ACA passed "to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them"
June 25, 2015 7:38 AM   Subscribe

The US Supreme Court upholds subsidies on the federal exchanges in King v. Burwell in a 6-3 ruling written by the Chief Justice Roberts. Rejecting Chevron deference, the court decided that Congress actually intended for the federal exchanges to work like the state exchanges.
posted by anotherpanacea (306 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
 
Happy Dance!!!!
posted by caddis at 7:39 AM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Scalia: "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 this present Court: the Affordable Care Act must be saved."
posted by Oxydude at 7:39 AM on June 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


The last paragraph of Scalia's dissent is a wonderful flounce:
Perhaps the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will attain the enduring status of the Social Security Act or the Taft-Hartley Act; perhaps not. But this Court’s two decisions on the Act will surely be remembered through the years. The somersaults of statutory interpretation they have performed (“penalty” means tax, “further [Medicaid] payments to the State” means only incremental Medicaid payments to the State, “established by the State” means not established by the State) will be cited by litigants endlessly, to the confusion of honest jurisprudence. And the cases will publish forever the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites.
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:39 AM on June 25, 2015 [16 favorites]


From Scalia's dissent "We should start calling this law SCOTUScare."

hahaha your tears are delicious
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:40 AM on June 25, 2015 [184 favorites]


Well that's that settled then. Never again shall we have to worry that this law will be in any way molested, eviscerated. or otherwise clusterfuck-ified
posted by Optamystic at 7:40 AM on June 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


Cry me a river, Tony.
posted by penduluum at 7:41 AM on June 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


That this absurd lawsuit received three votes in its favor should remind us how important it is to elect Democratic Presidents and Senators who will not appoint assclowns to the Supreme Court with their only oversight the icy finger of death
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:42 AM on June 25, 2015 [101 favorites]


Well that's that settled then. Never again shall we have to worry that this law will be in any way molested, eviscerated. or otherwise clusterfuck-ified

I wouldn't say "never," but lost in the YAAAAAY is that this may be--to borrow from Diamond Joe--a bigger fuckin' deal than it appears on the surface. Not only does it diminish the chances of future legal challenges, but the expert analysis makes it sound like it's also apparently immune from being dismantled by a potential GOP president in the future.

Also, yay on SCOTUS for surprising us by deciding not to give bigots more freedom to discriminate in housing laws!
posted by zombieflanders at 7:42 AM on June 25, 2015 [15 favorites]


the overriding principle of this present Court

Good lord could he meangirl this any further? "I don't want to MENTION NAMES but SOME of the people here are WRONG not right like ME".
posted by poffin boffin at 7:43 AM on June 25, 2015 [92 favorites]


Also, if you're interested, Obergefell v. Hodges (the same sex marriage case) will be decided tomorrow or Monday.
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:43 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yes, no doubt this ruling is just positioning so tomorrow Roberts can make homosexuality punishable by beheading
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:44 AM on June 25, 2015 [16 favorites]


So Roberts has basically become the new Kennedy.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:44 AM on June 25, 2015


Lawrence v. Texas (Sodomy Laws) was decided June 26, 2003. U.S. v. Windsor (DOMA) was decided June 26, 2013. So, there's that.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:45 AM on June 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


This gives me a huge sense of relief. I hadn't realized how much I was worried about it until I read the news.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:45 AM on June 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


endorfireworks.gif
posted by drezdn at 7:45 AM on June 25, 2015 [11 favorites]


Roberts got a fun dig in at the dissenters:
It is implausible that Congress meant the Act to operate in this manner. See National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, 567 U.S. ____, ____ (2012) (Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito, JJ, dissenting) (slip op., at 60) ("Without the federal subsidies ... the exchanges would not operate as Congress intended and may not operate at all.").
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:46 AM on June 25, 2015 [57 favorites]


I'm so grateful. My Mom can stay insured now. Now, to have a great day enjoying conservative tears.
posted by Ambient Echo at 7:46 AM on June 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.

Nice try, Scalia, but the more people who actually get coverage, the more they like Obamacare. It's turning from an insult to an accolade. So, no, you don't get to steal the credit now.

Dickweed.
posted by eriko at 7:46 AM on June 25, 2015 [20 favorites]




Yes, no doubt this ruling is just positioning so tomorrow Roberts can make homosexuality punishable by beheading

After his showing today I'd lean more towards him making homosexuality mandatory.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:47 AM on June 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


If there's anything to love about Scalia, it's that he makes no bones about how whiny and sour-grapes he is when he's on the losing side.
posted by rtha at 7:47 AM on June 25, 2015 [29 favorites]


Many of my favorite artists and friends are going to live longer, better lives because of this. I worry less about my nephews. A few people I know will be able to start small businesses instead of living empty lives in cubicle farms.

I imagine this is true across the country.
posted by poe at 7:47 AM on June 25, 2015 [24 favorites]


Scalia sounds like the sore loser he really is. While it sucks to be on the wrong side of history he's certainly not alone.

Obligatory: Yay!
posted by tommasz at 7:48 AM on June 25, 2015


Oh my God, that Roberts dig is DELIGHTFUL.

I'd be down for a Scalia v. Roberts cage match.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:48 AM on June 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


Every so often I like to remind my international friends that people are right now in 2015 seriously campaigning for the US Presidential election by promising to take health care away from poor people, just so I can see their faces of horror. It's the new goatse.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:49 AM on June 25, 2015 [115 favorites]


So Roberts has basically become the new Kennedy.

It was 6-3, not 5-4, so hopefully these big decisions aren't going to swing on what Kennedy had for breakfast anymore. While I hold out hope that Roberts pulls a Warren, I'd settle for a right-center Chief that take the reputation of the Court seriously and who hasn't gone to ideological la-la land like Scalia and Thomas.

I mean, so long as Hillary gets two terms, of course.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:49 AM on June 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


Basically, quoting Scalia's dissents is the judicial equivalent of #PrattKeeping.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:49 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Good piece about why Roberts would vote to save the ACA: Why Chief Justice John Roberts Will Probably Save Obamacare
The case has pitted big businesses against the tea party, and in that fight, Roberts is much more likely to come down on the side of business. In his years in private practice at the white-shoe law firm Hogan & Hartson, Roberts showed himself comfortable as part of the establishment. And since landing on the high court, his most predictable votes have been in cases involving business interests.
To be sure, Roberts isn't as much centrist as he is capitalist, but the ACA saved members of my family, so I am grateful for this decision.
posted by gladly at 7:50 AM on June 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


JOHN ROBERTS IS THE JAIME LANNISTER OF SCOTUS.
posted by echocollate at 7:50 AM on June 25, 2015 [35 favorites]


For his next dissent Scalia is just going to slap his dick on a photocopier and submit the printout.
posted by Sangermaine at 7:50 AM on June 25, 2015 [72 favorites]


Shorter Scalia: "But the card says 'Moops'!" Cue Nelson Muntz laugh.

Next up, affirming marriage equality, please.
posted by Gelatin at 7:51 AM on June 25, 2015 [18 favorites]


And the cases will publish forever the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites.
This isn't an area of US politics that I follow closely, but isn't that complaint darkly hilarious coming from Scalia?
posted by metaBugs at 7:51 AM on June 25, 2015 [23 favorites]


I'd settle for a right-center Chief that hasn't gone to ideological la-la land like Scalia and Thomas.

Has he reached Souter-levels of hatred from the right yet?
posted by drezdn at 7:51 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's actually five major cases left: SSM (which could have several outcomes that lessen the impact), a challenge to the EPA on pollution regulation, whether redistricting can be conducted by independent commissions, untested lethal injection drug cocktails as cruel and unusual punishment, and weapons enhancing violent felony charges. More on all of those (plus the ACA and FHA cases) at SCOTUSBlog.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:51 AM on June 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


"And the cases will publish forever the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others"

Yes; for example, the ones that are Constitutional.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:51 AM on June 25, 2015 [56 favorites]


A Reminder: Ginsberg is 82. Scalia is 79. Kennedy is 78. Breyer is 76.

Vote Hillary, for God's Sake.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:52 AM on June 25, 2015 [71 favorites]


Scalia has become the angry man - get off my lawn you rotten commies! His output is best predicted by politics, not the law, and not the facts of the case. I really think he has become mentally unhinged somehow.
posted by caddis at 7:52 AM on June 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's terrifying that these people are so important.
posted by odinsdream at 7:53 AM on June 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


Even if I have to make her to drink Dick Cheney's blood i s2fg Ginsberg is going to live FOREVER.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:54 AM on June 25, 2015 [35 favorites]


Give it a few years and it'll be all about how Obama falsely claims credit for this awesome law by putting his name on it.
posted by Artw at 7:54 AM on June 25, 2015 [48 favorites]


YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

Now to expand Medicare to all 50 states. May lives be saved, medically and otherwise.
posted by Dashy at 7:54 AM on June 25, 2015 [11 favorites]


Scalia: how such an unprincipled twit can be thought of as principled is beyond comprehension.
posted by mondo dentro at 7:55 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


The vast majority of people who benefit from this ruling are southern whites who in 2016 will likely overwhelmingly vote for politicians campaigning on promises to repeal or otherwise damage the ACA.

What a country!
posted by MoonOrb at 7:56 AM on June 25, 2015 [25 favorites]


Good lord could he meangirl this any further? "I don't want to MENTION NAMES but SOME of the people here are WRONG not right like ME".


Shit like this makes me think that if Scalia wasn't my arch-nemesis, we would actually have a lot of fun together. Which I guess is often the case with one's arch-nemesis.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:57 AM on June 25, 2015 [26 favorites]




Well that's that settled then. Never again shall we have to worry that this law will be in any way molested, eviscerated. or otherwise clusterfuck-ified

But the longer it's in place, the harder it will be to dislodge, because the more conservative voters will be affected by it. My dad was saying that this reminded him of the creation of Medicaid in the 1960s - that the conservative rhetoric was very similar, but now it has too much impact to be easy to dismantle. In another five years, many, many middle class people will have family members who are getting insurance through the ACA and even the conservative ones won't want it taken apart. That's why they had to challenge it so fast, before people got used to the expanded ability to buy health insurance.
posted by Frowner at 7:58 AM on June 25, 2015 [16 favorites]


Roberts has always been concerned first with his personal legacy, and second with supporting corporations wherever possible. These decades will go down in history as the Roberts' Court and he knows that. He is young; he is playing a long game.
posted by likeatoaster at 7:58 AM on June 25, 2015 [14 favorites]


Scalia: “Today’s interpretation is not merely unnatural; it is unheard of.”

Funny, I remember hearing a lot about how the courts should interpret the intent of the Florida legislature back when you were installing a President, Tony.
posted by Etrigan at 7:59 AM on June 25, 2015 [81 favorites]


Such great news.

--

Scalia: “Today’s interpretation is not merely unnatural; it is unheard of.”

Heaven forbid the SCOTUS set a *gasp* legal precedent.
posted by zarq at 7:59 AM on June 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


I really think he has become mentally unhinged somehow.

It would not be the first time it's happened on the court. These are older people, it would defy the odds if one of them didn't show some signs of mild dementia. Lifetime appointments just don't make sense in a world where people live longer with increasing odds of senility.

Make it a fixed-year term some multiple of 4. That way it would sync up with the Presidents' term so they'd each get to appoint at least 1 justice for each time they get elected.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:59 AM on June 25, 2015 [14 favorites]


The guy who decided corporations are people should just stop it when he complains his fellow justices are pushing the boundaries of proper legal reasoning.


In other news...

