Chief Justice Roberts Moves Court Closer to Tyranny with SCOTUScare Decision: Laws No Longer Mean What They Say

Photo Credit: Washington Times In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court handed President Barack Obama his second major win on his signature health care law, upholding nationwide tax subsidies for millions of Americans.

Chief Justice John Roberts, again siding with the court’s liberal wing, said in the majority opinion that Obamacare allows for residents of states that did not set up their own insurance exchanges to still receive subsidies to pay for their health coverage.

“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” Roberts wrote.

Section 1311 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act says customers should receive subsidies through an exchange “established by a state,” leaving the Supreme Court to decide how literal those words are: whether tax credits are restricted to customers in state-run exchanges, or if the federally run marketplace counts as well.

The plaintiffs had contended that the legislative language clearly means that tax subsidies to buy health insurance may only be available to states that established their own health exchanges, excluding residents in 37 states that didn’t set up an Obamcare marketplace, while the Obama administration argued the language broadly meant that all exchanges were eligible for federal tax subsidies. (Read more from “Chief Justice Roberts Leads Court Toward Tyranny in SCOTUScare Decision” HERE)

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EXCERPTS FROM SCALIA’S SCATHING DISSENT

Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is “established by the State.” It is hard to come up with a clearer way to limit tax credits to state Exchanges than to use the words “established by the State.” And it is hard to come up with a reason to include the words “by the State” other than the purpose of limiting credits to state Exchanges. “[T]he plain, obvious, and rational meaning of a statute is always to be preferred to any curious, narrow, hidden sense that nothing but the exigency of a hard case and the ingenuity and study of an acute and powerful intellect would discover.” Lynch v. Alworth-Stephens Co., 267 U. S. 364, 370 (1925) (internal quotation marks omitted). 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 the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved.

Today’s interpretation is not merely unnatural; it is unheard of. Who would ever have dreamt that “Exchange established by the State” means “Exchange established by the State or the Federal Government”?

Making matters worse, the reader of the whole Act will come across a number of provisions beyond §36B that refer to the establishment of Exchanges by States. Adopting the Court’s interpretation means nullifying the term “by the State” not just once, but again and again throughout the Act. . . It is bad enough for a court to cross out “by the State” once. But seven times?

The Court claims that the Act must equate federal and state establishment of Exchanges . . . Pure applesauce. Imagine that a university sends around a bulletin reminding every professor to take the “interests of graduate students” into account when setting office hours, but that some professors teach only undergraduates. Would anybody reason that the bulletin implicitly presupposes that every professor has “graduate students,” so that “graduate students” must really mean “graduate or undergraduate students”? Surely not. Just as one naturally reads instructions about graduate students to be inapplicable to the extent a particular professor has no such students, so too would one naturally read instructions about qualified individuals to be inapplicable to the extent a particular Exchange has no such individuals.

The Court has not come close to presenting the compelling contextual case necessary to justify departing from the ordinary meaning of the terms of the law. Quite the contrary, context only underscores the outlandishness of the Court’s interpretation. Reading the Act as a whole leaves no doubt about the matter: “Exchange established by the State” means what it looks like it means. . .For its next defense of the indefensible, the Court turns to the Affordable Care Act’s design and purposes. . .

The Court’s decision reflects the philosophy that judges should endure whatever interpretive distortions it takes in order to correct a supposed flaw in the statutory machinery. That philosophy ignores the American people’s decision to give Congress “[a]ll legislative Powers” enumerated in the Constitution. Art. I, §1. They made Congress, not this Court, responsible for both making laws and mending them. This Court holds only the judicial power—the power to pronounce the law as Congress has enacted it. We lack the prerogative to repair laws that do not work out in practice, just as the people lack the ability to throw us out of office if they dislike the solutions we concoct. We must always remember, therefore, that “[o]ur task is to apply the text, not to improve upon it.” Pavelic & LeFlore v. Marvel Entertainment Group, Div. of Cadence Industries Corp., 493 U. S. 120, 126 (1989).

