June 25, 2015

THE SUPREME COURT SAVES THE OBAMACARE SUBSIDIES. Here’s the PDF. The Chief Justice writes the opinion.

ADDED: I haven’t read the opinion yet (of course), but I’d just like to console Republicans with the observation that they are better off. If it had gone the other way, they’d have to scramble and do something legislatively — probably save the subsidies themselves. This way, they can stand on whatever principle they like. Also, in the run up to the 2016 presidential election, they’ll fare much better on the old question of who do you want appointing the next Supreme Court justice.

AND:  The Chief alludes to Nancy Pelosi’s “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” He quotes an old Frankfurter article — “Some Reflections on the Reading of Statutes, “47 Colum. L. Rev. 527, 545 (1947) — that described a cartoon “in which a senator tells his colleagues ‘I admit this new bill is too complicated to understand. We’ll just have to pass it to find out what it means.'”

That’s at the end of a paragraph where he blames Congress for “inartful drafting,” for writing “key parts of the Act behind closed doors, rather than through ‘the traditional legislative process,'” and for using the “reconcilation” process instead of leaving the bill open to debate and amendment.