Hurray!
posted by Atreides at 8:00 AM on June 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I am sure the founding fathers are weeping in their flag-bedecked graves at the thought of fewer Americans dying from easily preventable causes. Cry moar, Scalia.

YAY GREAT NEWS I LOVE GREAT NEWS
posted by a fiendish thingy at 8:01 AM on June 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Make it a fixed-year term some multiple of 4. That way it would sync up with the Presidents' term so they'd each get to appoint at least 1 justice for each time they get elected.

And every few years, various civil liberties and perhaps even abortion rights could be repealed, then re-enacted, then repealed again ad infinitum, as political ideologies become ascendant, or lose power.
posted by zarq at 8:02 AM on June 25, 2015 [20 favorites]


I would like to believe that we live in a political landscape in which this kind of shenanigans would light a fire under the butts of Congress and get them to more carefully draft their legislation. Sigh.
posted by likeatoaster at 8:05 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


The 5 Most Melodramatic Lines From Justice Scalia’s Obamacare Dissent.

"Today's interpretation is unheard of! Words no longer have meaning! Dogs and cats living together . . . mass hysteria!"
posted by The Bellman at 8:06 AM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Bill Kristol has resorted to writing ACA repeal fanfic.

Remember, folks, see your doctor if your schadenboner lasts for more than four hours.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:08 AM on June 25, 2015 [33 favorites]


"Today's interpretation is unheard of! Words no longer have meaning! Dogs and cats living together . . . mass hysteria!"

Well, let's say this Twinkie represents the normal amount of psychokinetic energy in the United States. Based on this morning's decision, it would be a Twinkie thirty-five feet long, weighing approximately six hundred pounds.
posted by zarq at 8:10 AM on June 25, 2015 [16 favorites]


Scalia's decisions, of course, are never influenced by whether he "favors" a law or not.
posted by mbrubeck at 8:12 AM on June 25, 2015


That's a big Twinkie
posted by the phlegmatic king at 8:13 AM on June 25, 2015 [16 favorites]


If Scalia doesn't like the 6-3 results then I suggest a greeter position at WalMart for his golden years, he loves those folks to the end of the world anyway so = match made in heaven. Roberts can collect carts in the lot.
posted by Freedomboy at 8:14 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know that Roberts deserves much praise. He's simply following the (bleeding obvious and) overriding principle of the legislative intent here: the quote that is the title of this post. He remains a nauseating ratfucker for his double back somersault attempt at fence straddling in the prior ACA decision that gave states the right to opt out (or whatever it was... too lazy to look up at the mo').
But anyway: yay for you guys!
posted by peacay at 8:14 AM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think they should have an accelerated death policy for SCOTUS. And before MeFi gets a gagged subpoena for my IP - I wish no actual harm, quite the opposite - I mean that the judges should have a retirement system which randomly kicks in with increasing probability after the age of, say, 70, and has a high probability of occurring before 80. That'll be basically the same mechanism as now, with the difference that there'll be a faster turnover and the judges will get to spend more time with their grandkids. It'd still avoid whatever the reason is they just don't retire at a fixed age, or after a fixed term.
posted by Devonian at 8:15 AM on June 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


It would not be the first time it's happened on the court. These are older people, it would defy the odds if one of them didn't show some signs of mild dementia. Lifetime appointments just don't make sense in a world where people live longer with increasing odds of senility.

In the sentence "Antonin Scalia has a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court," the part of the sentence that is the problem has never been "lifetime appointment."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:15 AM on June 25, 2015 [15 favorites]


Has he reached Souter-levels of hatred from the right yet?

The words traitor and treason and being thrown around on Twitter.
posted by COD at 8:16 AM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Well that's that settled then. Never again shall we have to worry that this law will be in any way molested, eviscerated. or otherwise clusterfuck-ified

Well, there are only so many plausible legal challenges, and this one was reeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaallllllly stretching credulity. I think it's okay to feel good about the legal standing of the law. It's firmly established.

As long as Dems can hold the White House, the Senate, or the House of Representatives, they can shut down future legislative challenges. In America, it's much easier to hold the status quo than to do something new. Plus, the GOP will be more hesitant to screw up healthcare for millions of people when they must do it by direct legal action and can't avoid taking the blame. I think ACA is here to stay, until some happy future date when we can move toward single-payer.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:17 AM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


The editor of Breitbart goes there: "This is the greatest destruction of individual liberty since Dred Scott. This is the end of America as we know it. No exaggeration."

Just let that first sentence sink in, folks. Especially in the context of the events of the last week.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:19 AM on June 25, 2015 [39 favorites]


Mongol General: Wrong! Conan! What is best in life?
Conan: Crush your enemies. See them complaining on Twitter. Hear the lamentations of their talking heads.
Mongol General: That is good! That is good.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:20 AM on June 25, 2015 [63 favorites]


I think they should have an accelerated death policy for SCOTUS.

Have you read The Giver? Something like that, maybe?
posted by backseatpilot at 8:21 AM on June 25, 2015


Even if Scalia has a point on the literal interpretation of the Act, it seems like the issue of "established by the State" was a drafting oversight. The point of statutory interpretation is to ascertain the intention of Congress, not to go on a treasure hunt for error to find a flaw in the language of the Act, exploit it, and then strike it all down on a technicality.
posted by ageispolis at 8:21 AM on June 25, 2015 [11 favorites]


The editor of Breitbart goes there: "This is the greatest destruction of individual liberty since Dred Scott. This is the end of America as we know it.

And I feel fine.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:23 AM on June 25, 2015 [42 favorites]


From Scalia's dissent
The Court’s next bit of interpretive jiggery-pokery involves other parts of the Act...
Scalia seems reallllly self-satisfied with this one.
posted by likeatoaster at 8:24 AM on June 25, 2015


The point of statutory interpretation is to ascertain the intention of Congress, not to exploit a flaw in the language of the Act to strike the entire thing down on a technicality.

Agreed. On the other hand, if I were Obama and the subsidies had been struck down on a technicality, I'd direct the Treasury to start minting those trillion dollar coins after all. It's technically legal!
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:24 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't be surprised if the ACA wasn't even brought up much by the Republican nominee in 2016. They might tell Republican audiences they'd repeal it, but the law is way more popular than it was in 2012 and 2014.

(And I'm really glad it made it through another challenge, because I would have been peeved if Russ Feingold lost his Senate seat because of a law that ended within a few years)
posted by drezdn at 8:24 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow, I was dreading the outcome of this and am happy that my fears were misplaced.

Waiting for Slate to tell me how this is actually good for Republicans in 2016.
posted by octothorpe at 8:25 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]




Stay salty, Scalia.
posted by Slackermagee at 8:26 AM on June 25, 2015


The editor of Breitbart goes there

To be precise, he went there in 2012.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 8:27 AM on June 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


RE: Breitbart tweet - it is from 2012, on the first ACA case apparently. So, the juxtaposition with last week's events is not quite fair, although the overall 2012 racist sentiment remains.
posted by permiechickie at 8:28 AM on June 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


[T]he cases will publish forever the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites.
This should be a mandatory epigram for every book written about the Roberts court in the future.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:28 AM on June 25, 2015


The people who brought this case were willing to deny 8 million people their healthcare to achieve a blind political end.
posted by dry white toast at 8:29 AM on June 25, 2015 [20 favorites]


Brietbart.com: the overall racist sentiment remains.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:30 AM on June 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


MetaFilter: Interpretive jiggery-pokery
posted by vibrotronica at 8:30 AM on June 25, 2015 [22 favorites]


Obama speaking at 11:30 AM.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:32 AM on June 25, 2015






Dip Flash, way upthread: This gives me a huge sense of relief. I hadn't realized how much I was worried about it until I read the news.

This, exactly.

It was excruciatingly obvious all along that it was a stupid drafting error that was being argued over, and that in any normal circumstance (i.e., not a black president facing off against a Tea Party congress) it would have a quiet legislative fix. The plain intent of the law, as in the post title, was to create a functioning health insurance market. The Appeals courts found in favor of the law. The human costs of a repeal were obvious, and horrible - otherwise I think Democrats would have been more eager to indulge in some more "please don't throw me in that briar patch" histrionics. There was not a shred of a decent argument in favor of this challenge to the law other than "but it says Moop right here".

And yet, I realized when I saw this go by on Twitter - I had been holding my breath about the outcome.
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:37 AM on June 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


Calm down, Jeb. Use your words.
posted by dry white toast at 11:26 AM on June 25


I love "The Supreme Court just upheld Obamacare yet again. This is the direct result of President Obama." Thanks for drawing that connection for me, Jebster, I might have missed it otherwise.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:38 AM on June 25, 2015 [17 favorites]


When I heard over the weekend that the Republicans were working on their ACA fixes, I was worried that they already knew they were going to win (fortunately the SCOTUS doesn't work like the Wisconsin one).
posted by drezdn at 8:39 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Scalia: "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 this present Court: the Affordable Care Act must be saved."

Similar to today's other political thread, Scalia is just so depressing. Someone so obviously intelligent, but who is so transparent about his willingness to adopt whatever set of "principles" serves him in the moment even ignoring his past statements or decisions on the matter, and so breathtakingly unconcerned with the long-term legitimacy of the court.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:41 AM on June 25, 2015 [10 favorites]






That's from the New Yorker. I thought it had to be the Onion.

... Oh. So it is satire ...
posted by rdr at 8:44 AM on June 25, 2015


I mean, it's satire but is it really
posted by Avenger at 8:44 AM on June 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


Yes, I was aware it was satire. Sorry, should have labeled it.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:44 AM on June 25, 2015


poffin boffin: "s2fg "

i also like to shear fine goats in pairs. hmu on goatster if u in denver
posted by boo_radley at 8:45 AM on June 25, 2015 [21 favorites]


Obama killing it with his statement.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:46 AM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is the end of America as we know it.

Other things which have ended america as we know it recently:

- gays doing gay stuff
- women doing women stuff
- ppl saying "please stop hunting black people for sport"
- differently gendered people being allowed to say "i am a person"
- people who wish black ppl were still enslaved not being allowed to buy symbols of their hatred at walmart anymore
- people saying "let's try not to drink 500gal cups of soda at every meal maybe"

when will this long national nightmare end
posted by poffin boffin at 8:46 AM on June 25, 2015 [139 favorites]


Yet saving lives with his legislation
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:46 AM on June 25, 2015


tonycpsu: Bill Kristol has resorted to writing ACA repeal fanfic.

One of the best responses from that link: "I'm so old, I remember when Obamacare/Romneycare *was* the limited-govt alternative."

But yay for more universal-ish coverage for our southern neighbours, I guess, even if it is kinda massively corporate.
posted by clawsoon at 8:47 AM on June 25, 2015 [16 favorites]


Funny, I remember hearing a lot about how the courts should interpret the intent of the Florida legislature back when you were installing a President, Tony.

Actually, he prefers Nino.
posted by enjoymoreradio at 8:48 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Obama killing it with his statement.

Anyone have a transcript?
posted by DynamiteToast at 8:48 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Calm down, Jeb. Use your words.

I wish they had accidentally sent out the other email they had drafted that has an identical request for money, but this time because they beat Obamacare and now they need more money to do more good.
posted by griphus at 8:49 AM on June 25, 2015 [10 favorites]


I don't know that Roberts deserves much praise. He's simply following the (bleeding obvious and) overriding principle of the legislative intent here: the quote that is the title of this post. He remains a nauseating ratfucker for his double back somersault attempt at fence straddling in the prior ACA decision that gave states the right to opt out (or whatever it was... too lazy to look up at the mo').

