Another dark day in the history of our Republic. Obamacare (aka ACA) has survived its second encounter with SCOTUS. In spite of the clear intent of Congress to goad states to get into the healthcare business; in spite of progressives in Congress intending the secretly composed and hastily passed healthcare law to promote an ultimate single payer system through the sequential revelation of ACA’s obvious shortcomings; in spite of ACA’s clear statement that subsidies shall be available to persons who purchase health insurance in an exchange “established by the state”; in spite of all that SCOTUS today struck that language and rewrote the law. Subsidies will be available to all, whether they signed up on state run exchanges or the fed’s disastrous healthcare.gov.
The important part that most people will miss is what SCOTUS really said with this ruling. I will spell it out, and you will read about it elsewhere later. SCOTUS said –
• We know better than Congress what it meant when crafting a law;
• No matter what Congress stated in the law, we know what the law really should have said;
• According to our liking, we have the power to re-legislate and fix laws to make them right for the nation.
It used to be that SCOTUS only adjudicated laws and their application according their concordance with the Constitution.
“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote in a 21-page opinion. But for years the progressives in Congress have openly and often admitted that, while ACA is a flawed and incomplete approach to national healthcare, its obvious problems as they arise will give impetus to a single payer national health service to replace the ACA.
Again highlighted by SCOTUS, the legal industry has used a logic and inference process that is peculiar to itself. It is purposefully intended to be fluid and poorly understood, giving rise to ad hoc interpretations, reinterpretations, and argumentation ad infinitum so as to create and sustain a fully employed and growing priesthood that can live off the productive labors of whatever land it has been able to infect.
In the schooling and professional experience of people like me, such a system of logic would not have underpinned any successful scientific experiment or engineering project. No bridge or MRI or airplane could have been designed and built with it. No correct medical diagnosis could be based on it, no successful search of a massive database could have been conducted using it, and no contributions to our understanding of the universe would occur under its influence.
Most informed people know that our legal system is drastically broken. Today, along with secret courts, draconian federal grand juries, lawless government takings, and citizens being subjected to double or even triple jeopardies, the law industry employs a distinctly Queen of Hearts logic and semantic – words infer and mean when and what they want them to infer and mean.
That this rot today infects our highest legal institution – The Supreme Court of the United States – makes its power complete and totally extra-constitutional. With this extremely important ruling SCOTUS has set new precedence to enable it to fashion laws at will through the new provisos – never mind the language of the law, we know what Congress really meant; and if the law seems broken or as the ACA, “inadvertently poorly crafted”, then we can fix it to say what Congress should have said instead. Now we have a really supreme Supreme Court.
[update] This post would not be complete without the words of Justice Antonin Scalia who wrote the dissent to today's horrendous ruling by SCOTUS.
“This court … rewrites the law to make tax credits available everywhere. We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.” And this court goes through “summersaults of statutory interpretation” that lead to “the discerning 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.”
The majority opinion and ruling, including Justice Scalia’s dissent document may be accessed in its entirety here (starting on p27).
FN reports that the latest polls continue to indicate that the entire country is still not ready to embrace the ACA (or maybe we should really call it SCROTUMscare since it hits the overwhelming number of us in the shorts); anyway 50% of Americans "wish the law had never been passed", and 45% are "glad that it was".
[26jun15 update] SCOTUS is on a roll. Before discussing its ruling on gay marriages, I want to point the reader to two summaries of the Obamacare subsidies ruling that concur with my take on the lasting impact (sea change if you wish) of this decision. The abbreviated dissent by Justice Scalia is available here, and WSJ’s 26jun15 lead editorial ‘The Political John Roberts’ is available here.
So now SCOTUS has upheld “disparate impact” to enforce federal housing law in Texas Dept of Housing v. Inclusive Communities Project. “This is the legal doctrine that purports to prove racial discrimination based on different racial outcomes, such as the existence of a neighborhood with few minorities. No evidence of discriminatory intent, or actual discriminatory treatment, is required.” (more here)
Here we see writ large the progressives’ ‘equal opportunity’ as actually being ‘equal outcome’ legislation – something they have denied for decades. That this ruling abets existing racial differences and creates additional ones. Justice Thomas’ dissent cuts to the fundamentals, “To presume that these and all other measurable disparities are products of racial discrimination is to ignore the complexities of human existence.”
And finally today’s SCOTUS ruling that gay marriage is to be legal in all 50 states. First, it is interesting (but not expanded here) to see the shift in the court’s view over the last 30 years of homosexuals marrying each other. Be that as it may, RR has never opposed homosexuals entering into the exactly same, legally binding union that has been traditional for heterosexuals in their institution labeled ‘marriage’. In former times ‘I am married’ carried a distinct meaning and therefore more information when used to communicate such unions. It allowed you to unambiguously identify the relationship within a social and cultural frame. Retaining ‘marriage’ to also label homosexual unions now ambiguates ‘I am married’, requiring something like ‘I am heterosexually/homosexually married’ to transmit the same information.
Without going into the ‘slippery slope’ arguments as to who in the future can marry whom or what, it has seemed to me that expanding the language to give gays their own word for such a long-lasting, love-based union would be productive. In a previous (5apr13) post I introduced ‘garried, garriage, to garry’ to label such a union. Now I find that on 26 June 2013 this was also proposed and included in the ‘Urban Dictionary’. Go figger.
In any event, there will be much more to say about the ins and outs of garriage as regards procreation, child rearing, public accomodations (‘I now identify myself more as a woman.’), couples based social norms, and so on. But one thing is for sure, no one should ever mistake this SCOTUS as anything other than a political instrument advancing the progressive agenda for society and governance.
[27jun15 update] Ramirez is incomparable. H/T to RR reader for the image.