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Recent Noteworthy SCOTUS cases and verdicts (Page 2)
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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Apr 22, 2015, 10:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
Scalia is pro-individual rights*
To me the asterisk tends to be he gives a wide latitude to police in their cases. From what I recall a ruling like this dealing with police is the exception, not the rule.
     
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Apr 22, 2015, 10:37 AM
 
He's pretty tight with the literal interpretation of the Constitution from what I've seen, and that can cause some bewilderment at times, when people expect him to vote along a party line and he simply doesn't.
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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Apr 29, 2015, 03:27 PM
 
States can ban elected judges from asking for campaign money, Supreme Court says - LA Times
In a 5-4 decision, the court rejected a free-speech claim brought by a Florida judge.

"Judges are not politicians, even when they come to the bench by way of the ballot," Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority. "A state may assure its people that judges will apply the law without fear or favor -- and without having personally asked anyone for money."

The decision marks one of the few times the high court has rejected a free-speech claim involving politics and campaigning. Roberts split from the court's four conservative justices to uphold the Florida law.
*raised eyebrow* Roberts better be careful. Between ACA, this, and possibly Obergfell, he may start getting stamped as center-leaning.
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Apr 29, 2015, 05:03 PM
 
Makes sense, really. They're in a position of neutrality (ideally) and should be non-partisan, so by their very nature they're the antithesis of a politician.
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Apr 29, 2015, 05:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
States can ban elected judges from asking for campaign money, Supreme Court says - LA Times

*raised eyebrow* Roberts better be careful. Between ACA, this, and possibly Obergfell, he may start getting stamped as center-leaning.
As a self-identifying conservative, I don't think this would be a bad thing. I'm with him on this one (though not the ACA).
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Apr 30, 2015, 10:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
Makes sense, really. They're in a position of neutrality (ideally) and should be non-partisan, so by their very nature they're the antithesis of a politician.
But I don't see how not being a politician hinders your ability to solicit fund via free speech (per the courts recent rulings). The conservative block puts forth the argument much more clearly (obviously).
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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May 1, 2015, 06:02 AM
 
Because, no matter how much others will deny it, when you take money from someone you feel beholding to them. Consciously or subconsciously you feel there's a debt and it will , not could, will, alter your ability to be completely neutral, no matter who you are. I've seen this happen time and time again, even in charitable giving, and that's the way non-politicians gain a great deal of political power, even if they aren't purposely cultivating it. That's the last thing you want to have happen to a judge.

Ex. I gave a lot of money to the campaign (and PAC) to elect our County Exec, an awesome Dem whom I felt had a lot of integrity who couldn't be bought off with drug money (there were big meth rings in this area). It was a make or break time around here, crooks were in office and a flood of drug money was being cycled through the political machine, with disastrous effects. Well, I hadn't been trying to curry favor with that person, I simply wanted them in office because I felt they were the best person for the job, but not long after I found myself being consulted frequently (which is fine) and asked if I personally needed anything from them (that's not fine). After that we had a long, private conversation where I politely explained that we didn't need anything, except for them to do their best and bring their ethical views to the office. Want advice? No problem, I know this county as well as anyone. But they didn't owe me a damned thing. If I were a lesser person I could have manipulated the hell out of that situation, and a lot of people do.
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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 18, 2015, 09:14 AM
 
With two weeks to go, we should be seeing at least on of the more controversial case verdicts come in today. (Death penalty, ACA, Gay marriage, redistricting)
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 18, 2015, 02:41 PM
 
None of the biggies. Instead this: High Court Rules Specialty License Plates Constitute 'Government Speech' : The Two-Way : NPR

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the state of Texas was legally justified in refusing to issue a proposed specialty license plate for members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

The court ruled in Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. that the license plate design constitutes government speech and therefore Texas is entitled to choose which messages it approves. Texas had rejected the proposed plate, which includes a Confederate battle flag, arguing that it was offensive to a "significant portion" of the public.
Seems like a flawed call. It's hard not to see as government issued plates as an endorsement of the message contained therein. It's understandable they don't want confederate plates, but this opens up a can of worms as far as future plates being approved or denied on political grounds (if you don't already see the confederate flag as that). Removing specialty plates altogether seems the wiser course.

