Did you expect anything different from Justice John G. Roberts Jr.? Why? This is the chief of the country’s legal politburo of proctologists, who had previously rewritten Obama’s Affordable Care Act, and then proceeded to provide the fifth vote to uphold the individual mandate undergirding the law, thereby undeniably and obscenely extending Congress’s taxing power.
What did this “conservative” jurist do NOW? Reports Lyle Denniston of the SCOTUS Blog:
… a divided Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that subsidies to help lower-income Americans buy health insurance will remain available in all fifty states.
That, the Court concluded by a six-to-three vote, was what Congress intended when it passed the sweeping overhaul of the health insurance market five years ago. If the subsidies are not available across the nation, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., wrote for the majority, that would bring about “the type of calamitous result that Congress plainly meant to avoid.”
Had the ruling in King v. Burwell gone the other way, to eliminate subsidies in thirty-four states, at least 6.4 million Americans likely would have almost immediately lost the insurance coverage that many of them have for the first time. And, given the way Congress wrote an interlocking law, the cascading effect of the loss of subsidies for so many probably would have collapsed the whole arrangement — a point that Roberts embraced in foreseeing the potential for a “death spiral” for the ACA.
The Chief Justice’s twenty-one-page opinion was an often technical interpretation of many arcane provisions of the ACA, but it was clear that the outcome had been driven in considerable part because the majority had accepted the centrality of the subsidy scheme to the law as a whole, and had found persuasive the dire predictions of the impact of sharply paring down that scheme.
The decision closely tracked most of the arguments that the Obama administration had made in defending the nationwide availability of subsidies, in the form of tax credits. …
“A Romp Down Memory Lane With Justice Roberts” will show that Roberts has always been about the moves. With his affirmation of the right of the state to compel the individual into a purchase, Justice Roberts moved into the DC party circuit. Roberts’ smooth moves, today, on behalf of The Powers will cement his position on this circuit.