Scalia’s Scorching ObamaCare Dissent + a Round-up of Reactions

Well. It was a Republic only if we could keep it, right?

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Via Weasel Zippers:

1. “Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is ‘established by the State.’”

2. “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.”

3. “Today’s interpretation is not merely unnatural; it is unheard of.”

4. “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.”

5. “We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.”

REACTIONS:

Leon Wolfe, Red State: The Roberts Court: Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss:

For all the liberal bloviating about the new direction of SCOTUS under CJ Roberts, today’s opinion in King v. Burwell demonstrates that essentially, nothing has changed. The court is still forced into feckless pragmatism whenever a conservative principle is at stake, but is perfectly willing to venture beyond the expressed will of Congress in order to advance liberal agenda items on their own initiative.

Today’s decision, upholding the Obamacare subsidies in states that did not set up an exchange, is simply indefensible as a matter of statutory interpretation. There is no other way to put it – nothing in any sort of legal training from any reputable university would have led anyone to believe that the Court would have been permitted to essentially rewrite the statute the way they did today. And make no mistake, that is exactly what they did, in refusing to apply Chevron deference and merely stating that henceforth Obamacare says something different than what its actual words contain.

In many ways, this decision (which was joined by both Roberts and Kennedy) is the most irresponsible arrogation of power by the Court in decades. When the Roberts court upheld Obamacare initially as a tax, despite the fact that neither side had argued or claimed that it was a tax, I actually found that to be a defensible decision and generally respectful of the idea that SCOTUS should only invalidate a Congressional statute under relatively extreme circumstances. However, what the Roberts court did today was to essentially elect themselves to the positions of both Congress and the President and amend a duly passed statute on their own initiative. This was a blatantly unconstitutional power grab and Roberts’ decision to author it adds another stain to the legacy of George W. Bush.

NRO: Roberts Rules Wrongly:

he Affordable Care Act was drafted with extraordinary carelessness given its importance, and conservatives who say that the Obama administration has implemented it contrary to its plain meaning have strong arguments. So opined six justices of the Supreme Court, including its most liberal members, in King v. Burwell. That is, unfortunately, the best thing about the majority opinion, which labors mightily to free the law from the inconvenience of its text. The text of the law authorizes federal subsidies on health-insurance exchanges “established by the states,” but does not authorize them on exchanges established by the federal government. Since most states have not established exchanges, reading the law the way it was written would limit the law’s reach. The administration therefore decided not to do so — and the Court has blessed its decision, and barred future administrations from revisiting it. To reach this result, Chief Justice John Roberts first implausibly read “established by the state” to be an ambiguous phrase — Justice Antonin Scalia and the other two conservative dissenters thoroughly dismantled his arguments — and then chose the possible meaning that would best serve the act’s purposes. This second portion of Roberts’s argument has a superficial plausibility, but it too lacks merit.

Freedomworks: King v. Burwell: Words Have No Meaning if Inconvenient:

Some words apparently have no meaning, even when written in plain English, according to a majority of Supreme Court justices. Today the Court reached its long awaited decision in King v. Burwell. The Court ruled 6-3 for Burwell, holding that the federal subsidies can continue to flow to states that have not established an exchange.

Chief Justice Roberts once again wrote the opinion defending ObamaCare, and was joined by Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan. Justice Scalia wrote a dissenting opinion that was joined by Justices Thomas and Alito.

The text of ObamaCare was clear, federal subsidies were only available for insurance that purchased through exchanges “established by the states.” Today six justices, who are supposed to represent the best of the legal community, have turned these plain words on their head. These six justices have decided that “established by the states” can also mean established by the federal government.

Whereas most Americans see plain meaning in the words “established by the states,” Chief Justice Roberts saw ambiguity. Writing for the Court, the Chief Justice wrote that the law was not clear, but that the intention of the law was to improve health insurance markets, not destroy them. Much of his opinion was focused on protecting ObamaCare from a “death spiral.”