The states always had the right to opt out of providing exchanges. That was fundamental to the design of the act (and the reason this lawsuit was such a piece of tendentious crap from the beginning). I think you're thinking of the fact that Roberts sided with the majority on the question of the Medicare expansion.

I'm with those who feel just an enormous wave of relief about this decision. The fact that it was 6-3 rather than 5-4 is just icing on the cake. And Scalia's little temper tantrum is the cherry on top!
posted by yoink at 8:49 AM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


I wouldn't be surprised if the ACA wasn't even brought up much by the Republican nominee in 2016.

Ted Cruz literally ends every one of his public appearances with "ACA delenda est".
posted by poffin boffin at 8:50 AM on June 25, 2015 [27 favorites]


Did you know that it is now mandatory to be a gay socialist immigrant

Obama is knocking on my door now with the transformation machine no wait please stop sir I just want to post on Met-
posted by Avenger at 8:50 AM on June 25, 2015 [28 favorites]


This is the greatest destruction of individual liberty since Dred Scott. This is the end of America as we know it. No exaggeration.

Ah yes, let the Hyekian, Road-to-Serfdom hysteria begin. "SOMEONE'S HELPING SOMEONE!! CAN TOTALITARIANISM BE FAR BEHIND??!!!!"

And I see Rand Paul chimed in right on cue, as well.
posted by mondo dentro at 8:52 AM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Well I guess Avenger is signed up on Tumblr now.
posted by notyou at 8:52 AM on June 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


Anyone have a transcript?

I don't know about a transcript, but you can listen to the statement on whitehouse.gov. You have to go to about 28:30 on the video to hit the beginning of the statement. Nice to hear the glee in Obama's voice.
posted by yoink at 8:54 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, the Republicans just breathed a huge sigh of relief. Now they can continue to demagogue and fund-raise against the act without the possibility of actually having to produce a viable replacement...
posted by jim in austin at 8:54 AM on June 25, 2015 [19 favorites]


Scalia is just so depressing. Someone so obviously intelligent, but who is so transparent about his willingness to adopt whatever set of "principles" serves him in the moment

I agree on his intelligence, which makes me wonder about the extent to which, knowing he's writing the dissent, that he's on the wrong side of history, the extent to which he's indulging himself in hystrionics. Better, or at least much more fun, to be the blistering dissent than the calmly worded precedent? On which decisions has his vote actually mattered?
posted by fatbird at 8:55 AM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Tumblr also becomes mandatory tomorrow.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:55 AM on June 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Hallelujah! I've never been so happy to be wrong. (I was afraid it would be 5-4 the other way, especially when I read about how Republicans were suddenly rushing to work on their fixes.) Thanks to the ACA, not only did I NOT have to take COBRA when I lost my job last year, but I was able to find a plan that was just as comprehensive, but with a company that had all my doctors in-network and was just over half the price I would have paid for COBRA. (And only $20/month more than I paid for my employer-provided insurance before we switched providers!)

There are some excellent meltdowns on Free Republic today. : )
posted by SisterHavana at 8:55 AM on June 25, 2015 [10 favorites]


Give it a few years and it'll be all about how Obama falsely claims credit for this awesome law by putting his name on it.

I already hear from relatives that "only a narcissist of a president" would put his name on a piece of congressional legislation. Because, y'know, that's what Obama did. Named the law after himself.
posted by verb at 8:55 AM on June 25, 2015 [33 favorites]


Is it safe to say that all the major Scotus decisions have been made and written and they're just dribbling them out a bit at time? Or is there some other reason not announce everything on a single day?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:57 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


The irony is that the lead complainant, David King, is eligible for free medical care from the Veterans Administration.
posted by JackFlash at 8:57 AM on June 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


Barack "Affordable" Obama
posted by poffin boffin at 8:58 AM on June 25, 2015 [33 favorites]


Scalia is just so depressing. Someone so obviously intelligent, but who is so transparent about his willingness to adopt whatever set of "principles" serves him in the moment even ignoring his past statements or decisions on the matter, and so breathtakingly unconcerned with the long-term legitimacy of the court.

I've been reading and Scalia looks dead-consistent on this case. He's always thought that scrivener's errors should only be resolved in extraordinary circumstances of clear intention and clear typos. I think the majority is right that this is one of those times, but it's kind of a near thing, textually.

I also think he's right that the ACA has been blessed by SCOTUS's unusual support, in the way that only a few pieces of legislation ever have been. That's because it's too goddamned important. But most legislation really should require revisiting in the way that the ACA just can't receive.

If you want to blame anyone, blame the legislature which has spent the post-war period trying as hard as possible to get out of the business of writing laws and steering policy. Bruce Ackerman's The New Separation of Powers is really important for thinking about the history here.
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:59 AM on June 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


The irony is that the lead complainant, David King, is eligible for free medical care from the Veterans Administration.

How would he have had standing, then?

He's always thought that scrivener's errors should only be resolved in extraordinary circumstances of clear intention and clear typos.


How is he being "dead-consistent" then? This is as clear a case of slightly ambiguous wording being easily and trivially resolved by the "clear intention" of the act as one could ever ask for.
posted by yoink at 9:01 AM on June 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


The New York Times fittingly published this article as "The Upshot", which I think it really is: Obamacare Ruling May Have Just Killed State-Based Exchanges.

It's a clumsy title, but they mean to say that as time goes on, state-run exchanges are likely to go away, with states deferring the duty and choosing to simply offer plans via the federal exchange program of healthcare.gov. As more and more states do this, the federal exchange program will be the only exchange. Subsuming that into Medicare will certainly be a fight, but seems the next logical step.

Though such a step would require congressional action, and we haven't seen much logic from them lately.
posted by cyclopticgaze at 9:01 AM on June 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


>Brandon Blatcher

The decisions have been made already, but the arguments in the opinions and dissents (including concurring and lone wolfs) get circulated and edited for a while. Typically the justices deliver the decisions as soon as possible with respect to the next decision date unless they run out of time in the sitting as they have to get back to more editing/debating.
posted by Hasteur at 9:02 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Consumers express relief after health law ruling: ‘Thank God, hallelujah’
Atlanta resident Ted Souris, 62, describes himself as an “arch-conservative” who initially opposed the health law. He said he had mixed feelings about the ruling. He gets what he calls “a pretty hefty subsidy” to buy insurance — he gets $460 and pays $115 a month for insurance.

“I’m so against Obama, and I hate that he has any kind of victory,” said Souris, “but it’s nice that I don’t have to worry” about affording health coverage.

He said he doesn’t like getting what he calls “a government hand-out,” but that the law — and the subsidy — allowed him to retire early and still have coverage. “I am glad I have the Affordable Care Act, and I appreciate that I got the subsidy.” Without it, he’d probably have to go back to work, he said.
This is exactly what the Republican organization has feared since ACA was a candy bar in Obama's back pocket. Although the mental disconnect this one individual is expressing is pretty astounding.
posted by hippybear at 9:04 AM on June 25, 2015 [79 favorites]


The irony is that the lead complainant, David King, is eligible for free medical care from the Veterans Administration.

How would he have had standing, then?


This question was actually brought up in arguments but the court chose to ignore it because there are other complainants with standing.

Here is what King's lawyers argued in court:
1. We absolutely swear that King never enrolled in the VA.
2. But if he did, he did it after he filed the case.
Lawyers, eh?
posted by JackFlash at 9:07 AM on June 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


I just read the Scalia dissent. For those who don't have time, I will summarize: "Harumph!"
posted by haricotvert at 9:08 AM on June 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


“I’m so against Obama, and I hate that he has any kind of victory,” said Souris, “but it’s nice that I don’t have to worry” about affording health coverage.

Yeah, buddy, maybe you could spare a thought for some other people who are not as lucky as you once in a while... Asshole.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:08 AM on June 25, 2015 [20 favorites]


Watching Obama's statement. Biden spends the entire statement looking like he is having to restrain himself from shouting "YA BURNT, REPUBLICANS. YA BURNT!"
posted by dry white toast at 9:08 AM on June 25, 2015 [36 favorites]


The New York Times fittingly published this article as "The Upshot", which I think it really is: Obamacare Ruling May Have Just Killed State-Based Exchanges.

That piece is a little irritating, though, in that what it's really saying is that the states would have eventually give up the exchange-running business even if this ruling had never happened. It's not the ruling that is "killing" the state-based exchanges. What they really are claiming is that the only thing which would have saved the state-based exchanges would have been a ruling the other way.
posted by yoink at 9:09 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


“I’m so against Obama, and I hate that he has any kind of victory,” said Souris, “but it’s nice that I don’t have to worry” about affording health coverage.

I wish they had asked the follow-up question of "do you think other people deserve this coverage as well?" because I am like 99% sure the answer would be no.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:09 AM on June 25, 2015 [29 favorites]


So are you saying, cyclopticgaze, that we'll all eventually just get government-subsidized, single-payer health care like the rest of the civilized world? Why don't we just start doing that right now, and save everyone a lot of aggravation (and pain and deaths)? Oh, right...
posted by Melismata at 9:09 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've been reading and Scalia looks dead-consistent on this case.

But he said the opposite in NFIB, because that suited his interests there. As dissents both are basically just dicta, but either he was lying about his actual interpretation of the law then, or he's lying about it now. It's just sad and depressing.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:09 AM on June 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Third option: he doesn't actually have an interpretation of the law and his thinking is a hundred percent outcome driven. I'm open to evidence to the contrary.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:12 AM on June 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


Why don't we just start doing that right now, and save everyone a lot of aggravation (and pain and deaths)?

Oh how I wish. . . .
posted by cyclopticgaze at 9:12 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Why don't we just start doing that right now, and save everyone a lot of aggravation (and pain and deaths)?

THE RED MENACE!
posted by poffin boffin at 9:14 AM on June 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


After his showing today I'd lean more towards him making homosexuality mandatory.

Better be some subsidies for my gay marriage, I only budgeted for the straight one I already had.
posted by emjaybee at 9:16 AM on June 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


This is the end of America as we know it.

Tangential, but I think we should have a viewing of Dinesh D'Souza's "2016: Obama's America" on the day of the next presidential inauguration. If the US still exists then, of course.
posted by drezdn at 9:19 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Subsidies only if you got your gay spouse off the state exchanges.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:19 AM on June 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


So are you saying, cyclopticgaze, that we'll all eventually just get government-subsidized, single-payer health care like the rest of the civilized world? Why don't we just start doing that right now, and save everyone a lot of aggravation (and pain and deaths)?

I don't think that that was what cyclopticgaze was saying, but I think something rather like it is a very possible future for Obamacare (and, man, should we all insist on calling it that for all eternity; credit where credit is due). One of the points made by many of us who were defending Obamacare back in the early days from attacks on the left was that the crucial step is to get sufficient federal skin in the medical game. Everyone who said "but it doesn't do enough to control medical costs" (e.g., bargaining with pharmaceutical companies etc.) was missing the point that winning that battle will get immensely easier when those costs directly impact the federal budget (as we see already with the far more effective controls that are placed on Medicare spending than on other medical expenses in the US).

I think a National-Health-type "single payer" model is unlikely to emerge in our lifetimes, but I think that Obamacare will slowly mutate towards a system that achieves most of the same effective outcomes as a single-payer system.
posted by yoink at 9:20 AM on June 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


I mean, it's satire but is it really

I never assume anymore. I think my satire-meter broke when Republibots started saying things like child labor and eliminating women's suffrage were good ideas.
posted by emjaybee at 9:23 AM on June 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


I mean, it's satire but is it really

I never assume anymore.


