as Congress's plan, and that is the reading we adopt." The complete ruling can be read here

Basically, the Supreme Court, decided they'd rather squint at the law and look at its general shape rather than bother too much with the plain meaning of the relevant text. 

This is a major victory fo the administration and backers of the health law, whose decision to ignore the plain text of the law has been blessed by the Court. It's also a big loss for critics of Obamacare, who hoped to see the law's implementation restrained by its legislative text, and for straightforward interpretation of congressional statute.

What it means is that the crazy array of post-King scenarios that many had speculated about over the last few months will never come to pass. Obamacare stays the same, in terms of both policy and politics. It's a ruling for the status quo. 

Reason will have much more on this throughout the day. 

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389 responses to “Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Subsidies in King v. Burwell

  1. Fantastic, now we get to watch the costs and problems grow. And the Dems are out of boogeymen to blame.

    1. Meh. we really don’t need to take on anymore unfunded liabilities at this point. When/if we go tits up you can bet that whatever is in charge next will most likely be more authoritarian and awful than ever before.

      1. Maybe, just maybe people will learn then. Because right now, we’re past the tipping point of people who think they can live off of others. Other than flat out collapse, I don;t see how that mentality changes.

        1. doubtful, human beings have been around for long enough to have an established track record of electing/allowing power hungry and craven assholes to be in “charge”.

          1. At least the pathetic, mewling semi-adults willg et what they so desperately crave, an iron fist.

      2. Need a full on revolution.

          1. I’m going to invest in building woodchipper based terminator robots and endowing them with a program that has them tirelessly hunt progtards.

    2. Oh, they’ll find someone to blame, and the Team Blue loyalists will fall for it. It’s a bill passed without any support from Team Red, upheld twice by the liberal wing of the court… and they’ll still blame everyone but themselves.

      Also, they still say it’s working and there’s absolutely no problems.

      1. Hate to sound all tinfoil-hatty, but this was the plan all along. As long as Obamacare is a disaster, then that paves the way for single-payer.
        The first rule of liberalism is that failure of goverment AUTOMATICALLY JUSTIFIES MORE GOVERNMENT.
        They want Obamacare to fail so they get MORE control of America’s healthcare.
        Then you are a gonna see NIH levels of neglect, waittimes, (low) quality of service/care, shortages (doctors/ nurses/ medicine/ equipment).
        Expect “classically liberal” folks around here to chime in on how great this will be…

        1. Exactly. Saw an article about the failures of Section 8, and how that requires more gov’t intervention. Or how poorly prepared Americans are for retirement, despite how much we spend on the safety.

        2. Sorry, no way it’s ever going to happen. It’s financially impossible.

          1. And that has stopped the Feds when…?

          2. Tain’t seen you in a long time, Banjos. Is sloopy watchin the newborn?

            1. Nah, he’s out working. The two and one year old are watching her.

          3. Nothing is financially impossible when you can just print more money.

            1. The scary part is that some people actually believe this! *shudder*

            2. Just ask Zimbabwe.

        3. Tinfoil-hatty?

          I put it to you that while I don’t believe it was the specific goal, as government isn’t capable enough to actually follow a plan to fruition, it was always in the back of the Dems minds that even if ACA failed miserably the end result would be single payer. Meaning there was never any incentive to make the ACA workable.

          Look like we are doing something, take credit, if it fails it will be easier to get what we really want.

        4. I agree that ObamaCare was designed to fail with the ultimate goal of single payer or socialized health care.

          However, the drafters intention was that every state would indeed establish an exchange.

          The law’s language is the same New Federalism that Congress has used in the past to coerce states to adopt a 21-year-old drinking age, 55 mph speed limits, Medicaid, etc. The language was not an oversight of the drafters. As Gruber confirmed, the language was deliberate.

          The USSC has conclusively demonstrated that Madison’s implementation of Montesquieu’s concept of checks and balances is deeply flawed.

          1. However, the drafters intention was that every state would indeed establish an exchange.

            Why stop there then? Congress could simply pass lots of laws of intent: “we intend for everybody to have a college degree”, “we intend for everybody to own a home”, “we intend for everybody to live at least 90 years”, and anything and everything the executive branch does then becomes justified.

            The USSC has conclusively demonstrated that Madison’s implementation of Montesquieu’s concept of checks and balances is deeply flawed.

            Well, it has lasted longer than a lot of other approaches to government elsewhere. And we can probably get a lot more mileage out of it, at least if we start electing some reasonable presidents again.

            1. Yeah, I believe Bastiat had something to say about putting your faith in a system of government that depends on the right people getting elected.

            2. Why stop there then? Congress could simply pass lots of laws of intent: “we intend for everybody to have a college degree”, “we intend for everybody to own a home”, “we intend for everybody to live at least 90 years”, and anything and everything the executive branch does then becomes justified.

              Scalia spoke brilliantly to that point in his dissent. The sheer contempt he had for the decision couldn’t have been more apparent.

        5. It’s not a conspiracy theory. Harry Reid flat out said this was their evil loan all along in 2013.

      2. Yes, I saw a post the other day about how 86% of users approve of it. I pointed out that matches, almost exactly, the percentage of people getting subsidies. So ultimately, all we discovered is that people like others to pay their bills.

        1. *triggered

        2. That’s a racist microaggression I’m pretty sure

      3. Intentions are all that matter to the liberal statists. They believe in the intentions were to help so the people that are hurt are to be ignored and their conscience is clear.

    3. The Dems are NEVER out of boogeymen. If it comes to an absolute resort, they still always have the “B-b-b-b-but ROMNEY came up with it! Blame ROMNEY!” airbag to fall on.

  2. That is the end of needing to draft a law with any meaning to its words – just what you want to mean, after the fact.

    This is an absolute shit sandwich – this is fucking Keloesque.

    1. Doesn’t this invite ambiguous meaning from Congress in future laws?

      1. Not “invite’, “guarantees” it

        1. FEATURE, not a bug!

          1. It’s in the “wink-wink, nudge-nudge” clause of the Constitution.

            1. +1 blind bat

        2. “Chief Justice Future Dickhead “What the 1st amendment meant to say is that only progressive publications have the freedom to operate in the U.S.

          Differ to King vs. Burwell when Cheif Justice Roberts vested power in the Supreme Court to define what a law really meant to say

          1. Differ to King vs. Burwell when Cheif Justice Roberts vested power in the Supreme Court to define what a law really meant to say “

            It’s worse than that. SCOTUS just vested power in executive bureaucrats to define what a law really means. SCOTUS only gets involved if they feel like it.

            I wonder what would happen in this scenario:

            1. Congress enacts a law that plainly says A.
            2. Relevant executive agency claims they interpret Congress’ intent as B, and executes B.
            3. Congress enacts a new law, explicitly requiring the agency to execute A, not B.
            4. The agency interprets the new law its own way again and continues to execute B.

            Does Congress then have to sue the agency and would this end up in front of SCOTUS? Who would SCOTUS side in such a scenario, given the King v. Burwell decision?

            1. Truly, that complete piece of shit John Roberts deserves to die in agony.*

              *I am in no way threatening to deliver the agonizing death that the piece of fucking shit John Roberts deserves to suffer.

            2. As long as the needs of the “greater good” are satisfied, we no longer have a need for Congress or checks and balances.

      2. The ‘Appropriations Act of 2017 for the Department of Commerce’ doesn’t exactly say Violators of Wrongthink will be shipped to camps in Montana to do “volunteer” work – but that’s what we really intended.

        Can I have a FEELZ?

    2. Well, that’s it, it’s all over. They no longer see fit to even pretend that there is anything resembling the rule of law in this country. Someone turn out the lights on the way out.

      1. All governance in the 21st century hinges on the benevolence of the King.

    3. They needed to celebrate the 10th anniversary in some way.

  3. Surprise, surprise, Roberts and Kennedy provided the winning votes.

    Scalia said it best in his dissent:

    Under all the usual rules of interpretation, in short, the Government should lose this case. But normal rules of interpretation seem always to yield to the overriding principle of the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved.

    1. Also, this:

      I wholeheartedly agree with the Court that sound interpretation requires paying attention to the whole law, not homing in on isolated words or even isolated sections. Context always matters. Let us not forget, however, why context matters: It is a tool for understanding the terms of the law, not an excuse for rewriting them.

      1. Scalia could’ve dropped the mike after just his intro:

        The Court holds that when the Patient Protection and
        Affordable Care Act says “Exchange established by the
        State” it means “Exchange established by the State or the
        Federal Government.” That is of course quite absurd, and
        the Court’s 21 pages of explanation make it no less so.