On to the split. Another 5-4, but the composition may surprise you.
The biggest surprise in the alignment of the bench is that Justice Clarence Thomas went with the majority, while Scalia dissented. The two court conservatives rarely end up on opposite sides of a decision.
Perhaps I'm misguided for thinking Thomas' color, err, colored his opinion, but I just don't see him (or the liberal side) voting the same way if we're talking about something that aligns off the other side of political spectrum, like pro-choice license plates.

Ah well, I don't really care that much.
     
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Jun 18, 2015, 03:02 PM
 
What is your thought process for the elimination?

The current plates existing are de facto censorship?
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 18, 2015, 03:04 PM
 
That current specialty plates are defacto endorsements.
     
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Jun 18, 2015, 03:09 PM
 
Doesn't your state government own the plates? ie - you own the car, but they own your name tag collar plate.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 18, 2015, 03:13 PM
 
Interestingly, I completely disagree with Alito's dissent, as well.
Unfortunately, the Court’s decision categorizes private speech as government speech and thus strips it of all First Amendment protection. The Court holds that all the privately created messages on the many specialty plates issued by the State of Texas convey a government message rather than the message of the motorist displaying the plate. Can this possibly be correct?

Here is a test. Suppose you sat by the side of a Texas highway and studied the license plates on the vehicles passing by. You would see, in addition to the standard Texas plates, an impressive array of specialty plates. (There are now more than 350 varieties.) You would likely observe plates that honor numerous colleges and universities. You might see plates bearing the name of a high school, a fraternity or sorority, the Masons, the Knights of Columbus, the Daughters of the American Revolution, a realty company, a favorite soft drink, a favorite burger restaurant, and a favorite NASCAR driver.

As you sat there watching these plates speed by, would you really think that the sentiments reflected in these specialty plates are the views of the State of Texas and not those of the owners of the cars? If a car with a plate that says “Rather Be Golfing” passed by at 8:30 am on a Monday morning, would you think: “This is the official policy of the State—better to golf than to work?” If you did your viewing at the start of the college football season and you saw Texas plates with the names of the University of Texas’s out-of-state competitors in upcoming games—Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, the University of Oklahoma, Kansas State, Iowa State—would you assume that the State of Texas was officially (and perhaps treasonously) rooting for the Longhorns’ opponents? And when a car zipped by with a plate that reads “NASCAR – 24 Jeff Gordon,” would you think that Gordon (born in California,raised in Indiana, resides in North Carolina) is the official favorite of the State government?
Yes. Get a bumper sticker or plate frame if you care that much about something. University plates are the state officially recognizing the institutions. DARE plates are the state elevating the view of drug control. Same with animal or environmental plates, endorsing animal treatment and environmental issues. A "Sons of Confederate Veterans" plate would easily be construed as the state recognizing the group in an official capacity.

Anyway, there must be some legal minutia I'm missing if I disagree with both sides.
     
subego
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Jun 18, 2015, 03:22 PM
 
Honest question. Is there nothing the government can endorse?

Frex, we have "Prevent Violence" plates in Illinois.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 18, 2015, 03:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Honest question. Is there nothing the government can endorse?

Frex, we have "Prevent Violence" plates in Illinois.
I feel like official institutions are fine. Programs the state runs are fine (DARE, conservation, ASPCA, etc.). Texas' problem seems to be the treat custom license plates like they were newspaper ad space. Pay up and you're in.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 18, 2015, 03:31 PM
 
BTW, I'm somewhat amused that I'm the one endorsing a view of less government participation and you are on the opposite end.
     
subego
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Jun 18, 2015, 03:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
BTW, I'm somewhat amused that I'm the one endorsing a view of less government participation and you are on the opposite end.
I am amused as well.

I think what puts me in this unusual situation was an overbroad reading of how many of these you wanted to eliminate. I thought you were including things like the PV plates.

Even for me, that's a bit too "stick-in-the-mud" of a position to have off the bat... but I'm willing to be convinced.
     
subego
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Jun 18, 2015, 03:59 PM
 
Wait... you can get Notre Dame plates in Texas?
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 18, 2015, 03:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I am amused as well.