Hey the other day I read a real news story about Iowa giving the blind and visually impaired the right to carry concealed weapons without a permit, so I'm with ya.
posted by dry white toast at 9:24 AM on June 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


I never assume anymore. I think my satire-meter broke when Republibots started saying things like child labor and eliminating women's suffrage were good ideas.

Poe's Law in action.
posted by drezdn at 9:26 AM on June 25, 2015


I think a National-Health-type "single payer" model is unlikely to emerge in our lifetimes, but I think that Obamacare will slowly mutate towards a system that achieves most of the same effective outcomes as a single-payer system.

Just to be clear, it pains me that I completely agree with this statement. I lament that my country can't have—and probably won't for a long time, if ever—the type of healthcare payment system that most countries of the world employ.
posted by cyclopticgaze at 9:27 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, buddy, maybe you could spare a thought for some other people who are not as lucky as you once in a while...

Empathy is for communists.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:28 AM on June 25, 2015 [11 favorites]


Ted Cruz literally ends every one of his public appearances with "ACA delenda est".

Cato the Elder was a dick.
posted by clawsoon at 9:35 AM on June 25, 2015 [10 favorites]


Got around to watching the video and Biden is in prime form. I've always said he should be the Dem VP candidate in every election forever, but I'd also accept him just following the president around and standing behind her/him during speeches with his great expressions and reactions.
posted by DynamiteToast at 9:38 AM on June 25, 2015 [19 favorites]


Did you know that it is now mandatory to be a gay socialist immigrant

Obama is knocking on my door now with the transformation machine no wait please stop sir I just want to post on Met-


It's not so bad at first. In my case, the food is 100% better and because I'm like a foot shorter now I don't have to worry about bonking my head on the car door any more. I mean, I'm still married, have a job, and so on. The downside is suddenly finding out that I have to fly to Bangalore to attend a wedding even though I thought I would be estranged from my new family. We just spent a lot of money on new clothes for me (my wife was the first one into the transformation machine, so outside of developing a badass Ukrainian accent not much changed for her) and the whole socialism thing means I have to pay my part and can't just be a selfish jerk.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:39 AM on June 25, 2015 [4 favorites]




Sadly I would bet on the NHS dying before the US getting an NHS.
posted by Artw at 9:40 AM on June 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


I wish they had asked the follow-up question of "do you think other people deserve this coverage as well?" because I am like 99% sure the answer would be no.

Of course it would be. "Fuck you, got mine," is a key plank for these people.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:44 AM on June 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


In case you missed it, here's a very rare video of oral arguments at the Supreme court in King v. Burwell, via Charles Gaba.
posted by mhum at 9:45 AM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Scalia's dissent is actually entertaining reading. Roomthreeseventeen's link covers some of it but it's worth reading the whole thing. Here are some of my favorite lines:
  • The Court interprets §36B to award tax credits on both federal and state Exchanges. It accepts that the “most natural sense” of the phrase “Exchange established by the State” is an Exchange established by a State. Ante, at 11. (Understatement, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act!) Yet the opinion continues, with no semblance of shame, that “it is also possible that the phrase refers to all Exchanges—both State and Federal.” Ante,at 13. (Impossible possibility, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act!)
  • The Court’s next bit of interpretive jiggery-pokery involves other parts of the Act that purportedly presuppose
  • the availability of tax credits on both federal and state Exchanges.
  • It is probably piling on to add that the Congress that wrote the Affordable Care Act knew how to equate two different types of Exchanges when it wanted to do so.
posted by Asparagus at 9:48 AM on June 25, 2015


I think a National-Health-type "single payer" model is unlikely to emerge in our lifetimes, but I think that Obamacare will slowly mutate towards a system that achieves most of the same effective outcomes as a single-payer system.

The exact form of if may not matter so much: a highly regulated insurance system can work just as well. I think the US is much more likely to evolve towards a hybrid system like Germany's than a Canadian model (single-payer at the state level) or the UK (national single payer). That's OK. It can still mean that everyone gets coverage, no one goes without and the disadvantaged get taken care of.
posted by bonehead at 9:54 AM on June 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


i'm afraid to click on the Breitbart Dred Scott link.

however, i'm confused.

is he saying that when a slave was denied his freedom, that was an affront on individual liberty and that the ACA is denying people freedom and also an affront on individual liberty?

i'm not trying to be trolly or anything, i just find his remark confusing.
posted by sio42 at 9:55 AM on June 25, 2015


The first quoted passage is my favorite because it's such transparent bullshit for a Supreme Court justice to pretend that when a law has a most natural reading it's impossible for any other reading to be plausible.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:56 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


It is probably piling on to add

Oh my god it's like Scalia made a MeTa about his deleted comment.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:59 AM on June 25, 2015 [58 favorites]


is he saying that when a slave was denied his freedom, that was an affront on individual liberty and that the ACA is denying people freedom and also an affront on individual liberty?

I think he's saying, "IF I SCREAM INANITIES LOUDLY ABOUT FREEDOM FROM TYRANNY, PEOPLE WILL GET OUTRAGED AND VOTE REPUBLICAN"
posted by zarq at 10:01 AM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


The link that the man of twists and turns posted makes obvious to me something that I hadn't thought of before (though I suspect that most of you had thought of it already): The federal subsidies mean that rich Democratic states are subsidizing the poor in Republican states that those states don't want to. E.g.,
The expansion of Medicaid, following the Arizona legislature’s deep cuts to who was eligible for the state health care program, was a lifeline for dozens of hospitals and medical centers which were in danger of closing because so many uninsured people could not pay.
posted by clawsoon at 10:02 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Arizona is exactly the kind of state that would free its people from the tyranny of having hospitals.
posted by Artw at 10:04 AM on June 25, 2015 [21 favorites]


It is probably piling on to add

Oh my god it's like Scalia made a MeTa about his deleted comment.


It's not too much of a stretch. Just ask Rachel Maddow:

"He's a troll. He's saying this for effect. He knows it's offensive and he knows he's going to get a gasp from the courtroom, which he got, and he loves it. He's like the guy on your blog comment thread who is using the n-word. 'Oh, it made you mad? How about if I say this? Does it make you mad? Did it make you mad? Did it make you mad?' He's that guy! He's that kind of guy! When we're all shocked that he said something so blatantly racially offensive while talking about the cornerstone of the federal Civil Rights Act, he's thinking, 'Oh yeah!'"
posted by leotrotsky at 10:05 AM on June 25, 2015 [17 favorites]


I'm wondering what weird justification will be invented for the next constitutional challenge. 3rd amendment quartering of troops violation, perhaps, in case of in-home care?
posted by LastOfHisKind at 10:08 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


sio42, I've heard libertarian types arguing that any form of socialism is literal slavery because it uses the power of the state (the dread men with guns) to force you to labor for others however indirectly. So I'd assume that sort of pseudo logic is what the breitbart people are relying on. The ACA enslave doctors by forcing them to something something something medicare
posted by sotonohito at 10:09 AM on June 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Rand Paul has literally made that argument, but with words other than "something something."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:10 AM on June 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


LOLOL. Scalia, apparently not familiar with the motives of Republican polticians:

"The Court predicts that making tax credits unavailable in States that do not set up their own Exchanges would cause disastrous economic consequences there. If that is so, however, wouldn’t one expect States to react by setting up their own Exchanges? (pdf, page 42)
posted by Asparagus at 10:11 AM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


i'm afraid to click on the Breitbart Dred Scott link.

however, i'm confused.


I was afraid to click on it too but then I realized it was a tweet; that's basically all it said but I think the arguments outlined above just about capture the stupid, stupid sentiment.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:11 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


The editor of Breitbart goes there: "This is the greatest destruction of individual liberty since Dred Scott. This is the end of America as we know it. No exaggeration."

It's a pretty bad sign for, well, everything, that on first glance at that headline, I just assumed that the "destruction of individual liberty" someone at Breitbart was concerned about would be the slave owner's, uh, "property rights" and not any of Dred Scott's rights.
posted by Copronymus at 10:14 AM on June 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


sotonohito: "The ACA enslave doctors by forcing them to something something something medicare"

And janitors and assistants and nurses... it's like how the right to bear arms enslaves arms manufacturers... makes u think
posted by boo_radley at 10:18 AM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


The sad thing when reading Scalia’s opinions is that underneath all the snark and brusqueness, he usually is advancing a sound argument. It’s not always persuasive, but it’s nearly always internally consistent.

The weak point in the majority’s argument is in one of its footnoted responses to the minority. Scalia asks, “look, the phrase ‘an Exchange established by the State’ appears like seven times in this law. Are they all ‘drafting errors’?” Roberts replies, “well, the phrase ‘an Exchange established by the State’ can mean different things in different contexts, and at any rate we weren’t asked to rule on those other usages.”

The weak point in the minority’s argument is its deadpan assertion that all the illogical outcomes Roberts points out if you assume the literal meaning of “Exchange established by the State” are actually quite logical. To paraphrase: “Why does the majority assume it’s illogical that the law says Federal exchanges have to educate people on the tax credits they receive? The law could just mean that Federal exchanges should tell people that they will receive zero tax credits! Naturellement!

But, look, I’ve got to admit that both sides have points. The majority is correct that the phrase “established by the State” is ambiguous in its context, and that there’s no possible way that Congress meant for it to mean what petitioners are arguing. The minority, I think, is correct to say that it’s not the Court’s job to bail Congress out if they wrote a nonsensical law with bad outcomes. It comes down a process-versus-outcome debate, and I’d rather the Court show some understanding of the real world than be functional-but-useless.

I’ve got to admit that, as odious as I find the current politicization of the court to be (left-leaning judges wait until Democrats are president before they retire, and vice-versa), there’s no hope of getting away from it in the near future. Rare is the judge who hasn’t largely made up their mind on the big cases before they arrive, and if you’ve already made up your mind on something and you’ve been in the legal profession your whole life you can easily write a sound and persuasive argument that it should ever be thus.

In fact, if I’m honest, Scalia’s tone in opinions grates me not because he’s being a conservative blowhard, but because he acts like his line of reasoning is both (a) obvious and (b) the only thought process a human being could reasonably follow. Conservatives act like the role of a justice is to call balls and strikes. Whereas it’s more like being a referee in a sport where some of the rules are archaic and most aren’t written down at all, and in order to judge whether someone committed a foul you have to research the entire history of fouls.
posted by savetheclocktower at 10:18 AM on June 25, 2015 [19 favorites]


Apparently Roberts found Scalia's most quotable dissent zinger, "We should start calling this law SCOTUScare," quite amusing.

Reminds me of the Romney-Obama debate when Romney apologized for using the term "Obamacare" and the President said, "I like it."
posted by bearwife at 10:20 AM on June 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


"Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is 'established by the State.'"
Have I "made dinner" if I order a pizza ? If I cook up a Tombstone ? Or have I only "made dinner" if I knead the dough and grow the tomatoes myself ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:22 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


sotonohito - thank you for that - i knew he was getting at something that i was missing. it's like reading a code or something...
posted by sio42 at 10:23 AM on June 25, 2015


Conservatives act like the role of a justice is to call balls and strikes.

No. They talk like their role is to call balls and strikes. But that hermeneutic stance is a farce. They act in a completely obvious way to support their ideological position, which favors a social hierarchy backed by financial power.
posted by mondo dentro at 10:23 AM on June 25, 2015 [12 favorites]




I have questions for Michelle Bachmann:

1) What history does the phrase "millennias of judicial restraint" refer to?
2) Are you aware that the noun millennia is already plural?
3) Is that tweet a picture of a text message you sent? If so, why?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:33 AM on June 25, 2015 [27 favorites]


The minority, I think, is correct to say that it’s not the Court’s job to bail Congress out if they wrote a nonsensical law with bad outcomes.