        1. As Scalia says, from now on we will have to start calling it SCOTUS care.

    2. This is my surprised face.

    3. Roberts and Kennedy want to be liked more than they want to be right. This is not really a surprise. We don’t have a rule of law anymore. We have a rule of mob. The courts are not going to save us. We will have to save ourselves. The Prog mob in the media and at the top reaches of society has proven in these cases and likely in the gay marriage case they can bully and intimidate the courts into doing whatever they like.

      Libertarians can take one positive thing out of this case, this almost certainly means they are going to get their sacred gay marriage rights. If Kennedy and Roberts won’t stand up to the mob on this, no way are they going to stand up to it on something as sacred as gay marriage. Gay marriage will be universal and there will be no opt outs or conscientious objections. Churches will likely be able to refuse to do gay marriages, but only if they also refuse to do ceremonies outside of their faith and never rent out church property to private organizations. Businesses and anyone not a church or doing anything not specifically related to church activity will be subject to law suit and bankruptcy if they object.

      So it isn’t all bad for Libertarians today.

      1. So Roberts and Kennedy are cowards.

        1. Total cowards.

          1. No, not cowards but evil. Cowardice implies that they had some principle which they did not practice because of fear. These sub-human turds hold no principles so shitting them away wouldn’t be defined as cowardice, but fucking evil.

        2. I won’t classify Kennedy as a coward. He votes what he believes, even when faced with criticism. He voted against Obamacare before when Roberts labeled it a tax (despite neither side claiming that it was).

          Roberts is the problem. He’s too much of a political animal. He’s actually been pretty decent as Chief Justices go (his record in getting unanimous decisions is impressive) but he also bends over so far backwards to protect the Court that he basically sells the point of the Court down the river. He got called out and threatened over Citizens United, and he’s capitulated twice on Obamacare (switching sides at the last moment in the first case).

          Then again, he’s also got a point. Who’s going to protect the Supreme Court if Obama really decides to try and subvert it? Congress? Boehner and McConnell run that show and they’re too busy punishing other Republicans for “disloyalty” to get into a fight with Lord Obama.

      2. But John, let’s say the court does not rule in favor of gay marriage. What then? How messed up would that be?

        1. That is an interesting possibility. I don’t think they will but we won’t know for sure until we see the ruling. If that happens, then I guess they are just fucking with us. I honestly can’t see a reason why they would rollover like this on Obamacare and then not also rollover on gay marriage. Can you?

          1. No, I can’t, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of the realm of possibility. This is truly a dark day ladies and gentlemen. And it sets a precedent for future laws passed by Congress to be upheld, regardless of their wording. It all depends on how conservative or progressive the court is at that point in time.

            1. It sets up an executive branch spoils system for all laws.

          2. A Federal law and administration policy on the subject does not yet exist that they can defer to.

          3. Only conspiracy theories, really. The “Obama has something on Roberts” theory, along with Obama not really giving a fuck about gay people.

            *shrug*

            Hrm. I wonder if a ruling against gay marriage would actually count as weak evidence for that conspiracy theory. 😀

          4. They extended the term through Monday, I believe. Today was supposed to be the last day.

            I thought it was because they had some last minute shifts on Burwell, as the gay marriage case is in the bag .

            Now I’m wondering why they extended the term.

          5. One theory is that they upheld Obamacare again (and it should be noted that this case was decided BEFORE the gay marriage case) so that they COULD strike down the gay marriage case.

            Gays are a segment Progs are willing to throw under the bus for their beloved SCOTUSCare.

            1. The. Nazgul just need. Some more time to fill up on PF Chang’s so as to have plenty more fuel to use shitting even more on the Constitution.

        2. The sad fact is that the majority of the justices are cowardly, corrupt and forsworn . Honor and honestly are not virtues in washington DC, they are liabilities. The courts decisions may be enforceable for some years yet, but there is no reason to respect them anymore other than out of fear of raw power . The federal government may grow larger but it’s legitimacy is shrinking. To me it resembles the end of the USSR .

      3. I think they’d still need to ammend pub accommodation in order to overrule state governments local laws re:businesses and such

        1. Marital status is generally protected. You can’t do things like “we only rent to married couples”. Apartment complexes have gotten in trouble for refusing to rent to married couples or people with children. The argument will be that if you are serving other people who are married, you have to serve everyone who is legally married.

          1. Times like this I respect the Mafia, you never heard of people complain when they refused service

      4. The Prog mob in the media and at the top reaches of society has proven in these cases and likely in the gay marriage case they can bully and intimidate the courts into doing whatever they like.

        You know, it’s a funny thing about mobs. Their whims and agendas can turn on a dime.

        I wonder if John Roberts has given that much thought.

        1. No. Roberts is the classic example of a very smart and clever man who utterly lacks imagination and wisdom.

          1. Well, he’s pretty much hopelessly politicized the Court. At this point, I can see little reason for any future administration to even bother with the pretense of impartiality or judicial knowledge. Just pick a loyal vote.

            1. I will welcome Ted Cruz to the court.

      5. Oddly enough I was thinking about that upcoming ruling when I couldn’t sleep this morning. My thoughts were there has got to be a way the Court can split the baby. I know a lot of people – I’m in Michigan – who are waiting for that decision with baited breath.

      6. Libertarians can take one positive thing out of this case, this almost certainly means they are going to get their sacred gay marriage rights.

        As a libertarian, I disapprove of gay marriage.

        But, you know, should the court rule in favor of gay marriage, the fact that it gets hateful idiots like you foaming at the mouth is at least a consolation prize.

        1. Yeah because anyone who thinks that the states should decide marriage however they want to is a “hateful idiot”.

          Sorry but I don’t worry about social signaling. Feel free however, to worry about just that. You are cool. Everyone knows how great you are. Approval is such a great substitute for thinking isn’t it?

          Go fuck yourself and troll on another board.

          1. Yeah because anyone who thinks that the states should decide marriage however they want to is a “hateful idiot”.

            Oh, that I agree with. But that’s not your sole position.

            Go fuck yourself and troll on another board.

            Take your own advice to heart.

            1. In other words, Bear, you’ve got fuckin’ nothing. Fuck off, statist.

              1. You need to re-read this thread. John accused libertarians (all libertarians) of taking a progressive and statist position on gay marriage. In fact, the libertarian position, the position that I hold as well, is that all marriage should be a private matter, neither hindered nor promoted by the state. John’s accusation is absurd and offensive.

                John (like other socons) is doing the same thing as the self-proclaimed “liberals”: he wants freedom to do do his own thing while wanting to use the state stomp on people they disapprove of.

        2. I won’t foam, i’ll just turn a negative into a positive. Marriage Records are public, it will make it much easier for me to redline..and unlike Christians who are foolish to outright say why they are refusing XYZ, i’ll just lie. I don’t get mad, I get even.

      7. So SCOTUS rules on ACA and John starts a discussion about homosexuality and churches.

        John, why is it that you are so obsessed with gay sex?

        1. Since when is legal marriage about sex? Do you think the homos are just a bunch of sexual perverts looking for state sanction? I don’t. Why are you such a sex obsessed bigot?

          1. I think the progs are obsessed with it. Not for any real love, or tolerance of anything. But strictly as another means to destroy the traditional family unit. Which will further speed the spread of their beloved Marxism.

            I personally do not want government putting a stamp of official approval on this. A much more sensible approach is for government to untangle itself from marriage entirely. That should satisfy everyone.

            1. but that is exactly why progs/gays don’t want government out of marriage, they want it to rubber stamp their lifestyle and punish those who refuse to accept it.

          2. John, you need to look up hyperbole and sarcasm.

            The question remains why you are so obsessed with gay issues that you when them into completely unrelated stories.

  4. If you thought this had a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.

    1. Thank you, Ramsay…

  5. The law is now based on “do what I mean, not what I say”
    I wonder what repercussions this idea will have.

    1. See my post below: it’s “do what I mean now, not what I meant when I wrote it.”

  6. Future Acts of Congress will just be reams of paper with Lorem Ipsum filler text, so the Exec branch doesn’t have to bother with going against the plain language of legislation.

    1. A law that repeatedly states “Neither is there anyone who loves, pursues or desires pain itself because it is pain”?

  7. WTF is Roberts end game? He came in like a conservative justice and the first chance he gets, he turns into a pandering, mincing Obama cocksucker. What’s up with that?

    1. I guess Roberts is to W what Souter was to HW…

      1. And what’s the common denominator there? This should serve as a lesson to all conservatives, and particularly to those enamored with Jeb.

    2. It’s not about Obama. It’s about deference to the political process. Roberts is a firm believer in the judicial philosophy that if a law can in any way be read in favor of the government’s interpretation/purpose, it is not the Court’s job to derail that interpretation/purpose.