Even less defensible, if possible, is the Court’s claim that its interpretive approach is justified because this Act “does not reflect the type of care and deliberation that one might expect of such significant legislation.” Ante, at 14–15. It is not our place to judge the quality of the care and deliberation that went into this or any other law. A law enacted by voice vote with no deliberation whatever is fully as binding upon us as one enacted after years of study, months of committee hearings, and weeks of debate. Much less is it our place to make everything come out right when Congress does not do its job properly. It is up to Congress to design its laws with care, and it is up to the people to hold them to account if they fail to carry out that responsibility.

Having transformed two major parts of the law, the Court today has turned its attention to a third. The Act that Congress passed makes tax credits available only on an “Exchange established by the State.” This Court, however, concludes that this limitation would prevent the rest of the Act from working as well as hoped. So it rewrites the law to make tax credits available everywhere. We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.

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.

I dissent.

  • RobGoetzSr

    Roberts’ decision lacks the most important ingredient required to pass Constitutional muster. To be precise, “Where in the Constitution should it be required by law that a citizen purchase a product or service?”
    Roberts has set forth a dangerous precedent. What will be the next product or service that the American people be required to purchase or subsidize, at risk of going to jail?

    • lakeside227

      He got around that when he previously ruled that o-care was not Constitutional under the Commerce Clause for that very reason – the government cannot compel us to purchase a product. He, then, said we weren’t being ‘compelled.’ We were being ‘taxed’ for not doing something the government had deemed ‘good for us.’ He likened it to taxes on cigarettes to discourage people from smoking.

      Completely absurd. The man has lost his mind, this ruling proves it.

      • RobGoetzSr

        This is exactly what Mark Levin describes as, “Judicial Tyranny!” The liberal method of re-defining that which is legal to make it illegal, and vice-versa. What Liberals cannot get in the legislatures, they obtain in the courts.

  • Rascal262

    Is this where we line up to complain about something we only just realized Supreme Court justices have been doing for over a hundred years – interpreting the intent of laws?

    • lakeside227

      I feel ya.

      This is different because it is so blatant, so clearly wrong and outrageous. No sane person can look at this and say they followed the law with this ruling.

      This behavior mirrors the rest of government – so ‘in your face’ illegal. Jade Helm, the Virginia Battle Flag, the TPA and TPP, Boehner punishing representatives for obeying their constituents, etc., etc.

      • Rascal262

        When the Court interprets it’s always blatant to someone.

        • lakeside227

          They aren’t supposed to ‘interpret’ they are supposed to follow the law. They were delegated the authority to hear cases and decide disputes based on the already defined laws the law-makers gave us. Defining the law is a legislative power, not judicial. They are supposed to decide whether the action – subsidies given through federal exchanges – followed the law as Congress defined it. It did not. SCOTUS rewrote the law.

          What they did, and have been doing for over 100 years, is outside their Constitutional authority.

          • Rascal262

            I won’t argue over whether or not the judicial body that’s tasked with interpreting the Constitution also has the authority to interpret the laws that are being applied in the name of the Constitution. I’ll wait until one of those interpretations goes against my beliefs and then I’ll express outrage. Isn’t that how it’s done?

          • lakeside227

            They aren’t tasked with interpreting the Constitution. Shall I cite the Constitution? I’ll go ahead and do so.

            “The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;—to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;—to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;—to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;—to Controversies between two or more States;— between a State and Citizens of another State,—between Citizens of different States,—between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

            In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.”

            No where does the Constitution delegate the authority to interpret the Constitution itself or interpret the laws. Our courts’ authority is only over cases. The Constitution is the set of rules the government must obey. No body has the authority to interpret the rules it must follow.

            As I said, defining the law – which includes the Constitution – is a legislative power, not judicial. The courts are to judge actions, they decide disputes, using the Constitution and the laws. They have no power to define the law, they have only the power to use the law as defined by the law-makers.