I think the majority would agree with that, but there's a standard for "nonsensical" versus "ambiguous but workable" no matter how much Scalia and the plaintiffs would like to pretend that any contradictory statutory text automatically renders the law a failure no matter how clear the legislators' intent is.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:34 AM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


the tweet is a scanned in film photo of a memiographed typewritten sheet.

In Michelle world in makes sense.

BENGAZI MAGNA CARTA!!!
posted by edgeways at 10:37 AM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


So, Michelle Bachmann:

800 years the Magna Carta was useful == "Millennias" Gotcha.

Time to take a quarter milli-millennia dump.
posted by Hasteur at 10:40 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


and really FFS if the 14th Amendment can be twsted and applied to corporate personhood (and very few people are up in arms about that) folks can stfu about the complexities of Obamacare
posted by edgeways at 10:41 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


> I think the majority would agree with that, but there's a standard for "nonsensical" versus "ambiguous but workable" no matter how much Scalia and the plaintiffs would like to pretend that any contradictory statutory text automatically renders the law a failure no matter how clear the legislators' intent is.

Sure, though that standard is the sort of thing where reasonable people can disagree. And, to be clear, I fall on the “ambiguous but workable” side. But it’s not a slam-dunk, of-course-it-is-thus-hence-you-are-an-idiot kind of disagreement.

So many of the disagreements on the Court, when analyzed, come down to fuzzy things like life experience and general judicial philosophy and “it depends on how you approach the problem” and whatnot. Which is frustrating for a body that is highly invested in logical reasoning, but ultimately necessary.
posted by savetheclocktower at 10:41 AM on June 25, 2015


The minority, I think, is correct to say that it’s not the Court’s job to bail Congress out if they wrote a nonsensical law with bad outcomes.

He doesn't really believe this, though, and is lying if and when he says or implies that he does. If he believed that, he would apply Hugo Black style literalism to the Constitution and its amendments, but he doesn't.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:41 AM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


To be fair, many other advanced countries have private insurance. (E.g. Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, with supplemental insurance in places like France). Not to the extent the U.S.does. But they do have it.
posted by persona au gratin at 10:43 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm not saying I LIKE Roberts, but he sure isn't as bad as many folks thought he was going to be.
posted by edgeways at 10:44 AM on June 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


and really FFS if the 14th Amendment can be twsted and applied to corporate personhood (and very few people are up in arms about that) folks can stfu about the complexities of Obamacare

Well, in fairness, I think a lot of people are up in arms about that. Unfortunately, the people who could actually fix it are not among that group.
posted by holborne at 10:45 AM on June 25, 2015


And even in Canada we have private insurance for things like dental, speech/occupational/physio therapy, etc.
posted by clawsoon at 10:45 AM on June 25, 2015


The sad thing when reading Scalia’s opinions is that underneath all the snark and brusqueness, he usually is advancing a sound argument. It’s not always persuasive, but it’s nearly always internally consistent.

It's important to keep in mind that while he may be a misanthropic right-wing blowhard, Scalia is, in fact, insanely smart. All of them are. SCOTUS is a fine place to find people that you disagree with enormously, that you think are terrible human beings who are a danger to the prosperity and liberty of the nation - but who are definitely really, really smart. You just don't end up on the Supreme Court without having some really impressive intellectual chops.
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:45 AM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


3) Is that tweet a picture of a text message you sent? If so, why?

I've seen Republicans do this when Tweeting anything controversial. I'm curious, too, why they do this. Do they think they can pull the image off a server, if they get caught quoted saying something stupid?
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:49 AM on June 25, 2015


...Scalia is, in fact, insanely smart

Wish we had more Justices who were sanely smart.
posted by ogooglebar at 10:50 AM on June 25, 2015 [19 favorites]


As dissents both are basically just dictaAs dissents both are basically just dicta

I want a show called Ditka's Dicta, where Mike Ditka explains Supreme Court rulings. That legalese can get pretty confusing.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:50 AM on June 25, 2015 [15 favorites]


Sure, though that standard is the sort of thing where reasonable people can disagree. And, to be clear, I fall on the “ambiguous but workable” side. But it’s not a slam-dunk, of-course-it-is-thus-hence-you-are-an-idiot kind of disagreement.

True, but Scalia in his usual hyperbolic mode declares that any judicial resolution of ambiguous text leads us to a Wonderland where words no longer have meaning, which is just insulting. Like Tomorrowful said, he's a very intelligent man, so it grates all the more when he plays dumb to advance his policy goals.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:51 AM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's important to keep in mind that while he may be a misanthropic right-wing blowhard, Scalia is, in fact, insanely smart.

But watching Scalia grab whatever argument supports the decision he prefers is like watching Schumacher purposely stop his car at Monaco just to fuck up someone else's qualifying lap. It's just sad watching people who don't need to stoop to stupid, lying, cheating tricks do so.

I wonder if that makes me the first person to explain my dissatisfaction with a Justice of the Supreme Court using an analogy from Formula 1.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:52 AM on June 25, 2015 [10 favorites]


This morning SCOTUSBlog described him as Biggie to Kagan's P-Diddy, so at this point anything is on the table.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:54 AM on June 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


Speaking as a non-legal-eagle, everybody says Scalia is sooooo fucking smart, but I just don't see it. Really, what's the evidence of that? That is, that he's so much smarter than his peers? During his time on the Court, he's acted like a partisan hack, as far as I can tell. The very idea of originalism, for starters, is a pretty sophomoric stance to have. And Scalia just has come across as a guy who will play clever word games in service of his presuppositions. Doesn't seem very smart to me.
posted by mondo dentro at 10:54 AM on June 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


[A] majority of the Supreme Court rightly rejected a blatantly political effort to destroy the Affordable Care Act. . . . Its core claim — that an ambiguous four-word phrase buried deep in the 900-page law eliminates health insurance for millions of lower-income Americans — was preposterous.. . . fabricated an alternate history out of thin air. . . based on an intentional misreading of four words . . . a grandly orchestrated charade sold to people already furious about the law . . . .
Thursday’s decision is a powerful defense of the law, stronger than observers might have expected from this court. The justices could have upheld the provision . . . as a reasonable exercise of discretion by [the I.R.S.] . . . In that case, a future president could simply have ordered the I.R.S. to change the regulation. Instead, the court focused on the broader structure of the law itself, preserving the proper reading of it regardless of the politics of the next administration.
-- NYT editorial board
Good. Maybe now we can work on agreeing whether the first 52% of the text of the Second Amendment contains words -- or is merely an enormous bit of 18th century puncutation.
 
posted by Herodios at 10:55 AM on June 25, 2015 [10 favorites]


One more thing that I think is significant about this ruling:

The IRS read the Affordable Care Act to mean that subsidies were available on federal exchanges. Petitioners were challenging that interpretation. The majority could've said, “We won’t go so far as to say that the IRS’s reading is correct, but we rule that it’s an allowable interpretation of an ambiguous statute.” A previous case established a framework for making that decision.

Instead, the majority said (paraphrasing), “Resolving this ambiguity goes to the very heart of the law. This isn’t a mere implementation detail that Congress left to the IRS to work out. This is somethign that the Court has to decide directly.” And so they decided for themselves what the ACA meant on subsidies for federal exchanges.

Unless I misunderstand, this is a big deal because had they ruled that the IRS was free to interpret it how they see fit, a future Republican administration could’ve changed that interpretation without recourse. Such a change might have been political suicide, but it’s nice to know that it’s off the table entirely.
posted by savetheclocktower at 10:56 AM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's not at all clear to me Scalia is insanely smart. I think he has a reputation for being smart. But some of his arguments in the 2012 Obamacare decision were laughably bad. So I asked some friends who were lawyer/law prof types if he was super smart. The consensus was that though he has a reputation for being smart, he's better described as a smartass.
posted by persona au gratin at 10:56 AM on June 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


Ah. The NYT editorial board beat me to it, the bastards.
posted by savetheclocktower at 10:57 AM on June 25, 2015


Scalia needs to understand that while his rides on the WAAAAHMBULANCE are covered by his insurance, not everyone is so lucky.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:57 AM on June 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


mondo dentro: coke's in the mail.
posted by persona au gratin at 10:57 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Let me also say, I'm delighted. Very very happy for my fellow citizens who get to keep their healthcare!
posted by persona au gratin at 10:59 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Higgledy piggledy
SCOTUS Antonio
vents his displeasure with
Obamacare.
"Jiggery-pokery!
Words have no meaning!" he
shouts at the public,
who draw back and stare.
posted by delfin at 10:59 AM on June 25, 2015 [48 favorites]


I'd like to thank NBC for breaking into the Today show with a Special Report that alternated between graphics saying that the Supreme Court had upheld the ACA and that the Supreme Court had upheld the challenge to the ACA. They did that at least twice.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:00 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


BTW: Why isn't there a ScaliaRage tag on this post? I suspect that dramaticized reading of Scalia's singular opinions (of which he loves to generate) would make for entertaining radio.
posted by Hasteur at 11:01 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


he's a very intelligent man, so it grates all the more when he plays dumb to advance his policy goals.

Indeed. While at the same time accusing "the Court" (by which he means John Roberts), of doing the same thing, with his "might as well call it SCOTUScare!!"

It's like he believes that John Roberts must be pretending to be a conservative while he secretly has Obama "YES WE CAN" posters in his bedroom, because he can't believe that Roberts dislikes the ACA as much as he does, but he just doesn't think it's his place to strike it down.
posted by Asparagus at 11:01 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I see more evidence of "partisan hack" than "smart".
posted by Artw at 11:05 AM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


But Red States are still able to opt out, so nothing changes for millions of poor and working class citizens, right?
posted by Beholder at 11:10 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's important to keep in mind that while he may be a misanthropic right-wing blowhard, Scalia is, in fact, insanely smart. All of them are. SCOTUS is a fine place to find people that you disagree with enormously, that you think are terrible human beings who are a danger to the prosperity and liberty of the nation - but who are definitely really, really smart. You just don't end up on the Supreme Court without having some really impressive intellectual chops.

It's also worth keeping in mind the words of Justice Robert Jackson:
"We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final."
In full:
[R]eversal by a higher court is not proof that justice is thereby better done. There is no doubt that if there were a super-Supreme Court, a substantial proportion of our reversals of state courts would also be reversed. We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final. -- Brown v Allen (1953)
posted by Herodios at 11:11 AM on June 25, 2015 [10 favorites]


I already hear from relatives that "only a narcissist of a president" would put his name on a piece of congressional legislation.

To be fair, if Biden had been President, the legislation would have been titled the Big Fucking Deal Act.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 11:11 AM on June 25, 2015 [16 favorites]


But Red States are still able to opt out, so nothing changes for millions of poor and working class citizens, right?

Exactly the opposite. Had the court sided with King and the other challengers, then resident of (red) states that opted out of starting a healthcare exchange would have no access to the tax credits that make insurance affordable. Today's ruling means those people can continue to buy cheap coverage on the federal exchange no matter what their state government thinks of TEH SOCIALISMS.