Brian Darling, Human Events:  Justice John Roberts is No Conservative – Time for Congress to Repeal ObamaCare:

One of my friends jokes that U.S. Supreme Court John Roberts is a liberal. I used to laugh him off – not anymore.

President George W. Bush’s legacy was hurt with the King v. Burwell decision by the Supreme Court to uphold ObamaCare. Chief Justice John Roberts, for a second time, saved ObamaCare using faulty legal analysis and a results oriented logic. This is further evidence that President Bush made a bad decision to nominate a stealth liberal lawyer to be Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Roberts is morphing into retired Justice David Souter right before our eyes. The parallels are stunning.

But here’s the thing to remember as you punch your computer screen: It was already here to stay no matter how the Court ruled today. If Roberts and Kennedy had come down the other way and punted the subsidies back to Congress, there’s not a whisper of a doubt about what would have happened. You know it, I know it, Ramesh Ponnuru knows it. If it was left to the GOP to decide whether to save O-Care, writes Ponnuru, the caucus would have quickly broken into three groups. Group one: Hell no, we won’t reinstate the subsidies. Group two: Maybe we could reinstate them in return for some concessions? Group three: YES WE MUST REINSTATE THEM OR WE’LL LOSE THE ELECTION. Ponnuru:

Republicans won’t be able to muster a majority of the House for Group 1’s preference: Too many Congress members want to protect people from losing their insurance, or at least don’t want to be blamed if they do. Group 2’s preference won’t get a majority either: Group 1 won’t vote for it because it keeps the subsidies, and Democrats won’t vote for it because it weakens Obamacare.

In the end, I predict that Republican leaders will end up going with Group 3’s favored extension of the subsidies with little in the way of change to the Affordable Care Act.

Judicial Watch Statement on Supreme Court’s Ruling in King v. Burwell:

Today’s Burwell decision is an affront to the rule of law and constitutional self-government.  No federal judge has the power to rewrite the law, which is what the majority did today in Burwell.  Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Kennedy, Justice Breyer, Justice Sotomayor, and Justice Kagan took part in an unconstitutional power grab every bit as unlawful as President Obama’s rewrite of Obamacare.  None of these justices have the constitutional power to rewrite major components of Obamacare in order to “save it.”  Ironically, the majority cites the corruption of the passage of Obamacare as an excuse for the judiciary’s own corrupt, nonsensical fix of the same law.  Congress still can vindicate its power and uphold the rule of law.  This terrible decision has no binding effect on choices by Congress to defund President Obama’s despotic rewrite of the law and prevent the IRS from unlawfully providing insurance subsidies.  And, of course, the impeachment power still remains for executive branch officials who won’t obey the law.  The Court makes a policy pronouncement, all evidence to the contrary, that “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them.”  The justices in the majority ought to have the honesty to run for Congress if they want to write rather interpret law.  Our republican form of government is weakened when the president and six Supreme Court justices disregard federal statutes in favor of their own policy choices.

Benny Johnson, IRJ: The 2015 Running of the Interns:

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The interns run because recording devices are strictly forbidden inside the court. Therefore, broadcast interns must run hard copies of Supreme Court decisions out to their network broadcasting locations in front of SCOTUS.

It is not a short distance:

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Charles Krauthammer: Obama’s Buzzfeed Selfies “Truly Distasteful”

I long for the return of warm weather.

Because with the return of Spring, we’ll see more presidential golfing and less presidential mooning and preening for the camera in frivolous interviews with YouTube personalities, and left-wing a$$hole websites.

The latest presidential embarrassment came in the form of a Buzzfeed/ObamaCare infomercial that was filmed on the same day the nation heard the awful news about a young American woman’s death at the hands of ISIS and as Americans were evacuating Yemen .

My God.

On Special Report, Thursday night, Charles Krauthammer said when he first saw the video of Obama taking selfies and making funny faces he found it “amusing.”