      Upholding the ACA is bad. But cementing Roberts’ statist deference as the dominant method of interpretation is the real horror.

      1. But what kind of “political process” results from IRS’s adoption of an interpret’n that may or may not have been what Congress meant, after Congress enacts a massive bill that none of their staffs has seen intact with all its final provisions? It’s only “the government’s interpretation” in some formal sense because of who’s a respondent in the lawsuit.

    3. To stop saving voters from their own asses and make them pay attenshun for once?

      Who knows, maybe it’ll work when this comes up in presidential debates and Hillary promises to turn our entire healthcare system into the VA.

      1. Probably won’t even come up. Hillary will be too busy pushing for more gun control and flushing of the Confederate Flag down the memory hole.

    4. Roberts is just like every other justice on the court and like every other justice has been since the FDR courtpacking days and Wickard v Filburn – and maybe before. A part of the federal government and not in the slightest interested in anything that restricts or restrains the federal government and centralization of power. Some may be a bit more ‘individualist’ than others – but even that is only via 14th amendment rationale.

      And in all honesty, the recent court does not have a single justice who actually understands the context of common law. Intellectually, they get it cuz law school. But the Catholic/Jewish heritage is one of civil/statutory law. And the only one who prob in his bones understands the difference between freedom/rights is Thomas – and he has chosen to be mute on the court.

      This should be a big wake-up call to those morons who still think the GOP and Dems are different parties.

    5. WTF is Roberts end game?

      I have the same question, and I have two theories: 1) He wanted to make sure the damage of this ruling was as limited as possible or 2) He wants to become the most powerful man in the world.

      Re #1: Since Kennedy was already on board, this ruling was going to happen anyway- 5-4 instead of 6-3. At that point, it would likely have been written by someone like Sotomayor which could have long lasting consequences. Of course, proving this theory out requires experts to read through the opinion and weigh in on how applicable it is elsewhere. Does it REALLY give congress the power to change intent of ANY law, or are there strict limitations?

      Re #2: When Roberts was appointed, the press narrative was basically about how Kennedy was the most powerful man in the country. On any case, it was pretty clear which way the other justices would vote, and so it was up to Kennedy to set the terms for his ruling vote- including probably getting extra deference to his input on the actual ruling. Now Roberts is proving to be a similar person. It makes you wonder whether he is playing for the day when Kennedy retires and he can be the sole swing vote.

      I have hope for #1, but it is likely just #2.

      1. Over on Volokh Conspiracy, Ilya Somin notes that the ruling does not buy into the Federalism argument that the government offered up. He notes this is a good thing, as agreeing with that ruling would have meant perverting Federalism to not mean “Restrained Fed with most powers going to the states,” but rather to mean “Strong Fed empowered to maintain balance between the states.” Such a rewriting of Federalism would be very grave.

      2. As to #1, it seems to be about the suchness of “such”. A legislature cuts & pastes a bunch of things, & then the question is whether one part’s referring to a feature of another as “such” then devolves the referring part’s meaning to all properties of the other. Does one reference have scope over the other, & if so, which? This is going to be a problem any of these monster bills. When an enactment modifies an existing statute, you at least have the benefit of saying the amendment speaks last; when a bill references itself, no such clue exists.

        Not reading the whole PPACA (Who would?), just going by what’s brought out in this opinion & dissent, I honestly can’t say which one’s right. Some of what Roberts wrote I can easily dismiss (the bit about the overall intention of the PPACA, the bit about a tax credit’s coming out to 0), but the key point seems to be the suchness of “such”, and on that one he & Scalia are equally persuasive.

        1. Have actually read the decision and the dissent? I don’t know how ANYONE of even remote libertarian or constitutionalist leanings could possibly argue that the two are “equally persuasive”.

          1. I did. What did you think I was referring to?

          2. The main problem with not considering the “such Exchange” part to carry all the privileges of the state-established into the federally-established ones is, what the fuck good are the federally-established ones that the same act of Congress requires? You think you can tell Congress didn’t mean it that way?

    6. Well, obviously what motivates Roberts at this point isn’t career advancement, but the approval, admiration, and dinner party invitations of other rich and powerful people. So that’s how he rules.

    7. Progressives are a garbage people. It is astounding. To me we ever allow them to punk us. Yet our society has come,every rolled over for them. And only sixty years after McCarthy was cleansing our country of them. We need to go back to that.

  8. I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

    *SNIFF*

    1. No shit. What a nut punch.

  9. THE GOP IS WORKING ON A ALTERNATIVE!

    1. Turd:
      TEAM! TEAM! TEAM!

    2. Didn’t I say the “classically liberal” would be chiming in? Like clockwork. A clock made by a retard, but clockwork nonetheless…

  10. So who appointed Lewis Carroll and how did he get confirmed?

    1. “When I use a word,” Barack Obama said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
      “The question is,” said Roberts, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
      “The question is,” said Barack Obama, “which is to be master – – that’s all.”

      1. *slow clap*

        😀

  11. And there goes any hope I had (however miniscule) that Roberts would see the light after his last ACA ruling. Ha.

    This is Law at its worst – without constraint, without reason (drink!), and a slave to politics.

    1. So this is the Nikki of Law then?

      1. Nothing is worse that Nikki.

  12. If there ever was any question as to whether the courts are supposed to uphold the law, this ends it as they can simply be called ambiguous in order to kill jews for instance

  13. At this point, is there any way a reasonable person can look at this Supreme Court as anything other than hopelessly politicized? In the name of “preserving the appearance of non-partisanship, the Roberts Court will rightfully be seen by future scholars as the lackey of the Obama administration.

    1. So shining heroes in the face of the teathuglican terrorist mobs?

  14. If words in laws do not mean what they say, then there is effectively no “law” in this country in any meaningful sense.

    1. Correct.
      If the Regent prefers a law to mean X, why that is sufficient, regardless if the law is written Y.

    2. Yep. Rule of man.

  15. For us to pretend that we have a constitution that means anything, is laughable.

    Stand when the national anthem is played? No thanks. I’ll drink my beer, belch loudly and talk on my cell phone.

  16. The language in dispute is “established by THE State.” Obviously, that can reference the federal government.

    1. Not in the context of how the law was written and the stated purpose of that language as documented by recordings of the authors at the time it was written.

    2. Oppenheimer agrees.

    3. This “four little words” meme is stupid. There are two completely separate sections of the law for state run and federally run exchanges. The law was exlicitly written coerce/bribe the states to set up exchanges. The loss of subsidies was the cudgel. Anybody who says look how stuipid republicans are, how much they hate Obama….they want to destroy health care because of four little words…..they are idiots. Four little words is a sound bite, a slogan….it’s not a serious argument.

      1. ^This

      2. Four little words is a sound bite, a slogan….it’s not a serious argument.

        Other “four little words” that are probably headed for the big jump:

        “keep and bear arms”

        “shall make no law”

        “the right of the people”

        1. The last one is five.

        2. “Keep” and “arms” are nouns and “bear” is an adjective. That gives the true meaning of the 2A.

    4. Read Scalia’s dissent. Even a broad reading of the law, coupled with the definition section, does NOT show what the majority claims it shows.

      1. His dissent is as useless and petty as Roberts opinion. And all of that was inevitable following from the pettiness and uselessness of their last opinions in the last case.

        Any ‘partisanship’ on the court now is nothing but a show. Heated passion over what are generally irrelevancies and sideshows.

    5. No, it cannot. We’ve been over this already.

    6. this post could be sarcastic or serious, either way it’s hilarious.

  17. Okay, what are the pictures the administration has of Roberts and how do they involve goats?

    1. I heard it was a picture of Chief Justice Roberts with the entire head of a goat stuffed up his ass, wearing a latex clown suit with a fluffy pink tutu, and rimming a donkey. He’s actually the goatse guy, and that’s why the site is named that.

      Just a rumor, of course.

  18. Fire up the woodchippers, we got sum mulchin’ to do up there in the Capitol!

    1. On the steps, or out back?

      1. Both. We’re gonna need the chipper crews on overtime.

  19. In this instance, the context and structure of the Act compel us to depart from what would otherwise be the most natural reading of the pertinent statutory phrase

    So, the actual words they passed don’t matter.

    But wait:

    What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits ? but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges.

    -Jonathan Gruber, January 2012

    So what they meant when they were passing it doesn’t matter either. Apparently it’s only what they now wish they had passed that matters?

    1. ^THIS^

      “So our attempts to strong arm states blew up in our face. We demand a do-over.”