Medicaid opt-out is still a thing, though. That wasn't on the table today.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:15 AM on June 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Scalia's use of "jiggery-pokery" verges on the slangy. His traditionalism should lead him to "japery" instead.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 11:15 AM on June 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


Red states are able to opt out of Medicaid expansion. Those people who are poor, but not earlier than 2010 Medicaid poor still can buy insurance on the federal exchange. I don't know if the subsidies are large enough for them to afford it. I mean, the obvious fix here would be to make the subsidy like 99.5% of the policy price.
posted by persona au gratin at 11:15 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Given all the sturm und drang about Obamacare being the end of democracy by the Republicans, it is worth noting that Obamacare simply extends to non-employees the same rights and benefits regarding health insurance that employees have been receiving for decades through the ERISA Act.

1. Guaranteed issue. An employer can't exclude you from their plan because of your health status.
2. Community rating. An employer can't charge you more that other employees because of your health status.
3. Pre-existing conditions. An employer can't exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions.
4. Mandate and penalty. Even if you refuse your employer's coverage, you don't get a credit or refund. The cost of employee health coverage is paid by all employees regardless.
5. Subsidies. Employee health insurance is untaxed compensation, which is a tax subsidy no different than Obamacare subsidies. It shows up in the income tax reduction you receive at the end of the year. For a typical employee family that amounts to a $4000 tax subsidy, which is larger than the subsidy many Obamacare customers receive.

The main difference between non-employee and employee subsidies is that non-employee subsidies in Obamacare are means tested which means that the lower your income, the bigger the subsidy. ERISA employee subsidies are reverse means tested, regressive. The higher your income tax bracket, the bigger the tax subsidy.

So there is nothing much really new in Obamacare except that it extends long standing rights and benefits that employees enjoy to non-employees. The reason you hear so much screaming about it is that the vast majority take for granted that they already receive these benefits as employees.
posted by JackFlash at 11:15 AM on June 25, 2015 [31 favorites]


s/medicare/medicaid/g
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:16 AM on June 25, 2015


But Red States are still able to opt out, so nothing changes for millions of poor and working class citizens, right?

It was the opting out that opened the door for this narrow textual reading of the law and brought about this challenge in the first place.

So yes, they are still able to opt out of building their own exchanges. And yes, nothing changes for millions of poor and working class citizens. If they are getting insurance through the Federal exchange because their state did not build its own exchange, they are still eligible for subsidies to help pay for their insurance.

This is a good thing.
posted by hippybear at 11:16 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thank you to everyone who borked Harriet Miers!
posted by sy at 11:19 AM on June 25, 2015


Hey Republicans, Obamacare is not a disaster.

(The link function isn't working for me.)
posted by persona au gratin at 11:20 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just read Michele Bachman's tweet that almostamanda posted. Turns out Scalia was right about one thing: now words have no meaning .
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:20 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Funny how they don't scream about the benefits of judicial restraint and Congressional supremacy when they're directly benefiting from SCOTUS decisions.
posted by zarq at 11:22 AM on June 25, 2015


Wtf is up with those people who wanted the subsidies in the law to be stuck down because they're paying more (for better insurance)? What about all those who needed the insurance who would go without insurance if they were struck down?
posted by persona au gratin at 11:23 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


The reason they use Magna Carta and Dred Scott is because those are the only two pieces of legal history they know the names of.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:24 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, shit, I wouldn't have bet on them even knowing what the Magna Carta was, so colour me surprised.
posted by Kitteh at 11:26 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


What about all those who needed the insurance who would go without insurance if they were struck down?

I assume they would refer you to the landmark Supreme Court decision Fuck You v. Got Mine.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:26 AM on June 25, 2015 [21 favorites]


So poor people in Texas are a little less screwed? Good!
posted by Beholder at 11:27 AM on June 25, 2015


> I assume they would refer you to the landmark Supreme Court decision Fuck You v. Got Mine.

Surely Fuck You and Got Mine were never adversaries.
posted by savetheclocktower at 11:28 AM on June 25, 2015 [10 favorites]


Fuck You and Got Mine were partners at first, but they had a falling out after they both read Atlas Shrugged.
posted by mondo dentro at 11:33 AM on June 25, 2015 [21 favorites]


You know how they say any New Yorker cartoon can be captioned "Christ, what an asshole." and it still works?

Same thing works for Scalia's opinions.

Next we'll find out they can all be sung to the tune of The Yellow Rose of Texas."
posted by Naberius at 11:36 AM on June 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


Those people who are poor, but not earlier than 2010 Medicaid poor still can buy insurance on the federal exchange. I don't know if the subsidies are large enough for them to afford it.

It's actually worse than that. In the states that didn't expand Medicaid (see map here), the folks that would have qualified for Medicaid can't get any subsidy at all (healthcare.gov page explaining subsidies). So if you are say, a household of 1 with an income below $11,670, or a household of 4 with an income below $23,850, it's actually: "Sorry, you're out of luck. But if you made more money, you could get a subsidy." It's ridiculous and perverse and I think eventually all states will cave and expand Medicaid but in the meantime those people are still uninsured.
posted by Asparagus at 11:36 AM on June 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


Setting aside whether Scalia is smart or not, most of his opinions are at least internally consistent. This one isn't; even his view of originalism generally isn't bizarre enough to allow a typo buried in a 900 page law to undermine the entire premise of the law. But here, it is.
posted by craven_morhead at 11:36 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Asparagus: I was wondering about that. Because I knew that lots of those people were uninsured, and I'd think wouldn't be the case if they had subsidies. Shame on those governors.
posted by persona au gratin at 11:38 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


He said he doesn’t like getting what he calls “a government hand-out,” but that the law — and the subsidy — allowed him to retire early and still have coverage. “I am glad I have the Affordable Care Act, and I appreciate that I got the subsidy.” Without it, he’d probably have to go back to work, he said.

"Nope," he continued, "I never could stomach a government handout. All I want is lower taxes that give me a big tax return. I also want my medical expenses to be tax-deductible, as well as my childcare expenses and my mortgage interest. I also want the government to pay for police and firefighters to protect me. Okay, and also pave the roads and provide safe drinking water. But subsidizing my insurance premium? That's a step to far. I mean, I really need the money and I'll take it and buy a good insurance plan, but I am lodging a protest about it. Just don't take my ideological protest as an indication that I want you to take the subsidy away. Because I don't. I mean, I do, but I don't." He continued along those lines as he hammered a "Ted Cruz 2016" sign into his yard, adding that he loves Cruz and supports him, even though his policy stances, if enacted, would be financially devestating.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:40 AM on June 25, 2015 [28 favorites]


Yeah. Technically, I guess a poor person with say a rich uncle could go on the Exchange and pay full-price, but I'm guessing that's not common. And even then it would only make financial sense to do so if you had a very expensive illness, so that's bad for the insurance market. I never really understood why the ACA didn't just get rid of Medicaid and subsidize policies for anyone with incomes between $0 - $[threshold]. I'm guessing that probably would have made the law substantially more expensive.
posted by Asparagus at 11:47 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is exactly what the Republican organization has feared since ACA was a candy bar in Obama's back pocket.

Long before Obama, actually.
posted by Gelatin at 11:51 AM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Scalia's use of "jiggery-pokery" verges on the slangy. His traditionalism should lead him to "japery" instead.

And "pure applesauce."

You wouldn't want to see Scalia when he's really angry. Then it's "gosh darnit" or "dang nabbit" or, if it's really bad "cheese and crackers got all muddy."

I wouldn't be surprised if his same-sex-marriage dissent is in emoji.
posted by JackFlash at 11:54 AM on June 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


given that Scalia's disenting argumets come back to bite him in the ass and in some cases actual work against the causes he carries water for, one would think 1) he's be a bit more judicial (ha) in his verbal diaherra 2) he might be a mole, setting legal justifications for all manner of liberal-ish agenda items.
posted by edgeways at 12:00 PM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't be surprised if his same-sex-marriage dissent is in emoji.

Elspeth Reeve: Just How Angry Is Justice Scalia Over the Obamacare Ruling?
There is one word that Antonin Scalia seems desperate to use but can’t: bullshit. The justice's dissent in Thursday's Supreme Court ruling upholding Obamacare tax credits for people on the federal exchange is delicious in its open rage.

It is clear Scalia does not think the justices who voted in the majority in King v. Burwell are dumb, or even mistaken. He thinks they knew the outcome they wanted, and made up whatever wacky legal justifications they could to get there. Scalia writes that "normal rules of interpretation seem always to yield to the overriding principle of the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved." Later: "We should start calling this law SCOTUScare." But Scalia is restricted by the norms of the Court. He can't outright accuse his colleagues of bullshittery. He must say so in softer, yet more creative language. What binds the justice is a gift to the rest of us. Here’s a guide to the rage in Scalia’s dissent in King v. Burwell.

First, a sampling of the lovely words and phrases Scalia uses instead of the word bullshit:
  • jiggery-pokery
  • Pure applesauce
  • curious
  • outlandishness
  • quite absurd
  • defense of the indefensible
  • maintain with a straight face
  • This
  • unheard of
  • implausible conclusion
  • pretense
  • dismal failure
  • somersaults of statutory interpretation
  • words no longer have meaning
Yes, friends, words no longer have meaning, and laws will soon be written in emoji.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:02 PM on June 25, 2015 [16 favorites]


the pic Bachman tweeted was a screencap of her text edit app on her phone.

it's a way to get around the char limit on twitter. people do this on instagram a lot as well.

i'm trying to figure out which phone because i'm weird like that. i think it's a Samsung, but I can't be sure.
posted by sio42 at 12:03 PM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


You wouldn't want to see Scalia when he's really angry. Then it's "gosh darnit" or "dang nabbit" or, if it's really bad "cheese and crackers got all muddy."

He was born in Trenton and grew up in Elmhurst.

He probably knows how to curse in at least 6 languages. :D
posted by zarq at 12:05 PM on June 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


From Arizona v. United States (2012):
We are not talking here about a federal law prohibiting the States from regulating bubble-gum advertising, or even the construction of nuclear plants. We are talking about a federal law going to the core of state sovereignty: the power to exclude.
If he were a car, say, the ad copy would write itself:

"The new Ford Scalia: The power to exclude."
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:06 PM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Scalia's next dissent will be a JPG of a frowning minion with its arms crossed
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:07 PM on June 25, 2015 [33 favorites]


“Today’s interpretation is not merely unnatural; it is unheard of.”

This while holding that corporations are people and money is speech.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:08 PM on June 25, 2015 [11 favorites]


Own the Road in the all new Chevy Scalia.

With an astonishingly low 5mpg and an extra wide wheel base, you'll ride in style while intimidating wimpy liberal hybrid owners.
posted by zarq at 12:10 PM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


It is clear Scalia does not think the justices who voted in the majority in King v. Burwell are dumb, or even mistaken. He thinks they knew the outcome they wanted, and made up whatever wacky legal justifications they could to get there.

One of the useful heuristics I've adopted is that people are generally terrible at inhabiting the minds of other people. When a person tries to model another person's thought process, they generally just substitute their own.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:15 PM on June 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


In other SCOTUS linguistic news--and I'm surprised this didn't get a FPP--Elana Kagan made nerd history on Monday:
Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment poses a serious legal and policy question about the ability of patent holders to extract license fees after the expiration of the underlying patent that led to the fees. But it also has to do with Spider-Man merchandise, so Justice Kagan, who wrote the opinion, apparently couldn't restrain herself from cracking a series of comic book jokes:
  • "The parties set no end date for royalties, apparently contemplating that they would continue for as long as kids want to imitate Spider-Man (by doing whatever a spider can)."
  • "Patents endow their holders with certain superpowers, but only for a limited time."
  • "To the contrary, the decision's close relation to a whole web of precedents means that reversing it could threaten others."
  • "What we can decide, we can undecide. But stare decisis teaches that we should exercise that authority sparingly. Cf. S. Lee and S. Ditko, Amazing Fantasy No. 15: "SpiderMan," p. 13 (1962) ("[I]n this world, with great power there must also come — great responsibility")."

