God Bless Associate Justice Antonin Scalia
Nothing the Supreme Court does should surprise you! Again, Chief Justice John Roberts trampled on the Constitution on behalf of President Obama. In a landmark 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the Affordable Care Act’s insurance subsidies in every state.
One of the Justices who meant it when he swore to uphold and defend the Constitution, Justice Antonin Scalia, wrote the dissenting opinion, and characterized that Chief Justice John Roberts is a “defense of the indefensible.” And “rewrites the law.” He went on to write, “We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.”
He continued: “Rather than rewriting the law under the pretense of interpreting it, the Court should have left it to Congress to decide what to do about the Act’s limitation of tax credits to state exchanges.”
If the Court had ruled the other way, about 6 million people would have been at risk of losing their coverage. As it is, 100 million people will have to live with worthless insurance that they can’t afford. Last year 31% of Americans went without some form of healthcare because they could not afford the $150 copay or the $5,000 deductible.
Our leaders in the House and Senate along with President Obama and six Supreme Court Justices have decided the healthcare of 6 million people outweighs the other 300 million. The fact that the 6 million are not getting good care either notwithstanding.
Scalia, who read his dissent from the bench, was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito in his dissent. Scalia took issue with the majority’s interpretation of the language within the Affordable Care Act. The law states that in order for people to qualify for health care subsidies, they need to be “enrolled in through an exchange established by the state.” The majority upheld that by “state,” the law referred to individual state exchanges or exchanges set up by the federal government. Otherwise, the majority opinion stated, state exchanges would drown in a “death spiral.”
Roberts wrote that “it is implausible that Congress meant the Act to operate in this manner.”
Scalia heavily criticized this reading, saying that the majority has erroneously interpreted the word “state” to also mean “federal government.” He called parts of the majority opinion “interpretive jiggery-pokery.”
“The Secretary of Health and Human Services is not a state,” he wrote. “Words no longer have meaning if an exchange that is not established by a state is ‘established by the state.'”
Scalia wrote that the justices who authored the majority displayed “no semblance of shame” in their opinion. His dissent is littered with jabs at his fellow justices. “Today’s interpretation is not merely unnatural; it is unheard of,” Scalia writes. He describes another aspect of the majority’s analysis to be “pure applesauce.”
King v. Burwell was one of the biggest legal challenges to Obamacare since 2012, when the Court upheld Obamacare’s individual mandate. In the conclusion of his dissent, Scalia said the Court got it wrong both times—and that it has shown bias toward the Obama administration’s policies.
“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,” Scalia wrote. “I dissent.”
God bless Associate Justice Antonin Gregory Scalia, the longest-serving justice currently on the Court. Scalia is the Senior Associate Justice. Appointed to the Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, Scalia has been described as the intellectual anchor for the originalist and textualist position in the Court’s conservative wing.
Scalia was born in Trenton, New Jersey, and attended public grade school and Catholic high school in New York City, where his family had moved. He attended Georgetown University as an undergraduate and obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from Harvard Law School. After spending six years in a Cleveland law firm, he became a law school professor at the University of Virginia. In the early 1970s, he served in the Nixon and Ford administrations, first at minor administrative agencies, and then as an assistant attorney general. He spent most of the Carter years teaching at the University of Chicago, where he became one of the first faculty advisers of the fledgling Federalist Society. In 1982, he was appointed as a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by President Ronald Reagan.
In 1986, Scalia was appointed by Reagan to the Supreme Court to fill the associate justice seat vacated when Justice William Rehnquist was elevated to Chief Justice. Whereas Rehnquist’s confirmation was contentious, Scalia was asked few difficult questions by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and faced no opposition. Scalia was unanimously confirmed by the Senate, becoming the first Italian-American justice.
Scalia has served on the Court for nearly thirty years, during which time he has established a solidly conservative voting record and ideology, advocating textualism in statutory interpretation and originalism in constitutional interpretation.