      It is like playing cards with young kids. They always want to pick up cards and cry if you tell them “a card laid is a card played”.

      1. I thought progressives are the “adults in the room”.
        Again, every day is opposite day in their world.

    2. In this instance, the context and structure of the Act compel us to depart from what would otherwise be the most natural reading of the pertinent statutory phrase

      Never mind that Congress could change the pertinent statutory phrase at any time to explicitly say what the executive agency wants it to say…

      The fact that Congress has not done this should indicate that Congress intends for the law to be interpreted as written. It’s a sad day indeed.

  20. So the Feds now officially have the power of Humpty Dumpty from Through the Looking Glass: “I mean what I say and I say what I mean.”

    Fuck. This will not fucking end well.

  21. I can’t say this is too surprising. The Supreme Court has already ignored the plain text of the Constitution; why should they be fussy about the plain text of laws?

    1. This is nothing new. If the N&P clause can be read as a justification for literally anything–which it has been for many generations now–I don’t see why the equally clear text of legislation would stand in the way of the state.

      The Supreme Court is there to provide intellectual cover and occasionally a partisan check to the brute force that is the state. Monopolies suck, and the monopoly of violence is even worse than Comcast.

  22. “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”

    – Chief Justice John Roberts, NFIB v. Sebelius (2012)

    So, Justice Roberts, why did you eschew your own advice to save the Democrats?

    1. Well, if they voided the subsidies, there would be consequences for the people from their political choices. He had to protect them from that.

    2. Because ambiguous statutory drafting is not a political choice.

      1. It’s not ambiguous. The majority created ambiguity out of whole cloth to save the Democrats – and their voters – from their failed attempt to bully the states to create exchanges.

  23. How did this NOT fall under Chevron? What??

    1. Was Obo involved in the Chevron decision?
      Why, there you go!

    2. Do you really want to know? You don’t, I’m sure, but:

      But Chevron does not provide the appropriate framework
      here. The tax credits are one of the Act’s key reforms and
      whether they are available on Federal Exchanges is a question of
      deep “economic and political significance”; had Congress wished to
      assign that question to an agency, it surely would have done so expressly.
      And it is especially unlikely that Congress would have delegated
      this decision to the IRS, which has no expertise in crafting
      health insurance policy of this sort.

      1. I did want to know. But, that’s pretty weak sauce IMO. Sounds like he did not like the conclusion he would have to come to IF it were decided under a Chevron standard, so he was required to find a way to ensure it did not fall under Chevron. How do we know when not to apply Chevron to a statute in the future? “We’ll know it, when we see it” seems to be the answer.

        1. I was just teasing because it is indeed so weak.

          1. Sorry, my sarc meter is malfunctioning 🙂

        2. Well, this is certainly an obscenity, so…

        3. If nothing else, Scalia’s dissent introduced me to the phrase “jiggery pokery”. That’s my silver lining.

      2. The Court just picks and chooses which inferences to make about a law based on politics. This practice, of course, has been going on for quite some time, so I am really not at all surprised by the disposition of this case.

    3. Gonna be a bitch Shepardizing this case…

      1. Hang it on the fence!

        1. What’s this mean?

      2. Hang it on the fence!

  24. Don’t fret, Peanuts.

    Future President Jeb has his keen Bush intellect focused on a remedy.

    1. Turd:
      BOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

    2. BUSCH BUSCH BUSCH!!!!

    3. Laugh if you like. Someday Jeb or some other Republican asshat is going to buttfuck you using exactly this same trick, and no doubt you’ll be stupid enough to be surprised.

      1. Weigel enjoys getting buttfucked, so it’s not much a punishment in his case!

      2. “I know the law says that gay marriage is legal across the entire US, but I have interpreted that law to mean that gay marriage is illegal across the entire US. The missing “il” was just a typo.” -Future GOP President

        1. B-but… that’s wrongthink! Doubleplusungood, even!

    4. You really don’t give a shit about rule of law or the Constitution do you? You progs have been running over it lately and it will come back to fuck you in the ass.

      1. Here’s the difference between partisans like PBP and authentic libertarians: we’ll be equally opposed to his drubbing when it occurs as we were to this case.

    5. You must look at photos of the Bush family while you jerk off. Sick fuck.

  25. I just hope that the statists understand when I just respond with mocking laughter when they say “…you’re just an alarmist, the law doesn’t say that!”

  26. What did the alt-text say on the meaning of the phrase?

  27. For Roberts, I genuinely do blame George W. Bush.

    Thanks W.

    1. He could have nominated Janice Rogers Brown. She was considered at one time. But nope. He wanted to influence the court for longer with a younger guy. Douche

    2. Yes, Booosh really did us a good one, didn’t he? Dammit.

    3. There are just so many least favorite executives to choose from . . . I don’t know that I can limit myself to just one!

  28. Justice Scalia has written some very, very strong words …. some “funny” 🙂

  29. Two things are now needed:

    Rand 2016

    Justice Janice Rogers Brown (the OG JRB) to replace Ginsburg when she dies. I don’t care if she’s old-she’s sane

    1. ^This.

  30. “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”

    Your job is to interpret based on the Constitution, not some imaginary standard that pleases the big boss.

    1. Is that seriously what they wrote?

      Because if so, then the next act Congress should write is called “Stop Bad Things From Happening Act”. It can just be a title page bound to a ream of blank paper

      1. What would be the over/under on how many Congress Critters could even be bothered to read that?

      2. It is seriously what Roberts wrote, yes. The “if at all possible” doctrine is now law.

      3. That is what Roberts wrote in his majority opinion. Clearly the Court will not be a friend in this fight.

    2. Once again, Roberts contradicts what he wrote in Sebelius. Why did Congress pass the ACA to “improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” but Congress in fact meant for the individual mandate to be a tax, even though members of Congress and the President declared the mandate was not a tax?

      Ugh.

  31. Gloves off:

    Today’s opinion changes the usual rules of statutory interpretation for the sake of the Affordable Care Act. That, alas, is not a novelty. In National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, this Court revised major components of the statute in order to save them from unconstitutionality. The Act that Congress passed provides that every individual “shall” maintain insurance or else pay a “penalty.” This Court, however, saw that the Commerce Clause does not authorize a federal mandate to buy health insurance. So it rewrote the mandate-cum-penalty as a tax.

    The Act that Congress passed also requires every State to accept an expansion of its Medicaid program, or else risk losing all Medicaid funding. This Court, however, saw that the Spending Clause does not authorize this coercive condition. So it rewrote the law to withhold only the incremental funds associated with the Medicaid expansion.

    Having transformed two major parts of the law, the Court today has turned its attention to a third. The Act that Congress passed makes tax credits available only on an “Exchange established by the State.” This Court, however, concludes that this limitation would prevent the rest of the Act from working as well as hoped. So it rewrites the law to make tax credits available everywhere. We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.

    RobertsCare?

    1. He sounds (rightfully) pissed off.

    2. Is Scalia the best Justice evah? I don’t know too much Court history, as my general disposition towards lawyers is disdain, but Scalia seems more and more like a legend.

      1. He’s great in a few areas, like Commerce Clause jurisprudence (with the notable exception of Raich) and property law, but not so much on issues like the drug war (see Raich again), the surveillance state, and the powers of police generally.

      2. He has his moments, but usually he’s pretty awful.

      3. Nope. Horrible on 4th Amendment. He’s a drug warrior.

        A Thomas/Kennedy bastard child would be the best justice evah.

    3. 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. This.

        See, I think Rand, Amash, or another trouble maker needs to bring a law to motions that reads, in essence, “Bad things are bad, we should have fewer of them. Good things are good, we should have more of them.” Because the law doesn’t matter, evidently.

        Or, even better, one of them needs to bring forth an old law, say, the 21st ammendment, and interpret what it “really meant” instead of what it “meerly says.”

      2. Yes, Congress as an institution has been absolved of all responsibility for the shenannigans it tried to pull with the state exchanges. The problem is if Congress is not accountable, it is not relevant to the process of lawmaking. It seems to me that the federal legislature now is just something for the executive to hide behind without real power.

      3. But how do you resolve the lawsuit in the meantime?

  32. So the ACA has given us the idea that not only can the govt force us to buy things when it wants, but that it is also OK to ignore the actual text of a law if it gets in the way of what the govt really wants.

    Fuck this is depressing.

    1. So the ACA has given us the idea that not only can the govt force us to buy things when it wants, but that it is also OK to ignore the actual text of a law if it gets in the way of what the govt really wants.

      Those happened at the same time.

  33. The law is gone. All we have now is the arbitrary rule of Top Men. Good on you with the political connections for the rest of us, good luck.