According to Supreme Court Review, Kagan is an "avid comic book fan" and must have been delighted to score the opportunity to write this decision
Never stop being amazingly spectacular, Your Honor.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:21 PM on June 25, 2015 [59 favorites]


"the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States [...] is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites"

O HAI, Bush v. Gore. >:(
posted by epersonae at 12:23 PM on June 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


Speaking as a non-legal-eagle, everybody says Scalia is sooooo fucking smart, but I just don't see it.

No, he is. I disagree with many of his positions, like this one, and this dissent is frankly one of his weakest ones (I'll explain why in a minute) but in general he is very consistent in his positions, very well grounded in the law, very able to defend his positions, and everybody who's argued a case before the court gets a little nervous when Scalia leans forward, because if there's a weak point in your argument, he will find it and he will point it out, and he will tear it apart bit by bit.

His defense of the 5th amendment is second to none on this court. Pretty much every victory on that front had him both grilling the heck out of the attorney representing the government and writing the majority opinion.

Here, I feel, he fails. He says "Well, the law is clearly written", but it's not, and that's the problem. There are plenty of places where the exchanges setup by the states and the exchanges set up by the federal government are clearly meant to be equal, because in fact, they are equal. In this one spot, it's written poorly and it appears that they're not.

But one thing that Scalia has always asserted is that Congress should explicitly write what it intends to do. This is a very old view, and one not commonly accepted -- because the modern world is so complex that trying to do so is basically impossible. The modern view is that laws have an intent, and that humans, being human, sometimes screw up and don't get the words quite right, and the intent of the law should be the guide. So, the majority -- and this majority included Roberts and Kennedy -- said that Congress clearly intended these markets to be setup and function, and removing the subsides would destroy the markets.

But what Scalia misses is that law states that if the state fails to operate an exchange, the Federal government is directed to "establish and operate such Exchange within the State". Note the word "such". Basically, what this says if the State doesn't set up and run the exchange, the Federal Government is required to setup and run an exchange in the state.

But there's NO DIFFERENCE between a State Run and a Federal Run exchange. They are both Exchanges of the State. One is run by the Feds, but it is still an exchange for that State. Thus, the core of the majority ruling (and this was what turned Robert's opinion around way back in 2012) was the realization that the was no legal difference between the two. They had different people running them, but they were the same thing. And Congress clearly intended that these exchanges exist, and that they be subsidized in this way. That was never in argument.

And that's where Scalia was wrong. He focused too much on the idea that a State Exchange meant the Exchange had to be run by the State, and the majority said no, an exchange run by the feds FOR a state was just as much a State Exchange.

The majority also said "Congress, this was a pretty horrible job at law writing here."

Now Thomas? Thomas is a waste of a perfectly good robe. Alito basically is as well, although he occasionally has something to add, but Thomas is literally a empty space that votes GOP. I don't think he's ever asked a question at a hearing.

But do not make the mistake of lumping Scalia with those two. You may disagree with him often -- I certainly do. But he is one of the smartest minds on the court, and to be honest, he makes all the responses, even the ones where he's the dissenting opinion, better, because his arguments are strongly grounded in the law. And when the 5th is on the line, he's as good as it gets.

Whereas the right win thinks Scalia's dissent here just shows how forceful he is, I'm actually somewhat saddened by it. He normally makes a very strong case in his dissents, and even when you disagree, will make you think about it. Here, it obvious he's just throwing a tantrum, and that's really unbecoming of him. Mr. Justice, you can do better. You have done better. This time, however, you have done yourself and the court a disservice.
posted by eriko at 12:30 PM on June 25, 2015 [31 favorites]


From now on, when Scalia uses his socialized, government-run, Constitutionally unauthorized medical plan, it should be called SCROTUMcare.
posted by markkraft at 12:36 PM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


zombieflanders: "There's actually five major cases left [including] untested lethal injection drug cocktails as cruel and unusual punishment"

I was curious how they test lethal drug cocktails. "Yup, it worked!" But it looks like the central issue is whether one of the individual drugs in the cocktail can "reliably produce deep, coma-like unconsciousness." Interestingly enough, according to the Brief for Petitioners in that case, the manufacturer of a previously-used drug moved to Italy and then "decided to exit the U.S. market entirely, explaining that the company was not confident that it could comply with Italy’s laws relating to capital punishment."
posted by exogenous at 12:37 PM on June 25, 2015


Re: Kimble v. Marvel, please see the sketch of the court.

I don't think [Thomas]'s ever asked a question at a hearing.

Well, no. but that's a deliberate choice. Not a good one, I think, but pillorying him for not doing the thing he doesn't want to do seems a smidge unfair.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:44 PM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Elana Kagan made nerd history on Monday:

I wonder if she won a No Prize for this.
posted by drezdn at 12:45 PM on June 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


Own the Road in the all new Chevy Scalia.

Perfect for rolling coal or driving like Scalia.
posted by drezdn at 12:47 PM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Look, none of us has enough free time to explain everything that's wrong in any given Michele Bachmann statement. The layers of wrong go down forever. The abyss looks into you. Best not to try.
posted by emjaybee at 12:47 PM on June 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


By "millennias of judicial restraint", Bachmann clearly intends to refer to a period covering at least the past two thousand years.

Which would include the crucifixion of Christ by Pontius Pilate.

Does this imply that Michele Bachmann is the Antichrist? I leave this question as an exercise for the reader
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:00 PM on June 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


eriko, thanks for answering my question. I believe you, even though I still don't get it.

Maybe my problem is I think like a mathematical theoretician, not a lawyer: if there's a flaw way down deep, the entire edifice it's built on is shit. And that's what "original intent" is. It's a crappy interpretive conceit that doesn't hold up under intellectual scrutiny. It's the juridical bastard cousin of "biblical literalism" and the entire sham theology that flows from that. And I think the evidence of its shabbiness is how it's applied according the the eye of the beholder. How is the current ridiculous interpretation of the second amendment even close to the "original intent"? How about the idea that money is speech? Corporate "religous feelings"? What would an originalist have done with the 3/5 personhood "rule"? Those are just off the top of my head.

Again, I realize I sound like a typical legal naif, but some of these rulings are so absurd that they cause a sort of society-wide psychosis.

So, to me, cleverly manipulating the rules (a network of legal precidents) of a stupid system can't ever qualify as "brilliant". Brilliant people are those who see through the system's flaws, and speak out articulately in a way that addresses those flaws. Maybe that's why they so often go mad, or are treated as mad.
posted by mondo dentro at 1:02 PM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


He thinks they knew the outcome they wanted, and made up whatever wacky legal justifications they could to get there.

And Scalia, of all people, would know exactly what that looks like.
posted by stevis23 at 1:08 PM on June 25, 2015


yeah,eriko. Still don't see it. So far as I can tell he's not smarter than Kagan or Sotomayor or Ginsburg. He's not Krugman smart. Or Brad DeLong smart. No doubt he's much smarter the median person.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:08 PM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


And I'm a philosopher and spend time around some really smart people. (I wish it were communicable!) so maybe my standards are overly high.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:10 PM on June 25, 2015


There are arguments to be made that Scalia is not as great as all that. Some have argued that Thomas is actually the more interesting and disctinctive of the two.

Both links well predate today's happenings.
posted by palindromic at 1:17 PM on June 25, 2015


But one thing that Scalia has always asserted is that Congress should explicitly write what it intends to do.

No, he's only asserted that when it was convenient for him to do so. He doesn't assert that when he's talking about what Congress wrote in the first amendment; he's quite happy then to say that oh you can't just look at the words they enacted, oh mercy me no because that would allow swears and titties on the teevee and public blasphemy, you have to get out your ouija board and put a bra on your head and concoct the intent of its authors out of nothing.

Thomas is literally a empty space that votes GOP. I don't think he's ever asked a question at a hearing.

That's actually principled. He's on record as thinking that oral argument is a stupid waste of time so he doesn't meaningfully participate in it.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:38 PM on June 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


He probably knows how to curse in at least 6 languages. :D

This is the guy who gave the press the "fuck off / get lost" fingers-under-chin gesture coming out of Mass.
posted by aught at 1:51 PM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


one of the best parts of the bachmann tweet is the guy who responded and floated his theory that the entire left has "something" on roberts which is why he rules like this.
posted by nadawi at 1:52 PM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Psst... hey Justice Roberts... I know your dirty secret... that some of your opinions have constituted judicial overreach for conservative political gain... shame if someone found out..."
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:55 PM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


From Talking Points Memo, Yet Again, A Scalia Dissent Is Used Against Him (emphasis mine):
Justice Antonin Scalia strongly objected to Thursday's Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, so it was amusing to see Chief Justice John Roberts use Scalia's own dissent in the last major Obamacare case against him.

It was buried in a footnote and amounted to a small dart lobbed Scalia's way, especially when compared to Scalia's blistering dissent that ripped Roberts' legal reasoning.

To defend making the subsidies available to consumers everywhere, Roberts cited a line the dissent to the 2012 decision in favor of Obamacare, in which Scalia said, "Without the federal subsidies . . . the exchanges would not operate as Congress intended and may not operate at all."

Roberts used the line to argue that it "is implausible that Congress meant the Act to operate" in a manner to limit the subsidies only to those states with state-operated exchanges, as the challengers in King v. Burwell argued.
Heh. No love lost between those two.
posted by mondo dentro at 1:58 PM on June 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


So the Bible quote (Judges 21:25) that Bachmann closes her screed with is also pretty confused. The full verse is, "In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes." Which implies there is no king, and anarchy, and so everything is moral, or amoral, relativism -- but at the same time she is insinuates Obama is acting like a king and SCOTUS like "oligarchs."

Which crisis is it, Michelle -- authoritarianism or anarchy?
posted by aught at 2:01 PM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yub nub!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:03 PM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yub nub!

I'd save it for the gay marriage decision. This is just Death Star 1.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:13 PM on June 25, 2015


What conservatives tend to forget is that Bush/43 appointed Roberts for two reasons: first, to uphold the President's legal authority when it came to detaining terrorism suspects beyond the reach of the civilian legal system, and second, to protect corporations from legal threats from labor and regulatory agencies. Unlike most republican politicians, Roberts dies not have a lot personal objection to Obama or a particular moral issue with the prospect of people having subsidies to buy health insurance.
posted by deanc at 2:34 PM on June 25, 2015


Cruz: Any Candidate Unwilling To Repeal Obamacare 'Should Step Aside'
"These robed Houdinis transmogrified a ‘federal exchange’ into an exchange ‘established by the State,'" Cruz added.
“Robed Houdinis”? Ted, are you trying to mock the Justices or make them sound AWESOME?
posted by savetheclocktower at 3:15 PM on June 25, 2015 [19 favorites]


Heh. An email from Healthcare.gov just landed in my In-Box...
The Supreme Court, Health Care, and You:

This morning the Supreme Court made an important decision about the Health Insurance Marketplace. Their ruling means that you will continue to receive quality affordable health care coverage no matter where you live.
It goes on with links to some "What does this mean for you?" pages.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:32 PM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Never again shall we have to worry that this law will be in any way molested, eviscerated. or otherwise clusterfuck-ified

"I'm lucky to have one leg !! "

Sadly, probably not, though the single-payer route would have much less of a cluster-fuck than the 'victory' some think this to be. Welcome, once again, to the Corporatocracy.
posted by Twang at 3:41 PM on June 25, 2015


But he is one of the smartest minds on the court

You started with the idea you would support that statement, but once again there is no actual evidence given, other than the assertion people listen closely when he leans over and that he defends the 5th. How? How does he defend the 5th? In what novel and brilliant way does he do so.