            SCOTUS doesn’t, didn’t, do that. It sanctioned the president’s rewrite of the law to include federal exchanges. That’s illegal.

          • John Liberty

            America Gone With A Whimper.
            “It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American descent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.” …. “The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America ‘s short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more than another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.
            This is the MASTER PLAN TO debauch our currency just as the Roman Empire fell from within.

          • lakeside227

            The Founders foresaw this and gave the People a way to correct government over-reach. The problem is that our representatives refuse to obey the only people they are supposed to obey – their constituents – and impeach these government officials for high crimes and misdemeanors and treason. The states refuse to use their Natural Right of nullification to stop federal over-reach and Constitutional violations. The People don’t use their Natural Right of recalling those they elect and their Right to confine campaign contributions to constituents. The reason our representatives don’t listen to us is because they don’t need us to get on the ballot, to raise money, to get elected, to stay in office. The People don’t use their sovereign power to control the behavior of our government.

            These SCOTUS justices should be impeached for violating their oaths, violating the Constitution, and violating the separation of powers.

  • Dowhatsrigh

    Well as I have posted for the last couple of years, SCOTUS now stand for Socialist Committee of the United States. This bunch of socialist are ruling according to poliltical need and not the Constitution. We must remove all Federal Judges from life time appointments and make the accountable for the ruling they make. Like the Communist countres we are now ruled by Socialist Committee of nine.

    • mary

      I do not think they should have lifetime appointments, but then it would promote a whole new set of problems. I think they should run for office same as the other two branches. Shame on Roberts for not upholding the Constitution. That in itself should be reason for reason for getting rid of him. Maybe he is afraid of Obama’s Chicago tactics!!

      • RobGoetzSr

        Mary: That is a possibility. As I recall, the body of a Federal Judge during the Clinton Admin. was found floating in the Patomic. It was ruled as an accident of course…

        • John Liberty

          As was the ONLY witness to Obama’s passport FRAUD case was found outside a church, shot in the head, as he waited for a federal agent to talk to him. JUST LIKE Jimmy Hoffa was killed outside a suburban Detroit restaurant … waiting for a fed agent !!! Information is dangerous to those who want to enslave you.
          Defend Liberty, DEFEAT tyranny.

    • RobGoetzSr

      Great analogy!

    • Russ

      I agree with everything except being appointed. They need to be elected by the people and not appointed by the friggin prez. just sayin.

      • John Liberty

        The “accidental death” of just one conservative judge will seal America into the trash heap of history just like the Roman Empire.

      • Gary Causer

        The people gave us Obama! Bite your tongue..

        You need to clean house of Republicans who stick you. Hello…

        The next president over the next 10 years will appoint two or three judges…..

        Molon labe

  • Russ

    I don’t know how these pricks look at themselves in the mirror. may they all get eaten by a flesh eating disease and their beds be infested with the flees of a thousand camels!!

  • Nam1

    They should be required to sign for and experience what countless of their fellow Americans were forced to endure and that’s the ACA, and if they refuse then impeach… The consequences for bowing to politics.

    • John Liberty

      This act will now ad an additional $2 trillion to our national debt AND reduce our nations credit rating again. Our debt will spiral out of control now … which is the plan for the Global Socialists who want a New World Reserve Currency headed up by China and its cheap labor. The FED chairman has called for it already, as has Russia and China. IT WILL HAPPEN and bring America to its knees with the sword of submission over our formerly sovereign heads.

      • Nam1

        The rule of law now has no more rules… It’s legislate and interpret as you wish.

  • John Liberty

    The highest court in our land of Liberty has vacated that Liberty with the indoctrination of Satanic Evil. Today we have an entire generation of college students are being led away from the values of their fathers, and our national heritage, which is being replaced by Marxist Collectivism. Satan is alive and active in these “final days” tempting by deception and lawlessness.