I think what puts me in this unusual situation was an overbroad reading of how many of these you wanted to eliminate.
I'm ok with that extreme versus a plate free-for-all. I just think we can come up with some non-arbitrary standards for how something can qualify for having its own plate.

Originally Posted by subego View Post
I thought you were including things like the PV plates.
PV plates?

Originally Posted by subego View Post
Even for me, that's a bit too "stick-in-the-mud" of a position to have off the bat... but I'm willing to be convinced.
I have a feeling the answer may suprise you.
     
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Jun 18, 2015, 04:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Wait... you can get Notre Dame plates in Texas?
Luck of the irish.
     
subego
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Jun 18, 2015, 04:00 PM
 
Glenn has some explaining to do.
     
subego
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Jun 18, 2015, 04:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
PV plates?
Sorry. Prevent Violence plates.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 18, 2015, 04:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Sorry. Prevent Violence plates.
Ah, never seen them. Beats me. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
     
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Jun 18, 2015, 04:18 PM
 
Here's what we offer in Illinois. It's readable if you zoom in.



As you can see, even without zooming in, despite how utterly ****ed up our state is, we have a relatively sane set of plate options.

Edit: and our "Collegiate Series" does not include Notre ****ing Dame.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 18, 2015, 04:27 PM
 
Tinted Windows?
     
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Jun 18, 2015, 04:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
None of the biggies. Instead this: High Court Rules Specialty License Plates Constitute 'Government Speech' : The Two-Way : NPR

Seems like a flawed call. It's hard not to see as government issued plates as an endorsement of the message contained therein. It's understandable they don't want confederate plates, but this opens up a can of worms as far as future plates being approved or denied on political grounds (if you don't already see the confederate flag as that). Removing specialty plates altogether seems the wiser course.

On to the split. Another 5-4, but the composition may surprise you.

Perhaps I'm misguided for thinking Thomas' color, err, colored his opinion, but I just don't see him (or the liberal side) voting the same way if we're talking about something that aligns off the other side of political spectrum, like pro-choice license plates.

Ah well, I don't really care that much.
Or, you know, feminist and gay rights license plates. Does everyone have the right to not be offended, or do only certain people qualify?
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The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 18, 2015, 04:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
Or, you know, feminist and gay rights license plates.
Exactly. Would the court have ruled the same way if it were recognition of gay pride plates? I don't think so. I just don't see the impartiality here.
     
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Jun 18, 2015, 05:32 PM
 
In light of "recent events" I must say that the timing of this Confederate Flag SCOTUS decision is quite notable.



There is a litany of historical and modern day reasons why it is "offensive to a "significant portion" of the public." I'm also not surprised that Justice Thomas sided with the majority. He's previously done so in egregious situations like that. Albeit few and far between.

OAW
     
subego
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Jun 19, 2015, 01:38 AM
 
@Dakar

To present my actual relevant thoughts behind the post with the Illinois list of plates, something I failed to do in the post itself...

Despite me defaulting to lesser government intervention, I'm thinking having been surrounded by a (relatively speaking) rational set of plates, I never got my jimmies that rustled over it. For the longest time the only notable ones were the Prevent Violence and Environmental plates, which are about as inoffensive as you can get.

Our Secretary of State, who's in charge of all this shit, is a pretty rare bird, though. He likes his job. He's been there a very long time, and has never angled to use his position as a stepping stone to a bigger political office.

Weird things start to happen when someone breaks the paradigm.
     
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Jun 19, 2015, 10:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
In light of "recent events" I must say that the timing of this Confederate Flag SCOTUS decision is quite notable.


There is a litany of historical and modern day reasons why it is "offensive to a "significant portion" of the public." I'm also not surprised that Justice Thomas sided with the majority. He's previously done so in egregious situations like that. Albeit few and far between.

OAW
That guy deserves his own thread if you really want to talk about it.
     
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Jun 19, 2015, 02:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
That guy deserves his own thread if you really want to talk about it.
Honestly my friend I'm a bit too upset to start one myself. Cause if some of the usual suspects start trotting out that "The Confederate Flag isn't racist ... it's about Southern heritage!" BS I'm liable to truly go off. Feel free to start one if you'd like. I might chime in later once the rawness of recent events subsides.