  34. Basically, the Supreme Court, decided they’d rather squint at the law and look at its general shape rather than bother too much with the plain meaning of the relevant text.

    Well, no, they said the plain meaning of most of the act trumps the most natural reading of a single passage in isolation. Basic statutory construction principles that the conservatives pretended not to understand when it suited their goals.

    I hate the ACA but this challenge was always disingenuous bullshit.

    1. But it wasn’t a single passage in isolation. The dissent addresses this starting on page 31.

      http://www.supremecourt.gov/op…..4_qol1.pdf

    2. Except for the whole part about the people who wrote the damned law actually saying that it was intended to incentivize states to set up exchanges.

      But, hey, what does that matter? Obama felt like giving tax breaks to the federal exchange and his rent-boy Roberts wasn’t going to do anything to stop him.

    3. You’re wrong: the dissent shows that the plain meaning of the Act – the entire context – reads the way the challengers interpret it. You are uncritically biting the “it’s just four words” red herring hook, line, and sinker.

  35. I know the interpretation and philosophy and precedent behind all this is horrid, but . . . the politics could play out better.

    Single payer? With Hillary as its face? I see an Olbatross around Democrat neck.

    1. I would like to believe that would be a benefit. But if you’ll notice, ‘This massive government program didn’t work’ generally doesn’t result in anything but more money and expansion thrown at the problem. Especially if the economically impossible handout legislation is politically popular with people who think more about reality television than they do economics.

  36. Now the blame can be 100% placed on the left as the health industry implodes. I hope y’all are keeping good care of your health, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

    1. Some serious silver linings. I would have vomited even harder when the GOP start dishing out the “temporary” block grants and other subsidy-props.

    2. Implodes? Health insurance?

      Cigna just received a huge buyout offer. Aetna is next. Their stock prices and profits are soaring.

      1. I hear GM is doing quite well also.

        There’s more than one way for an industry to implode.

      2. pb-

        that’s the health INSURANCE industry. you know, the ones jacking prices way up and sucking up subsidies?

        he said HEALTH industry. you know, doctors and hospitals? those are already imploding under this.

        obamacare insurance has such awful reimbursement that many will not even take it. it’s an insurer’s wet dream. you are forced to buy a policy that is near impossible to actually use to see a doctor. it’s great for them. but for hospitals and patients? it’s a disaster.


        1. Hospital Stocks Rally as Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Subsidy
          Bloomberg By Zachary Tracer

          Hospital stocks led a rally among health-care companies as the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the main threat to the industry’s prospects, upholding a pillar of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

          HCA Holdings Inc., Tenet Healthcare Corp. and Community Health Systems Inc. all gained at least 9 percent after the ruling.

          1. Cool story bro.

      3. OK, you’ve said some astonishingly stupid things before, but conflating “Health Insurance” with “Health Care” tops most of them.

        1. Docs get paid the same way hospitals do – through benefit payouts.

          This is good news for the health care industry.

          For those who don’t want insurance – not so good.

          1. GARBLE GARBLE GARBLE

          2. “Docs get paid the same way hospitals do – through benefit payouts.”

            They *used* to get paid the same way everyone else does – with money from the person using their services.

            In those days, medical care was affordable. For everyone. It also wasn’t shitty.

      4. I’m surprised antitrust is going to allow Anthem to buy Cigna.

      5. Indeed. Everyone celebrate Obama and the great Left. They have vastly increased the wealth of the wealthiest, written laws to support big business and transfer wealth from citizens into the hands of corporations. Buttplug has it right — lots and lots of already really rich pepole are going to get really really really rich because of this law. Hooray! Hooray for using coersion and threats of violence to transfer wealth to those we like!

        1. No surprise that Butthead thinks enriching health insurance companies at the expense of taxpayers is just swell, given his unqualified defenses of Warren Buffet and George Soros.

          Butthead is a crony capitalist.

          1. I don’t think the goon will take lightly you labeling him any sort of capitalist.

    3. The left is never to blame. Intentions, donchaknow

    4. Now the blame can be 100% placed on the left as the health industry implodes.

      I can’t help thinking, though, about all the Brit’s who profess their love for the NHS. No matter how bad it gets, I’m afraid people will just love their “free” “health care.”

      1. You’ve got it. There is a Free Shit event horizon past which nobody, not even those generally smart enough to know better, can escape the allure of other peoples’ money.

    5. Blame… the left?

      For failure of a law?

      Like, instead of the kkkochportations? And the right wing? And Dylan Rouff?

      Banjos, are you still high on pregnancy pain killers?

      1. Not with the low dosage my stingy OBGYN prescribed to me. Bastard.

    6. Roberts: We can’t steer the Titanic away from the iceberg, it was clearly the intention of the shipbuilders to build a ship that floats not sinks.

    7. How quaint: you think the “health industry” makes you healthy.

  37. The one amusing thing in all this: SCOTUSBlog live blogged before decisions were issued about how Kagan and Scalia were like rival MCs, sampling lines from each other’s opinions, and compared them to P Diddy and Jay-Z. So we have that going for us.

  38. so laws now mean whatever you want them to, no make that whatever you need them to be, in order to control the people through confusion. Selective use and interpretation of laws gives power to the government.

    1. Just like the “living document” Constitution!

  39. Words no longer have meaning. The law needs to be called SCOTUScare, not Obamacare, as Scalia rightly points out.

    Seriously, we need to be talking term limits on these guys.

  40. Well, that’s it. The SCOTUS just said the government is not bound by law. They can do anything they wish. They used the “that’s not what they really meant” clause prominently displayed in the Constitution to justify making the government omnipotent. The rule of law now only applies to those that are NOT government.

    FYTW is now the law of the land and has the blessing of the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

    The end is nigh!

    1. The rule of law now only applies to those that are NOT government.

      Not really. The government uses the interpretation of the law that it likes to attack those that are not government, even if the “interpretation” does not follow at all from the text of the law.

  41. Scalia’s dissent is absolutely legendary. Not only is SCOTUS ignoring the plain text of the law, it is actively doing so for the purpose of correcting Congress’ mistakes.

    This is entirely inappropriate for a number of reasons, but the biggest one, in my opinion, is that it is divorcing the American people from the consequences of electing incompetent legislators. A representative democracy can only work if the people are connected with their representatives, which means they must demand satisfactory work from them. Shielding them from bad legislation negates that entirely.

    1. I’ll say it again: Roberts ignored his sage advice in Sebelius. He’s afflicted with Top Man syndrome: do as I say, not as I do.

    2. Obama/Robertscare remains terrible legislation . It is already costing people more money and reducing healthcare . This latest supreme court travesty will just cause more misery , not less while simultaneously making many seriously question the legitimacy of the court and the laws in general. It would be worth rereading roberts decision in April and then contemplating what the signers of the 16th amendment really meant .

  42. It seems to me that we have just enacted Article 134 (the General Clause) from the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_article

    Basically it is the military’s way of being able to punish someone who pisses them off even if the target’s actions didn’t break any explicit rule.

  43. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the administration’s position, saying that although the health law contains “more than a few examples of inartful drafting,” the Court nevertheless believes that “the relevant section of the law “can fairly be read consistent with what we see as Congress’s plan, and that is the reading we adopt.”

    Bull Shit! He knows full well that the law was written the way that it was on purpose – to coerce the various states into setting up exchanges. Just ask Jonathan Gruber. John Roberts and the other six are a pack of dishonest and dishonorable vipers who have sold this country and anything it ever stood for down the river.

    1. “other six”

      Other five. Geez.

  44. Well. I never expected this.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA

  45. The progs will be running their victory lap I’m sure. It doesn’t matter. Fuck them.

  46. the intent of the law was clear.

    there was a carrot (subsidies) and a stick (paying but not getting subsidies) designed to makes states set up exchanges and shift cost to them.

    it failed.

    now the feds want a mulligan and claim they meant to subsidize everyone all along.

    this is utter tripe and another example of the fawning lapdoggery to mob rule so well exemplified by the roberts court.

    this is a disgrace.

    1. This is almost exactly like the penalty vs tax ruling.

  47. “That’s okay, Honey. We know what you really meant to do.”

  48. fawning lapdoggery to mob rule

    Nice.

  49. Like the Sequester, it’s now the law of the land. Get on board or go to Russia.

    1. *Note: Does not apply to debt ceilings, gay marriage bans, the Second Amendment, or any other icky-laws of the land.

    2. Man, Russia is looking better and better every day.

  50. The High Court has ruled 6-3 in favor of the administration

    The court *must* be high to “rule” like this. Well, maybe they’ll truly legalize weed now.

    Seriously, a bad day for America.