I'm just tired of seeing this meme he is some kind of intellectual lion when no one seems able to point out any particular point of brilliance, insight or any other marker by which we usually measure such things. As far as I am concerned it is a right wing meme meant to distract us from the fact he is a pathetically ideological stick in the mud.
posted by Rumple at 3:52 PM on June 25, 2015


Cruz: Any Candidate Unwilling To Repeal Obamacare 'Should Step Aside'
"These robed Houdinis transmogrified a ‘federal exchange’ into an exchange ‘established by the State,'" Cruz added.
“Robed Houdinis”? Ted, are you trying to mock the Justices or make them sound AWESOME?


Does... does Ted Cruz think stage magic is real?
posted by jason_steakums at 4:20 PM on June 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


really though doesn't he think the earth is 5,000 years old
posted by poffin boffin at 4:29 PM on June 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


he's probably confounded when someone goes up to him and shows them their thumb in their fist and says "got your nose!"
posted by poffin boffin at 4:29 PM on June 25, 2015 [10 favorites]


To give the devil his due, if NSA-type blanket surveillance comes before the Supreme Court, there's ample reason to hope and expect that Scalia will come down strongly in opposition. His record there is consistent and his language is pretty unequivocal.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:30 PM on June 25, 2015


Sadly, probably not, though the single-payer route would have much less of a cluster-fuck than the 'victory' some think this to be. Welcome, once again, to the Corporatocracy.

Except that it could have never gotten past the "get passed by both houses of Congress" step, which is kind of essential when you are trying to make a law. Getting shut down in committee isn't really a victory.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 4:33 PM on June 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


he's probably confounded when someone goes up to him and shows them their thumb in their fist and says "got your nose!"

CRUZ SUSPENDS CAMPAIGN UNTIL NOSE IS FOUND - BLAMES "POINTY-HATTED HARRY ANDERSONS"
posted by jason_steakums at 4:40 PM on June 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


This is just Death Star 1.

Not if you got your cancer sorted thanks to Obamacare, and have have spent months living in terror of the republican swine finding a way to roll us back to the days of pre-existing conditions. In that case, this is very much a Yub Nub situation.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:54 PM on June 25, 2015 [17 favorites]


CRUZ SUSPENDS CAMPAIGN UNTIL NOSE IS FOUND - BLAMES "POINTY-HATTED HARRY ANDERSONS"

Stop getting my hopes up.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:05 PM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is just Death Star 1.

Not if you got your cancer sorted thanks to Obamacare, and have have spent months living in terror of the republican swine finding a way to roll us back to the days of pre-existing conditions. In that case, this is very much a Yub Nub situation.

I wasn't saying don't celebrate!

really though doesn't he think the earth is 5,000 years old

Don't mock his deeply held* religious belief in biblical literalism.

*Aside from the parts about helping the poor and oppressed.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:50 PM on June 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


really though doesn't [Ted Cruz] think the earth is 5,000 years old

Of course not. But he's seen the polling.
posted by Xavier Xavier at 6:07 PM on June 25, 2015


This is the first time in a long time that the release of a supportive verdict on the ACA wasn't immediately followed by a "the next threat to its existence is..." announcement. Other than a Republican president, is there a "next threat" coming down the line that we should be aware of?
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:27 PM on June 25, 2015


I've read elsewhere that if you read between the lines of Roberts' opinion, it spells S-T-O-P W-A-S-T-I-N-G O-U-R T-I-M-E W-I-T-H T-H-E-S-E A-N-T-I-O-B-A-M-A-C-A-R-E L-A-W-S-U-I-T-S, so hopefully no?
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:34 PM on June 25, 2015


Other than a Republican president, is there a "next threat" coming down the line that we should be aware of?

I think too many of their own constituents are reliant on it for them to make another attempt to eliminate the whole thing -- they'd get blamed for the fallout. They're probably going to switch to death-by-1000-cuts mode like they have for other social programs.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 6:37 PM on June 25, 2015




This is the first time in a long time that the release of a supportive verdict on the ACA wasn't immediately followed by a "the next threat to its existence is..." announcement. Other than a Republican president, is there a "next threat" coming down the line that we should be aware of?

The House will certainly do what they have done 54 times already -- attempt to pass legislation that either repeals, defunds or alters the ACA's provisions. As one might expect, anything of substance will get neutered, so it's merely the Ted Cruzes of the world doing what the Ted Cruzes of the world do (LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! SEND ME MONEY! LOOK AT ME! VOTE FOR ME! PUT ME ON TV!)

There will be things that militant states can do to gum things up and continue to make implementation difficult -- procedure is the last refuge of any scoundrel -- but in general, it's here until Congress and the Presidency are both solidly Republican, and while the House will stay Republican for a long while, the Senate is a tougher fight and it would take a colossal fuckup on Hillary's part for her to lose this one.
posted by delfin at 6:48 PM on June 25, 2015


Obama issues another statement for people disappointed by the decision.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:28 PM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]



I wasn't saying don't celebrate!

WHY DIDN'T THE WOOKIE GET A MEDAL!!??
(And don't get me started about R2D2.. the whole friggen universe would be in Darth Vader's grip even now if it wasn't for that rust bucket. Hand getting cut off, psss try having your head shot through

sorry sorry carry on
posted by edgeways at 7:37 PM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


This link is good one-stop shopping for conservatives FREAKING. THE FUCK. OUT. over today's verdict.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:56 PM on June 25, 2015 [3 favorites]




Isn't Houdini and transmogrified a bit redundant? What an odd thing to say.

I'd bet a billion Brazilians that he didn't come up with that on his own.
posted by futz at 8:36 PM on June 25, 2015


"Although the mental disconnect this one individual is expressing is pretty astounding."

No disconnect here. My own generous government handouts are somewhere in between AOK and unpleasant but obviously necessary given the nature of reality.

It's merely the fact the somebody else might get a nickel or two of government handouts that sends me into apoplectic rage . . .

See the difference?
posted by flug at 9:22 PM on June 25, 2015


"my satire-meter broke when Republibots started saying things like child labor and eliminating women's suffrage were good ideas."

And torture--but hey, let's not even go there . . .
posted by flug at 9:25 PM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's not really a disconnect when you put it as "we shouldn't be giving lazy people handouts" but also "as long as we're giving handouts, I'd be a fool to leave money on the table/If the lazy cheaters are getting money, I should too."
posted by ctmf at 10:04 PM on June 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


"The very idea of originalism, for starters, is a pretty sophomoric stance to have."

One of my realizations over the years is that "originalism" has nothing whatsoever to do with what the Founders or whoever originally thought, and everything to do with with I originally thought this meant when I first heard about it.

In short, it has nothing to do with history, but with what my younger and more immature self used to think.
posted by flug at 10:09 PM on June 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


Sadly I would bet on the NHS dying before the US getting an NHS.

Sadness-faved. :(
posted by Drexen at 4:44 AM on June 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


House bill would force the Supreme Court to enroll in ObamaCare (warning: autoplaying video).
posted by octothorpe at 4:55 AM on June 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


granted that bill will never stand a chance of actually becoming law... but hypothetically if it did, does that mean any of the nine justices on the SC would then have cert to bring a case before the court?
posted by edgeways at 5:23 AM on June 26, 2015


House bill would force the Supreme Court to enroll in ObamaCare

If he waits a little bit, he can make it the Well, If You Like It So Much, Why Don't You GAY MARRY IT Act of 2015.
posted by Etrigan at 5:56 AM on June 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


but hypothetically if it did, does that mean any of the nine justices on the SC would then have cert to bring a case before the court?

And would they all have to recuse themselves?
posted by drezdn at 6:02 AM on June 26, 2015


Sorry if this counts as a derail, but SCOTUSBlog has put up their "scorecard" (PDF) for decisions based on when they were argued and which Justices have issued opinions. Basically, either Kennedy or Ginsburg writes the AZ redistricting decision (liberals want Ginsburg writing that one )and Scalia almost certainly writes the EPA decision (ugh). Kennedy has a history of writing the LGBT issue cases (Lawrence and Windsor were both his), so he'll likely take Obergefell which leaves a tossup between 2 liberals and 2 conservatives for the Johnson (violent felons) and Glossip (lethal injection) decisions. Assuming Ginsberg takes the redistricting decision (fingers crossed!) and Scalia the EPA, that leaves Alito and Sotomayor one case each (I'm hoping for Johnson and Glossip, respectively). Now, SCOTUS doesn't have to do it this way, but that seems to be the way things are shaking out.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:46 AM on June 26, 2015


So anyway, this marriage decision...
posted by Artw at 7:57 AM on June 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


House bill would force the Supreme Court to enroll in ObamaCare.

And why would that be a bad thing? Obamacare insurance plans are the exact same plans that are available to anybody in private plans, whether they enroll through Obamacare or walk into an insurance company lobby. You have a wide choice of plans from no deductible to high deductible. You have a wide choice of plans from wide network to narrow network, from HMO to PPO. Why would anyone have the slightest objection to that? The level of ignorance in Congress is appalling.
posted by JackFlash at 8:14 AM on June 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Obamacare insurance plans are the exact same plans that are available to anybody in private plans

Except that as a direct result of the ACA, they're actually required to cover stuff! Which is completely awesome (and an enormous change from how most private plans used to work before the ACA.)
posted by asperity at 8:41 AM on June 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


Except that as a direct result of the ACA, they're actually required to cover stuff!

I don't have an Marketplace ACA plan--I still get mine through my workplace. But the incredible amount of things I've gotten because of ACA directly--insurance through my parents when I was unemployed, birth control, no longer being denied care because of my pre-existing conditions--there's a lot of good to come from ACA, more than just the healthcare plan.

It's not perfect, but it's keeping me alive a little longer, and more importantly, it's keeping those I love and care for covered and protected as well.
posted by PearlRose at 12:21 PM on June 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


but in general he is very consistent in his positions,

Internally consistent maybe, but he spent the consistency chit when he decided to go to the mat to defend the commerce clause applying even to 1 oz of whacky tobackey being grown for personal use 100 miles from a state border. Since that point I don't see that he gets the benefit of the doubt on being merely foolishly consistent about belief versus opportunistic.
posted by phearlez at 1:00 PM on June 26, 2015 [2 favorites]




Gonzales v. Raich is the biggest black mark (to my eyes) on Scalia's claims of consistency. It's also why I think Thomas's version of originalism, for all the evil it would cause if allowed to run rampant, is more intellectually interesting and principled.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:44 PM on June 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Barack Obama is officially one of the most consequential presidents in American history

Thanks, Vox. Thanks for tipping us all off about that one and deigning to make it “official”. We'd all been wondering breathlessly weather or not Obama was going to get to put the Official Vox Relevant President award (a statue of Ezra Klein smiling down on his iPhone beatifically) on his mantelpiece right next to his Nobel Prize, and I for one am relieved. It's really big when the official Fourth Branch of Government Senator Dylan Matthews of the United States opts to use the infinite power of his position at the #1,212 Alexa-ranked website in the world to pronounce one of the most powerful men in the world to have been certified as one of the best. “Official.” What a ponce.

(Seriously, that word makes me so angry. Seriously. Flames. Flames. Flames on the side of my face.)
posted by Going To Maine at 2:02 PM on June 26, 2015 [5 favorites]




Scalia is a Twitter Egg.
posted by Artw at 6:21 AM on June 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


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