OAW
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 19, 2015, 03:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
Feel free to start one if you'd like. I might chime in later once the rawness of recent events subsides.
I would but I don't have the time to give it the OP it deserves. I have like three other threads I'm avoiding since I don't have the time.

Plus, I'm also not sure I have anything thoughtful to say.
     
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Jun 21, 2015, 10:59 AM
 
In Texas, we have (as the NYT put it) hundreds of specialty plates. We do have a Notre Dame plate, and a Michigan State plate, and a Mississippi State plate. Mine is a Disabled Veteran plate (but not the Air Force Disabled Veteran plate, which is slightly different).

The Sons of the Confederacy plate features their logo, which has the name of the organization around the Confederate Battle Flag. The only reason it was rejected was due to the use of the Battle Flag, not because of the organization asking for it. And I have to agree with SCOTUS's majority decision on this: a state-issued automobile license plate is de facto state speech, and implies state endorsement of the subject of the specialty printing.

How many people would be able to notice the words around the Confederate Battle Flag when they saw the license plate? And even if they could, would they not react first to the flag and then probably skip over the text? Almost certainly this would come across as the State of Texas endorsing (whatever else the plate said and) something to do with the Confederate Battle Flag. No, Texas doesn't need that sort of grief with all the other crap our Esteemed Legislators, our immediate past governor, and our current governor have done to our state.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
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Jun 22, 2015, 01:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
Scalia is pro-individual rights*
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
To me the asterisk tends to be he gives a wide latitude to police in their cases. From what I recall a ruling like this dealing with police is the exception, not the rule.
I think I can more narrowly phrase my criticism – he gives police benefit of doubt or he has no mercy for people in the system; He takes their guilt as a given.

I don't think this contradicts your assertion, but consider it one data point that supports my view.
Supreme Court rules in favor of inmate with excessive force claim - Adam B. Lerner - POLITICO
The Supreme Court on Monday made it easier for pre-trial inmates to bring claims against jail officials for using excessive force, ruling that officers will be held to an objective standard about whether the use of force was reasonable.
“[J]uries give a lot of deference to officers,” she said. “If [juries are] allowed to inject their subjective good faith…that would result in a lot more findings and verdicts in favor of guards, even in instances where objectively unreasonable, unjustified force is used.”

Justice Stephen Breyer, writing the majority opinion, agreed and said that an objective standard, set by the facts and circumstances of each case, should determine whether or not the force was excessive or necessitated by the circumstance. He added that jury instructions which ordered jurors to consider whether the guards “reasonably believed there was a threat to the safety of staff or prisoners” was “erroneous.”
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas joined Justice Antonin Scalia in a dissent that said the “Constitution contains no freestanding prohibition of excessive force” but rather that such a prohibition stems from four other provisions.…Scalia wrote that if he believed the tasing constituted punishment, he would agree that excessive force used would be unreasonable. But he said that the force in question in the case served the purpose of a goal of maintaining staff and inmate safety.
Edit: Also, no gay marriage, redistricting, ACA, or lethal injection. Guaranteed blockbuster days coming up (Next chance: Thursday)
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 22, 2015, 04:46 PM
 
They added a special Friday session for a decision. That makes me nervous.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 25, 2015, 10:02 AM
 
Something interesting should drop today.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 25, 2015, 10:05 AM
 
Also, let's see how many 5-4s we get in the final 6 bigger and 4 biggest ones. I'll be flabbergasted if we get a 7-2 somewhere.
     
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Jun 25, 2015, 10:23 AM
 
WORDS MEAN NOTHING TO THE SCOTUS. Laws seem to mean nothing in this country either.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...MPLATE=DEFAULT
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 25, 2015, 10:31 AM
 
Roberts betrayed conservatives again on the ACA
King v. Burwell: Supreme Court upholds Obamacare subsidies.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court rejected a major challenge to the Affordable Care Act, ruling that federal subsidies may be made available to individuals who live in states that did not set up their own health care exchanges. The 6-3 opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, and joined by Justice Anthony Kennedy and the more liberal justices.
Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them.
i.e., congress isn't completely retarded

Scalia, fan of a plain meaning of bills, somehow managed to dissent.
     