  51. Totally predictable. SCOTUS wasn’t going to strip subsidies from millions of people, regardless of what the text said. Simply was not going to happen.

    1. Utterly true.

      However, by this logic, the Roberts Court would have kept segregated schools. To big an impact on too many to desegregate them, yknow?

  52. Libertarian buttplug moment.

    BTW, how are those premiums doing, fissure?

    1. If you like your buttplug…

  53. Wickard gave the Feds control of all commerce, then Kelo gave them the ability to take whatever property they want as long as someone promises them $1 more in tax revenue. and now King says that all laws are based on feelz. Stalin would be proud.

    1. King…

      *giggles*

      How appropriate.

      1. It’s almost poetic, isn’t it?

  54. Wealth Tax incoming.
    “We have to pay for this somehow!”

  55. It’s also a big loss for critics of Obamacare, who hoped to see the law’s implementation restrained by its legislative text, and for straightforward interpretation of congressional statute.

    So a victory for gov by fiat, whimsy, and expediency. Basically formalizing FYTW with regards to O Care.

  56. The Supreme Court should be expanded from nine justices to fifteen. This should take place in increments of two justices added by the next three presidents. While a nearly impossible scenario, it would accomplish a few important things, namely concentrating the public’s attention during the election cycle(s) upon salient issues, rather than the personality of a given candidate/nominees.

  57. Fuck.

  58. What is the status of Sissel vs. HHS in the appeals process, concerning the Origination Clause?

    1. The law will be re-written to accommodate RobertsCare?.

    2. After this you don’t honestly believe the court will hinder this law in any way, do you?

      1. Well, they did somewhat limit the Medicare money threats.

  59. Another opportunity to step off the slippery slope of caudillo-style government by the Maximum Jefe missed. We’re to the extremely steep part of the slope now, and we might even be able to see the bottom from here.

    The last two administrations, but especially this one, have really gutted the separation of powers and checks and balances. The discarding of the concept of limited enumerated powers was finished by the Sebelius decision, which also did further damage to the notion that the Court will stand as a check on Congress. The discarding of the notion that only Congress can write laws has been made pretty much complete by this decision, which also did further damage to the notion that the Court stands as a check on the Executive.

    As a Constitutional Republic, I think we’re pretty much done. The Court was a forlorn hope, indeed, and they have failed.

    Unfortunately, I think the chickens will come home to roost during my lifetime. Which sucks. I’d rather not be around for it.

    1. Checks and balances have been replaced with rubber stamps.

    2. Thank you, Mr. Dean – always look forward to your legal insights.

      1. Tree of liberty needs to be fed.

        1. The tree of liberty must be mulched from time to time with the woodchips of patriots and tyrants.

          1. It’s too bad the Tree of Liberty was mulched for the landscaping at the White House.

            They have turned our woodchippers against us. Is nothing sacred?

    3. Yup.

      Its kind of funny in, a sad way. The kind of government that the Roberts Court is enabling ultimately doesn’t really have much need or use for a Court.

    4. Yup.

      Its kind of funny in, a sad way. The kind of government that the Roberts Court is enabling ultimately doesn’t really have much need or use for a Court.

    5. Among the many things to like about Rand Paul, his quixotic aim to restore separation of powers ranks highest for me. Maybe we’re too far gone and we really have reached FYTW mob rule where no one cares about checks and balances. But better to have someone high profile constantly warning about this than no one at all.

    6. Yep. I was born into, what my parents told me was, the greatest freedom loving nation on earth and I’ll die in a pit of despotism. All of it traded away for “free shit” in the span of one short lifetime.

      The completely predictable outcome of abandoning principles.

      1. We fought an evil empire only to replace it.

      2. This is fucking depressing. I’m leaving.

  60. It’s also a big loss for critics of Obamacare

    It’s a loss for people who think the government should be held accountable for its own laws and actions.

    Congress is in the business of saying what the government can and cannot fine you for, jail you for, and kill you for. If anything requires clear and precise language, it’s that. The stakes couldn’t be higher. But the court just told Congress not to sweat the small stuff. We’ll just figure out this whole use of force thing as go along. No biggie.

    1. Yes. This x infinity.

      It’s quite disturbing how the general public always demands the regulation of just about everything, except for the government, and especially the Executive.

      SCOTUS simply gave “the People” what they asked for.

  61. We Are Doomed. Words no longer have meaning.

    1. Been like that for some time, accelerating rapidly now.

    2. Unless you say something about woodchippers…

      1. Words mean whatever Top Men want them to mean, regardless of who said them.

  62. I’m seriously wondering how much longer this shit can go on before we start to see a serious secessionist movement.

    I think the paranoid among us are looking increasingly prescient. They’ll be coming for the 1A next.

    It be different if there was some other country to escape to, but where would that be?

    1. It be different if there was some other country to escape to, but where would that be?

      A sad point that the likes of Mark Steyn have many times over.

    2. If you leave, outside of the improvement we’ll never know the difference. Don’t let the doorknob hit you on the way out.

      1. Ladies and gentlemen…the cause.

        1. You back, Fran? And you promised not to be. You and John just can’t get enough of me!

      1. Somebody’s gotta run those copper mines!

        Joking aside, that’s been my thought for some time.

    3. They’ll be coming for the 1A next.

      Hey, the “no” in that law is only one word! Surely they didn’t intend that single word to inhibit the government from doing what it needs to do!

      1. When they say “no” they mean “no single legislation”! And “abrdige”? That only means congress or presidente can’t gently nudge against free speech. Since it doesn’t say “obliterate” or “eviscerate” or “stomp” or “repeal”, they obviously only maybe meant “abridge”.

        As there was not a “not even” in front of the “abridge” it gives the okay to repeal or destroy. ThugLogic ftw!

  63. Our libertarian moment has arrived!!!

    Or not.

  64. Cost-wise, aren’t I correct that the subsidizes for Obamacare still pale in comparison to the pain medicare is going to inflict on the budget, right? I mean, in the financial grand scheme of things, Medicare is going to bust the bank either way, correct?

    1. I think that is correct. This decision is terrible for reasons that go far beyond the budget.

      1. Even if I liked the ends of the result, the logic is horrible precedent.

      2. Understood.

  65. Well, it’s now up to congress to draft and pass a veto-proof repeal of Obamacare. With their firm, united opposition and iron unwillingness to let personal grudges and primary politics interfere with a major policy position….

    Okay, I can’t finish typing that without laughing too hard.

  66. Oops!!

    Oh well, Peter, keep trying. I must admit, you haven’t gotten anything right yet when it comes to Obamacare…other than when you said the GOP had no plans to replace it.

    Turns out they didn’t need one.

    1. Except for the massive increases in premiums, the stunting of full-time job growth, and every other predicted horror. Ocare has been every bit as bad as predicted.

      1. Let’s review some of his predictions. It would never become law. It wod be ruled unconstitutional. It would be repealed. The uninsured would ignore it. Rate of health care costs would rise.

        Wrong on every single one.

        1. That’s a lie. Reason has thoroughly documented the large increase in rates/premiums coming down the pipe. And many uninsured are ignoring it, talking points from your fellow retards at Salon notwithstanding.

          1. Please. I just showed how worthwhile peter’s documented predictions were. And he writes for Reason.

            They rise in health care cost rates are coming? Just another worthless prediction on Reason.

            1. “They rise in health care cost rates are coming? Just another worthless prediction on Reason.”

              No, it’s not. My health care costs are rising. Not hypothetically. Actually. They doubled this year alone. Later this year, we get a new plan, which will cost more an give us less.

              My current plan costs my employer about $17,000 per year. The plan I had prior to the ACA cost my employer $3,000 per year. By the end of this year, my plan will cost north of $20,000, but will have benefits comparable to my old $3,000 plan.

              By the time I’m retirement age, I will have paid over half a million dollars to insurance companies, and I still have to pay out of pocket for virtually every medical expense at a rate that matches roughly exactly what I paid out of pocket before I had insurance.

              But no rise in costs here – Team Blue says so.

              1. Exactly! So why are we being forced to pay for health insurance when we have to pay for everything out of pocket anyway? It makes no sense. Up until ten years ago, I didn’t even have insurance. Then I figured it was time to hedge my bets (which is ALL insurance is anyway) and buy a catastrophic plan. At the time it ran me $75 a month with a $2,500 deductible. It even covered two yearly check ups. Everything else out of pocket. But if I’d gotten hit by a bus or cancer, it paid 100 percent after my deductible. By the time I was forced out of the plan by the ACA, my costs had only risen to $97 a month.

