Jun 25, 2015

Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare, Rejects Activist Rightwingers

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), Obamacare, in a blow to rightwing activists and a political victory for the Obama administration cementing an accomplishment that sociologist and historian Paul Starr notes in 2010, is a "stunning historical achievement and the most important liberal reform since the 1960s" (Mal Contends).

The case is David King, et al., Petitioners v. Sylvia Burwell (No. 14-114). See also David King, et al., Petitioners v. Sylvia Burwell at the Legal Information Institute, Cornell University Law School.

The Court upheld Obamacare that had been challenged on the basis that five words out of a massive law demanded its destruction.

Chief Justice Roberts wrote the opinion joined by Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor to form a 6-3 majority.

Some six million Americans faced losing their healthcare insurance had the Court ruled against the ACA.

"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter," Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote.

Justice Scalia penned a dissenting opinion joined by rightwing activists justices, Thomas and Alito, that even for the often peevish Scalia reads as petulant and polemical. "We should start calling this law SCOTUScare," writes Scalia (p.47).

Scalia's currency on the Court has been declining in recent years as his increasingly incoherent opinions have veered into what Judge Richard Posner derided as "gotcha' jurisprudence," as described in Posner's book Reflections on Judging (Harvard University Press. 2013) (p.182).

Many legal observers prior to today's decision doubted that the Court would follow Scalia as Scalia has devolved into a radical and activist ideologue; see "A Court of One" (Murphy, Simon & Schuster). (Greenhouse, NYT) (See also Moncrieff, The New Republic; and Lithwick, Slate).

President Obama Delivered a Statement on Today's Affordable Care Act Ruling

No comments:

Post a Comment