“The idea that you could diminish the dignity of a president who gave a one-on-one  with someone whose claim to fame is bathing in a tub of Froot Loops is a rather paradoxical one,” Krauthammer  noted.

“But when I learned when he did it, it really is of a piece with playing golf after you learn of the beheading of an American, that makes it truly distasteful.”

Krauthammer added, “it just shows you how frivolous he is in executing his office. And that I think is not a question of the dignity of the office, but of the seriousness of the man.”

SEE ALSO:

Twitchy:

YOLO man!’ President Obama now using a ‘selfie stick’ to get people to buy Obamacare [photos]

 ’24 Signs That You’re A Propagandist’: Buzzfeed ducks ethics questions

‘Nero and his fiddle ain’t NOTHING!’ Sorry, world: Obama’s busy with his selfie stick

You don’t say’: Men who take a lot of selfies might be psychopaths

‘Mockery?’ White House getting ‘exactly what it wanted’ from Obama’s selfie stick video

Video: James O’Keefe Interviews Man Behind The Gruber Videos

Conservative muckraker, James O’Keefe tracked down “Rich,” the citizen investigator who uncovered so many of the Gruber videos that have laid bare for all to see the dishonest underpinnings of the ObamaCare law.

Via Project Veritas:

During the interview, “Rich” stated that there was intentional mislabeling in the Affordable Care Act in order to hide a secret agenda in the bill: A two-hundred-and-fifty billion dollar per year tax grab.

“President Obama promised us the most transparent administration in history,” said Project Veritas President James O’Keefe. “Rich has opened a new debate about an effect of the Affordable Care Act which will impact over one hundred and fifty million Americans. We deserve to know if part of the Obamacare plan was intended to eliminate the two hundred and fifty billion dollar yearly tax break. If this is the case, we also deserve to why this information was kept from the public by the White House.”

Thanks to “Rich,” the word “Gruber” has become synonymous with “political lie” and wil henceforth be used to expose political lies whenever they’re told.

Gruber and Tavenner On The Hot Seat (Updated With Videos)

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Jonathan Gruber and Marilyn Tavenner on Health Care Law Enrollment: 

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner and MIT economist Jonathan Gruber are testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about enrollment issues with ObamaCare.

Happening now. Watch here or here.

Via Fox News:

One of the architects of ObamaCare is in the hot seat Tuesday as Republicans call him before Congress to explain his controversial statements boasting how the law’s authors took advantage of the “stupidity of the American voter.”

Jonathan Gruber’s appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee also marks one of Rep. Darrell Issa’s last, high-profile shots at the health care law before he hands over his chairmanship next year.

Issa, R-Calif. — who has led the committee through controversial probes of the Benghazi attacks, the IRS scandal and more — will lead the questioning of former health adviser Gruber on Tuesday. Gruber, an MIT economist, recently apologized for saying Americans’ “stupidity” was vital to passing the health law in 2010.

Lawmakers also have obtained videos that show Gruber saying the act was written in a “very tortured way.”

Issa told Reuters the public deserves an explanation from Gruber. “If you can’t trust what he says, and what he says he’ll do, to get votes and trick the American people into voting for something, then can you trust his analytics?” Issa said of Gruber.

Rumor has it Grubs will plead the 5th. We’ll soon see.

UPDATE:

Well, Gruber is testifying and it’s glorious.

Issa, not known for his tact asks: “Are you stupid?”

Via GOP Rapid Response: Jonathan Gruber Repeatedly Refuses To Disclose How Much He Earned From ObamaCare:

Trey Gowdy, after quoting some of Gruber’s more obnoxious statements about deceiving the American public, asked,  “all of these quotes that I just read to you – you didn’t mean a single one of them?”