                New ACA plan: $270 a month, $6,500 deductible, 80/20 if I get hit with something major, an even then there are “exceptions,” a list so long and convoluted I can’t make heads or tails of it. This year, the premium jumped to $320, with a letter from BCBS stating to expect increases of anywhere from 10-35 percent for the life of the plan, indefinitely.

            2. Get this lying sack of shit out of here before it finds itself fed into a wood chipper

            3. My premiums, and those of everyone I know, have gone up by 20 percent every year under the ACA. How could they not? We’re paying for those who can’t. It’s pretty simple math.

              Recently, my husband and I figured out that by the time we retire in 15 to 20 years, we’ll have no house note, no car note, but we’ll each be paying about $1,500 a month in insurance premiums. But we’re not scared. Social security should cover that, right?

            4. Jack

              My family’s premiums increased by $4,600/year and the two plans we now have are not as good as what we previously had.

              So instead of saving $4,500/year as Obama had promised it cost us slightly more. And instead of keeping the plans we liked we have lesser plans. But we are further subsidizing government largesse and professional voters.

              1. Don’t talk to it. It’s an evil pile of shit.

  67. According to Roberts, the SCOTUS is just an extension of the Executive Branch. Separation of Powers?…….never heard of it……

  68. Welcome to Venezuela, where the executive gets whatever he wants and we call it “law”.

  69. Thank goodness the Court considered the welfare of real live people and did not fall for Scalia’s typically thoughless and glib nit pickery. Even a Tea Party Congress would not want to take health care away from millions of Americans. We should have started years ago with a single payer solution to our health care mess. Because of the self-interested money that is consistently arrayed against common sense and common decency, we ended up with the ACA. The ACA will ultimately morph into a robust, efficient and humane health care system like most of the developed world already has. The sooner that happens, the better. I have personal experience with the Swiss system as a traveler abroad, and it’s way better, faster and cheaper than ours. All the talk about liberals, conservatives, socialists, boogeymen and turning out the lights is mindless drivel that has no basis in fact or analysis. The most important prerequisite to rewarding human life is health.

    1. The ACA will ultimately morph into a robust, efficient and humane health care system like most of the developed world already has.

      “Robust”/”humane” = worse healthcare outcomes than America.

    2. “I have personal experience with the Swiss system as a traveler abroad, and it’s way better, faster and cheaper than ours.”

      You were able to determine all that via your personal experience with the Swiss system? That’s quite a sample size there, buddy!

    3. What about the concept of “rule of law”. You know, the idea that laws mean exactly what they say. If you don’t like the law you can’t ignore it, but you can try to change it through legal means.

      Also, you’re leaving cost out of the equation. Surely even you would agree that health care has some value less than infinity, right?

      1. That person is only taking cost into the equation as a collectivist would. Yes, their health care has a value of infinity, as long as someone else pays for it.

    4. Let’s count the buzzwords and buzzphrases:

      “Welfare of real live people,” check.

      “Tea Party Congress,” check.

      “Taking healthcare away from millions of people,” check.

      “Self-interested money,” check.

      “Robust, efficient and humane healthcare system,” check.

      Yeah. Here comes someone complaining that opponents of the ACA lack “analysis,” only to … provide no analysis whatsoever, just conclusory statements and personal anecdotes.

      How quaint.

    5. Swiss military outlay as % of GDP: 0.7%
      US military outlay as % of GDP: 3.8%

      Surely you must not be suggesting we cut back on the war-mongering? BLASPHEMER!

      I can live with my hemorrhoids but don’t take away my war!

      But, seriously, why don’t you move there?

    6. But but swiss people have guns … worse they can even buy surplus tanks and other weapons systems. The carnage must be awful .

    7. It’s moments like this that remind me of Helen Lovejoy shouting “But think of the children!” in the background of just about every episode of the Simpsons.

    8. KN8PZI|6.25.15 @ 12:01PM|#
      “Thank goodness the Court considered the welfare of real live people…”

      Fucking idjits like this fantasize about the welfare of real live people under the heel of Chavez.

    9. “Thank goodness the Court considered the welfare of real live people “

      You mean like when they upheld Obamacare’s blatant unconstitutionality the first time, and doomed 7+ million Americans to lose their healthcare and have nothing to fall back on but a nonworking website and a bullshit “penaltax”?

      Thank goodness!

  70. This is why I own a woodchipper

  71. They still can’t win. There is no money for single payer. There is no political appetite for it. And there is a large number of people willing to resist the ACA.

    1. As an aside, I don’t think the ACA was some kind of trojan horse for single-payer. I don’t think liberals think like that. I think they think whatever they pass is gonna work. Now, they may ignore the results of their previous attempts and fight fire with fire, but ultimately, like the turtles holding up the earth, I think the road to progressive tyranny is good intentions all the way down.

      1. Yes, but it only works with stupid AND bribe-able masses. There is no money and the world is getting too competitive.

  72. I remember some conservatives complaining back when Roberts was nominated that he may turn out to be a closet liberal, that his appellate opinions were too good to be true, as if he figured out years ago that the best way to reach the Supreme Court was to write legal opinions like they were CPAC white papers…

  73. Roberts: What a weird, stupid little man with no consistent principles. An impotent ignoramus who is only fit for rakes, like his Lord, the Munificent King.

    The Supreme Court’s JOB IS TO STRIKE DOWN UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAWS, John Tardberts.

    I get the 2012 ruling if it was to punish voters for their mistakes – you vote for a statist thug, you get statist thug laws.

    However, this countermands the intent of that ruling by saying “hey, guess what – that whole process of punishment/learning that I implied before? Nah, it’s just punishment. Suck the boot, peasants!”

    So, I guess with RobertsLogic, it’s time to send runaway slaves back to their owners in the South? Sorry African-American community, but RobertsLAW hath spoken! Back to Mississippi with ye!

    1. Bush Roberts

      “I looked the man Congress in the eye. I found him them to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his their soul. He’s a They are deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country and I appreciate very much the frank dialogue and that’s the beginning of a very constructive relationship,”

      Except looking into Congress’ eyes is like looking into the eyes of a whole fraternity of evil shits.

      1. Hahaha. I think that as ad hoc as the Roberts is, I think the political theory of statists being “mendacious cunts with low IQs” is really close to the truth. The guy goes from a good 1A ruling in “Citizens United” to…this?

        Maybe he’s got a bunch of stock in Aetna or something?

    2. sorry the 2012 ruling is totally indefensible. First the ACA penalty was NOT a tax since other wise the suit brought would have been moot (no one having yet paid the tax) . Then the ACA penalty was not a tax after all but a penalty. One has to be literally unable to reason to accept such tripe.

      1. I did write in haste – I don’t defend it, and think the ruling is, as you say, indefensible. I just said I “get it” in the sense of realpolitik. Such as in I “get” why Obama shift blame of his political failures on “obstruction” or that “pesky First Amendment.” I “get” why a politico would do such things – support it or agree with it, however, I do not.

        I find it reprehensible that the SCOTUS wasn’t unanimous in voting it down 9-0 as it was unconstitutional as well as dumb.

    3. he Supreme Court’s JOB IS TO STRIKE DOWN UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAWS

      Not really, it made up that job with Madison v Marbury.

      The states are supposed to strike down unConstitutional laws through the 10th amendment. Either that or the people with the 2nd.

      1. Haste and initial reactions. No woodchippers mentioned. And yes, when something is brought to the SC, it’s one of their duties to determine if something is unconstitutional or not. How that works out is another story.

        And yes, the states and the 10th amendment are supposed to contest legislation that is unconstitutional. However, one of the safeguards in the event that those fail or are overlooked is judicial interpretation. I think it’s tragic that the 10th amendment and states’ sovereignty are basically destroyed by the Fed, so one of the few places where laws that are against…the law…should get struck down is the SC.

        Overall, yeah, you’re correct. But FedGov has effectively destroyed what little safeguards there are, some exceptions notwithstanding (some 2nd Amendment laws, some marijuana, etc.).

    4. No, their job is to decide cases. That’s what appeals judges do. If that takes striking down unconstitutional laws, so be it, but that doesn’t define their job.

  74. The ACA will ultimately morph into a robust, efficient and humane health care system like most of the developed world already has.

    Good one. I needed a hearty laugh.

    1. Indeed. But the ACA isn’t even a “health care system.” It’s a health insurance system. And as many are finding out, the two things aren’t the same.

      What the GOP needs to do is deregulate health care as much as possible. Let the free market handle it, the way it somehow manages to feed and cloth us without a gigantic federal system of subsidies.