    If you are to stand victorious until Jesus returns to snatch us away from the coming tribulation, then you must make certain that you have accepted the free gift of pardon that Jesus died to purchase for you. For he defeated evil on the Cross and that is why Obama had the Cross covered at his speeches at Notre Dame & Georgetown universities.
    YOU MUST rely on the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit in your life, not that of a failing mankind deceived by Satan, because we cannot withstand the onslaught of this evil enemy by our own power of the flesh.

    This is a Spiritual WAR with good vs. evil.
    Find a good, Bible-teaching church and begin to faithfully read the Word of God. Ask God, the Holy Spirit, to teach you and guide you. Then trust Him to do so and He will. Jesus will return, not the Islamic 12th Imam, for the true believers in Him.
    Mankind cannot be trusted as this SCOTUS clearly shows us.

  • RobGoetzSr

    This all could have been prevented had Congress shown some “testicular fortitude” and impeached the usurper Obama.

  • pFeather

    Roberts is an idiot and a tool of the wacko liberal left. Laws no longer mean anything if Roberts and the crazy libs on the court ignore the words of laws. The SCOTUS no longer follows the constitution and we have lost our constitutional republic to the insane left.

  • David M. Andrews

    “Closer to Tyranny” is a misstatement. The Supreme Court has become totally Tyrannical and they proved and verified it this morning with their ruling on gay marriage. At least six of the Justices need to be IMPEACHED immediately!!

  • akprayingmom

    Our one true Champion American Patriot Warrior on the SCOTUS: Antonin Scalia! GOD bless and keep him! “The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.” – Antonin Scalia

  • Lloyd Revalee

    THE HOPES AND DREAMS OF ALL THOSE YEARNING TO BE FREE HAVE BEEN SHATTERED. THE SACRIFICES OF OUR FOUNDING FATHERS WERE ALL IN VAIN, FOR HTHEIR GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE, NO LONGER EXISTS. WE THE PEOPLE HAVE SAT IDLY BY, AND LET THE ENEMIES OF ANY FREE AND INDEPENDENT PEOPLE STRIP IT FROM US. OUR LAWS ARE NOW BEING MADE BY ENEMIES TO OUR WAYOF LIFE AND OUR SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT. EVIL OFFICIALS THAT WE HAVEELECTED TO UPHOLD AND DEFEND OUR CONSTITUTION, THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND, HAVE TURNED AGAINST THE VERY PEOPLE THAT PUT THEM IN OFFICE. OUR CONSTITUTION GIVES ALL LEGISLATIVE, LAW MAKING POWER, IN A CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES WHICH CONSISTS OF A SENATE AND A HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE. YET OUR LAWS ARE NOW BEING MADE BY A TYRANICAL PRESIDENT AND JUSTICES OF THE SUPREME COURT, AND, IN SOME INSTANCE, BY LOWER COURT JUDGES. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS ENACTING LAWS TAT THEY DO NOT HAVE THE CONSTITUTIONAL POWER TO DO. CONGRESS DOES NOT HAVE POWER TO MAKE LAWS THAT VIOLATE OUR CONSTITUTION. ALL TYPES OF INSURANCE, INCLUDING HEALTH INSURANCE, GAY MARRIAGES, ISSUANCE OF DRIVERS LICENSES, ETC., ARE STATES RIGHTS, FOR THE CONSTITUTION DOES GIVE THIS RIGHT TO CONGRESS.

  • SUSANM621

    Obama must have. A lot of DIRT on Roberts, a lot.

  • Grammy6pak

    Justice Roberts is being held hostage by Obama! He used to be an Honorable man!

    • Daninfla6th

      REALLY? When?

  • Gary Causer

    You’ll notice (perhaps not) that the Republicans are not responsible. Evil Scotus….

    Convenient no?

    Tell me….what good is the power of purse if not exercised in defense of your electorate’s wishes, hmm?

    This decision and the Gay power decision is the best thing to happen to the Republican Party since Rowe vs Wade…..

    They squeezed every dime and vote on that one. These should be good for a generation…..lol

    Suckers!

    Molon labe