SEE ALSO:

The Washington Times: Against her wishes, top Obamacare official must be seen with Gruber at oversight hearing:

Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), had asked the House oversight hearing to testify about the health care law’s enrollment figures Tuesday on a panel that did not include non-government witnesses — namely Mr. Gruber, the economist called to explain his caught-on-tape remarks about the “stupidity” of American voters and how Obamacare made it through Congress.

 AoSHQ: Gruber Lawyers Up Regarding How Much Money He Made From Governments Advising on ObamaCare

 

Video: The Ultimate #GruberGate mashup

In two and a half minutes American Commitment lays bare the dishonesty, hypocrisy and corruption employed by the Democrat party. If only they were capable of embarrassment….

 

By the way, American Commitmen coined the term, “GruberGate” back in July:

Melissa Francis Slams CNBC’s “Glib and Sarcastic” Response To Her Accusation (Video)

Last Friday Fox Business Network anchor Melissa Francis made news with her allegation that  CNBC “silenced” her for questioning Obamacare.  Francis said executives  chastised her for being “disrespectful to the office of the president” for noting that the ObamaCare numbers don’t add up. She made the point  that the administration relied on people’s (read Democrats) “lack of economic understanding” to help pass ObamaCare and also the liberal media to help cover up the truth.”

On the Kelly File  Monday night, she expanded on her experience at CNBC  and commented on their disrespectful and glib response to her accusation.

Kelly read CNBC’s “nasty little shot” at Francis on the air: “That’s laughable, but we take notice because as the fastest growing network in primetime (Hm! Megyn sniffs) we’re always on the lookout for high quality comedy writers and actresses.”

(Melissa Francis was a child actress who is best known for her role as Cassandra (Cooper) Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie.)

“They don’t try to deny it – they just try to attack you personally,” Kelly declared.

“I guess,” Francis replied. “I thought their response was glib and sarcastic and they treat it like a joke and I don’t think it is a joke.”

SEE ALSO:

The Conversation: Senator Chris Murphy, Jake Tapper and the Unsung Villains of GruberGate

Inside Jonathan Gruber’s ObamaCare For Dummies Comic Book

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It didn’t take long for bloggers to get their hands on ObamaCare architect, advisor, consultant, some random guy named Jonathan Gruber’s comic book explaining ObamaCare, (written in simple language so ordinary, stupid Americans can understand it.)

Charles C. Johnson has a good write-up at Got News.

In 2012 Jonathan Gruber designed and published a propagandistic comic book to sell Obamacare to the stupid American voters, Gotnews.com has learned.

While Gruber has said that the stupidity of the American voter was a political asset in passing Obamacare, Gruber nonetheless worked with left-wing groups to explain how the law worked.

Get a load of this:

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Peter Suderman of Reason was one of the few bloggers who wrote about the book back in 2012, when it was released.

Health care is a giant fat person crushing Congress. Or at least that’s the picture readers get—quite literally—from reading Jonathan Gruber’s Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It Works, a desperate attempt to make the case for Obama­Care in graphic novel form.

Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, served as a chief architect of Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health care reform, which provided the model for the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). He then worked as a paid consultant for the widely unpopular federal law. Gruber plays a central role in his own book, appearing as a nerdy-looking cartoon character who guides readers through an illustrated version of federal health policy basics with exciting lines like “the best and most comprehensive parts of the ACA are yet to come.”

Why deploy cartoon Gruber to battle cartoon villains such as a mummy who warns that Obama­Care won’t cover the uninsured and a lagoon creature who tries to scare people into thinking the law will cause insurance premiums to rise? Perhaps because at this point the law’s defenders are desperate enough to try anything to make it more popular. This is a far cry from the run-up to PPACA’s passage, when Democratic strategists convinced themselves that sagging public support would be turned around once people finally understood the law’s benefits.

Note that Gruber was still peddling the 2013 lie of the year to gullible Americans in his 2012 comic book:

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Gruber collaborated with the Obama-centric Center for American Progress to produce this video using his work and comic books to sell Obamacare.

There’s much more at Got News.