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Jun 25, 2015, 10:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
i.e., congress isn't completely retarded
They were when they wrote and didn't read it before voting for it.

Perhaps they could have caught the mistakes. They Grubered it. 10 million have signed up? what about the reported 30+ million that didn't have it before? Now many folks can't use the POS insurance because of such high deductibles. How does that help?
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 25, 2015, 11:04 AM
 
Textual interpretation, Scalia insisted, should be “holistic” and “contextual,” not “wooden” or “literal.” Courts, he said, should adopt the interpretation of a law that “does least violence to the text,” declaring that “there can be no justification for needlessly rendering provisions in conflict if they can be interpreted harmoniously.”
In his dissent from the Supreme Court's decision upholding Obamacare subsidies in 34 states, Justice Antonin Scalia accused the six-vote majority of engaging in "interpretive jiggery-pokery."

The court "rewrites the law to make tax credits available everywhere," he wrote. "We should start calling this law SCOTUScare."
Eat shit.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 25, 2015, 12:53 PM
 
The other case, which is hard to find an article on for obvious reasons
SCOTUS rejects effort to weaken Fair Housing Act | MSNBC
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Thursday to reject a case that could have significantly weakened the Fair Housing Act (FHA), a landmark civil rights law. The ruling means the law will continue to cover actions in the housing sphere with a discriminatory result—known as disparate impact—not just intentional discrimination.

“Recognition of disparate-impact claims is consistent with the FHA’s central purpose,” Justice Anthony Kennedy, wrote in the court’s majority opinion. Kennedy was joined by Justices Kagan, Sotomayor, Ginsburg, and Breyer. Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito dissented.

Kennedy wrote that the use of disparate impact must be limited, so that it doesn’t simply cover any action that happens to affect one group more than another. But he noted that disparate impact under the FHA has played a key role in promoting racial equality in housing and fighting discrimination.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 25, 2015, 02:20 PM
 
Another gem from Scalia:
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?
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 25, 2015, 04:39 PM
 
Little more...
Antonin Scalia's 'interpretive jiggery-pokery' | MSNBC
On page 17 of the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts even mocks the dissenters for making the opposite conclusion that they drew three years ago:
“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.”).
It’s no small detail. Three years ago, when the Affordable Care Act’s constitutionality was challenged, Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Sam Alito read the law in such a way as to see all eligible consumers receiving subsidies, regardless of state or federal exchanges. In today’s dissent, these three had to read the law in the polar opposite way.
     
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Jun 25, 2015, 11:08 PM
 
At first blush, Scalia may seem inconsistent, but the more I look at it, the less I'm convinced.

Interpretation and intent come into play when the text is ambiguous. If I'm reading it right, this text is crystal clear.

This clause seems to have been written so badly it ends up legally excluding the intent of the authors. Scalia is absolutely correct this is not a problem for the courts to fix.


That said, overturning the law would have been an unmitigated disaster. If I were a swing vote, I'd have a long, hard talk with myself as to whether I dump my principles for the good of the country.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jun 26, 2015, 10:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
If I'm reading it right, this text is crystal clear.
Well, that's the rub, isn't it?
     
BadKosh
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Jun 26, 2015, 11:35 AM
 
I think these SC "justices" need a Dictionary suppository.
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Jun 26, 2015, 12:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
The question wasn't phrased the same at all, so Roberts is being a bit disingenuous here. I generally find him to be a tolerable libertarian CJ, if a little too far to the Right, but here he's apparently grinding an axe.
"I have a dream, that my four little children will one day live in a
nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin,
but by the content of their character." - M.L.King Jr
     
subego
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Jun 26, 2015, 01:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Well, that's the rub, isn't it?
"An exchange established by the state" is open to interpretation?

Even the original circuit court ruling noted the text of the law better supported the plaintiff's position.
     
OAW
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Jun 26, 2015, 01:28 PM
 
That small portion of the legislation says what it says. No one is disagreeing with that. The issue is that it is completely at odds with the overall intent of the legislation. So the Supreme Court rightly decided that it didn't make sense to completely upend the health insurance market and strip 6+ million people of their health insurance over what is essentially a TYPO. By a 2-1 margin.

OAW
     
 
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