      1. The ACA is health insurance racket. Calling it a system implies a legitimacy it never had. Insurance Companies and Hospital lobbyists must be jizzing themselves with happiness today. The two industries can continue their ludicrous pricing fixing unabated.. and now you have no choice but to go along with, under penalty of law, because John Roberts said, “FYTW”.

        I’m still baffled over how anyone who calls themselves a progressive can celebrate what is essentially a bailout for the insurance industry.

        I swear to our Lord and Savior Christ of Nazareth (PBUH) that this whole fucking country is retarded

      2. Yes, but not even the most libertarian-minded members of the GOP are going to put that forth as a legitimate alternative. Because health care is a riiiiiiiiiiiiiight, and if you dare to argue otherwise, you’ll go nowhere in Washington except maybe into a broom closet.

        So it’s not just the law that needs to be changed; it’s the mindset.

        Good luck with that.

  75. This is a major victory fo the administration and backers of the health law, whose decision to ignore the plain text of the law has been blessed by the Court. It’s also a big loss for critics of Obamacare, who hoped to see the law’s implementation restrained by its legislative text, and for straightforward interpretation of congressional statute.

    I would go further than that. This is a major victory for those who want to replace the rule of law with the rule of man. This is a big loss for those who believe that words means things and that the Constitution should be the supreme law of the land.

    1. On the upside, “Right to Bear Arms” can now actually, in hindsight, mean the purchasing of tanks and missiles and whatnot. Maybe a nuclear sub?

      1. Hey, Congress wrote the law, they have to deal with me owning an M1A1.

      2. it always meant this

        1. Yeah, it always meant militia (armed forces) weapons.

          Want a nuke? The 2nd protects that. Good luck with the financing though…

          1. ace – and historically, the meaning of “militia” was every citizen. Not just the National Guard. The ProgLeft attempt to historicise the “musket” thing (“they didn’t mean automatic weaponzzz!!!”) is falsifiable by their refusal to acknowledge the other historicised terms.

            So yeah, every weapon that the government owns, according to citizenry in republics, is ours for use…

        2. Yeah, I wasn’t arguing against it. FedGov (and proggies) do. Their conflation is that to own a gun, you may as well own a missile or a tank. Which would rule, and is our right.

          Also, it’s “bear arms” – not “firearms” – which means any weapons we want/get a hold of.

          No, the pedantry is found within the ranks of the FedGov, who manipulate and redefine words to their liking in order to dismantle what self-sovereignty an individual has.

  76. Good Lord! All the whining and gnashing of teeth from libertarians, just because you didn’t get your way. Instead of taking your ball and going home, you may want to try something different. Find a successful strategy. Repeal isn’t one. Maybe win an election. Maybe work to improve the law.

    Of course, that wouldn’t be childish.

    1. LOL, I know right? Geez, why don’t people just follow orders from their rulers imbued with Divine Right? Sheesh. What a bunch of losers, not liking the king’s decrees.

    2. Wow you’re scary. I guy wins an election and you’re ready to suck his wang cause he tells you to?

    3. “Maybe work to improve the law.”

      ROFL!!!!

      That’s like looking at the Titanic after it hit The Big Ice Cube in the North Sea, and saying, “you know, I think this design could be improved upon. TO THE BLUEPRINTS, STAT!!!!”

    4. First, it is impossible to improve a law that is written as bad as Obamacare is. It is a terrible law and needs to be repealed.

      Second, what is childish is saying that words can mean whatever you want them to mean at any point in time. That is the basis of this ruling and you support the childish conclusion of a reckless and corrupt Supreme Court.

    5. When ACA comes crashing down, douches like you will blame the other team. Go Team!

    6. The law is unsalvageable. And you’re a fucking imbecile.

      Buzz off.

    7. Congress offered to pass laws that would be word for word what Obama unilaterally changed.

      Obama threatened a veto.

      He doesn’t need Congress.

  77. What a fucking disaster. On many levels.

  78. Term limits if they can’t rule on the laws

  79. It was a dark and stormy night. Taking another sip of his drink, the old Libertarian looked out the window into the darkness. A lightning flash momentarily illuminated the rusty, old machine? its square mouth opening upward, like a baby bird waiting to be fed. “It’s time, old friend.”, he mumbled. “It’s time.”

  80. Lex Rex no more.

    Rex Lex.

  81. Take your medicine, but not your poison pill.

  82. This is a great victory for the arbitrary rule of a despot, and 6 “justices” have chosen to rubber-stamp this alien form of government. Fascism has now become the official ideology of the Ruling Class.

  83. Chief Justice Roberts is being blackmailed according to a rumor I read somewhere. Seems that he and is wife imported and adopted a couple of babies without going through the proper channels.

  84. Chief Justice Roberts is being blackmailed according to a rumor I read somewhere. Seems that he and is wife imported and adopted a couple of babies without going through the proper channels.

  85. Had a feeling that would happen. DC has swallowed the supreme court whole and spit it out.

  86. You people are ridiculous. You don’t have a principle about how to interpret ambiguous language in a law. You don’t have a serious objection to this ruling. You just hate the law and the president who did it. There’s nothing wrong with being outcome-focused, but stop pretending that most serious people who looked at this case didn’t think that the court even taking it on was an absurdity. It was a too-idiotic-by-half attempt to get 5 members of the SCOTUS to be nakedly partisan enough to twist a poorly written sentence into a means of undermining the whole law. If you idiots had an ounce of rational brainmatter you would be relieved that our chief justice is not such a hack, even if you don’t like the outcome.

    1. Yeah, it was written as exactly as it was intended to mean, and the law’s advisers and architects admitted it as much. The SC allowed states not set up their own healthcare exchange and reject expanded medicaid. They understood the incentive in states in doing so.

      Your side is literally making stuff up as ACA goes along. Obama insisted that ACA wasn’t a tax, then Roberts decided that it was. He delayed unpopular parts of his own law on a whim.
      Ambiguous language in a contract usually favors the recipient, not the party that wrote the contract. Your INSANE loyalty to Obama doesn’t allow you to see that this sets a bad precedent and may very well empower the giant corporations that you hate so much.

      If the ruling was different, only about 6 million people MIGHT have lost their subsidies in states that didn’t set their own exchange. But the individual mandate and penaltax would have also died, and new policy would allow millions more to choose cheaper insurance or get it somewhere else.

      How many black people you know have purchased insurance and receive subsidy? Most of them were dumped into expanded medicaid. The subsidy recipients are almost certainly mostly white (some Latinos) and middle class.

      You’re the one being blinded by ideology here, not us.

      1. Me, John Roberts, and Anthony Kennedy?

        1. You got it right for once, dipshit.

    2. Ah, that devil of ambiguity. Why is it that language is always ambiguous when it entails something that the seer of ambiguity dislikes?

      The obvious point is that the language of the statute was not ambiguous at all, but was simply disregarded by justices who had an end in mind other than interpreting either the literal language or intended meaning of the statute, both of which were crystal clear. That you refuse to admit that “thou shalt not kill” really does mean “thou shalt not kill” probably isn’t something to crow about.

      1. The Christians tell me “thou shalt not kill” in the original Hebrew contains some nuance. As in, there are circumstances in which thou shalt kill.

        The suit was a joke. Everyone thinks so. God knows why the court heard it, but the alternative ruling would have meant both a healthcare system and a Supreme Court in a shambles.

        People whose sole political interest is in seeing the president get punched in the nuts are not serious people. They are sheep, and uninteresting to anyone outside their flock.

        1. Healthcare and health “insurance” are not the same thing.

          1. Effectively they are. I’d prefer single-payer of course. We got the Republican plan. Oh well. There’s still the future.

  87. Subsidy is code word for communism

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  89. What happened to “Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”?

  90. What happened to “Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”?

    1. The Squirrels! They’re all o’er me!

    2. They applied that sentiment in this case. They went with the will of Congress instead of radically rewriting law and deliberately causing nationwide economic chaos.

      Laws you don’t like are subject to the same process as laws you do like. Sorry.

      1. They went with the will of the Congress that got voted out in the very next election.

        1. Well that’s grasping at some fucking invisible straws. Perhaps instead of being a conservative court checking the will of the people with due caution, they should adopt a new standard of “Well, the midterms went Republican, so I guess we gotta do the same. Anybody know why we’re appointed for life? Can someone get a clerk on that?”

      2. The will of Confress was to coerce States into creating exchanges. Many called the bluff so SCOTUS again had to ignore law to save this piece of legislation.

        1. According to the vapors emanating from the right-wing fever swamp, perhaps.

          There’s a reason why in the muskier corners of that swamp you can find desperate twitching about Roberts’s blackmail. It’s because there’s no coherent way to claim that he and Kennedy had any ideological attachment to this law instead of the total contrary.

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