Friday, November 07, 2014

SCOTUS Grants Cert. in Obamacare Case

Well I was half-right -- the D.C. Circuit did grant en banc review in Halbig (whether or not health care subsidies are available for federal-established exchanges. But I was wrong that the Supreme Court wouldn't see the need to touch it -- they've granted cert. in a parallel case arising out of the Fourth Circuit.

In theory, this is not an opportunity to relitigate Obamacare. The proper meaning of the text of the Affordable Care Act, in context, is a very separate question from whether the law as a whole is constitutional. Functionally? It will be very difficult for the conservative justices -- outraged that the law was implemented at all -- to resist an interpretation of it that renders it absurd and dysfunctional. But we'll see.

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