Supreme Court

King v. Burwell: a discouraging mid-argument report [UPDATED] [WITH FINAL UPDATE]

Featured image Eric Citron at Scotusblog provides a mid-argument report on King v. Burwell, the vital Obamacare case being heard by the Supreme Court today. According to Citron, the petitioners, who argue that subsidies are not available on the federal exchange faced a troubling question from Justice Kennedy, on whose vote the case may very well turn. Kennedy, says Citron, “expressed deep concern with a system where the statute would potentially destroy »

Talk about working the refs. . .

Featured image Today’s Washington Post features a front page story called “Faces of the subsidies case: For families relying on Affordable Care Act, court ruling could be devastating.” Just above the headline, in a picture that runs nearly the full width of the front page, we see a picture of Erin Meredith — the poster woman for the story — with her adorable five-year old daughter. The picture and the headline will »

Battle station alert on the left

Featured image William Levin is a graduate of Yale Law School, former clerk on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and former special assistant in the Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel. He writes to comment on developments related to the Supreme Court’s pending decision in King v. Burwell on the legality of Obamacare subsidies provided via exchanges established by the federal government. Bill assumes that the Supreme Court will get »

Obamacare Benchwarmers Working the Refs Again

Featured image The Wall Street Journal mentions this morning that our now-socialized health care sector is filing panicked Supreme Court briefs in the upcoming King v. Burwell case that emphasize not legal arguments but the disruption to their business model if Obamacare’s state subsidies are struck down. In other words, they mostly submitted policy briefs to the Supreme Court—not legal briefs. I wonder if their lawyers gave them the appropriate policy wonk »

Trust us, we’re the government, Obama administration tells Supreme Court [With Comment by John]

Featured image Earlier this month, the Supreme Court heard a case in which the Obama administration made the extraordinary claim that there can be no judicial review as to whether a government agency met a statutory prerequisite for filing a lawsuit. The case is Mach Mining v. EEOC. The Federalist Society asked me to report on the case via audiotape. My report is here. The Civil Rights Act requires the EEOC to »

Russian Roulette, anyone?

Featured image Some Republican Senators are contemplating an attempt to change the rules for confirming Supreme Court Justices. Under their proposal, confirmation could occur with only a bare majority, as it now can for lower court judges and cabinet members. Lamar Alexander and Roy Blunt are behind the push for this change. I find no merit in it. Sure, the change would make it easier for a Republican president to have Supreme »

Disparate impact’s day in court

Featured image Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. The issue presented is whether claims of “disparate impact discrimination” can be brought under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). As I explained here, disparate impact discrimination occurs when a policy disproportionately excludes or injures a particular group and the policy is not shown to be justified by legitimate interests. »

Stephanie Cutter: Gruber was an Obamacare architect

Featured image The question of whether Jonathan Gruber is an architect of Obamacare has, I think, been settled. But in case there’s any doubt, a memo by Stephanie Cutter, President Obama’s deputy campaign manager in 2012, should erase it. According to Patrick Hawley of the Daily Caller, the Cutter memo was prepared in advance of Obama’s first debate with Mitt Romney. In relevant part, it states: So, what’s the net impact of »

A day of reckoning for “disparate impact” housing discrimination cases

Featured image Next Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a Texas case in which the issue is whether claims of “disparate impact discrimination” can be brought under the Fair Housing Act. The case is Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. “Disparate impact discrimination” occurs when a policy disproportionately excludes or injures a particular group and the policy is not shown to be »

Obamacare in 2015

Featured image Tevi Troy says that 2015 is shaping up as Obamacare’s worst year. That’s quite a statement, considering how bad a year it had in 2014 — roll-out problems, false claims of 7 million enrollees, and the defeat of congressional supporters of the legislation. The key challenge to Obamacare in 2015 will come in the Supreme Court. A defeat there would certainly make 2015 a potentially near-fatal year for Obama’s only »

William Levin: The road to repeal

Featured image William Levin is a graduate of Yale Law School. He writes to comment on the Obamacare case pending before the Supreme Court. He argues that “the road to Obamacare repeal runs through through King v. Burwell.” His column makes assumptions that are subject to reasonable argument, such as Chief Justice Roberts’s ultimate position in the current case and the soundness of the Chief Justice’s position in what he calls Obamacare »

It’s Not Just Dumb, It’s Krugman Dumb!

Featured image We have written here and elsewhere about the King v. Burwell case, in which a panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Affordable Care Act allows the federal government to subsidize participants in the federal Obamacare exchange as well as the state exchanges. In Halbig v. Burwell, decided at the same time as King, a panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals went the other »

Gruber strikes again

Featured image Jonathan Gruber, the MIT professor who was a key architect of Obamacare, may also be a central figure in the court battle over whether Obamacare subsidies are allowed for participants in the federal health insurance exchange. That’s because, as noted here, Gruber has provided the rationale for the statutory language that bars such subsidies. He thus undermines Team Obama’s argument that the statutory language can’t possibly mean what it says. »

How will the Supreme Court rule in the latest Obamacare challenge?

Featured image As Steve has noted, the Supreme Court will review the Fourth Circuit’s decision in King v. Burwell. That decision holds that the provision of Obamacare authorizing tax credits for insurance purchased on an exchange “established by the State under section 1311” also authorizes tax credits for insurance purchased on an exchange established by the federal government. It seems clear that four Justices are prepared to reverse the Fourth Circuit and »

Breaking: Supreme Court to Take Up Another Obamacare Challenge

Featured image As Paul discussed at the time, the DC Circuit Court’s Halbig ruling striking down Obamacare’s state subsidies would be unlikely to survive an en banc rehearing with all of the new judges that Harry Reid enabled Obama to appoint.  And the 4th Circuit upheld the state subsidies in a separate case. But this afternoon the Supreme Court announced that it won’t wait for the DC Circuit’s rehearing, and will take up an »

Time for Payback

Featured image It is too early to count on a Republican Senate 15 hours from now, but haven’t you noticed all the articles in the last couple of weeks from liberals saying, “Oh, won’t it be terrible for Republicans if they have a Senate majority!  Just think of all the problems they’re going to have!”  These articles do offer their comic amusement. There is one from this genre worth noting: Jeffrey Rosen’s »

Supreme Court declines to review same-sex marriage cases

Featured image The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to review lower court rulings that allow same-sex marriage in Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Indiana and Wisconsin. It would have required the votes of only four Justices to decide to review the issue, but the votes were not to be had. Nor did any Justice write a dissent from the denial of review. What does today’s decision not to decide mean. Ed Whelan argues, »