By it’s 6-3 decision that the IRS may interpret the PPACA (Obamacare) to include subsidies to those who purchase insurance through a Federal exchange rather than one established by the states as the law clearly states, the Justices made a political rather than a legal decision and while the President took a lap dance victory lap at the decision, the real winner in this decision was the GOP. Sadly, I doubt that many of those in the race for the presidential nomination realize that – yet.
To borrow a phrase from Sophia of The Golden Girls, “Picture this” – we’re now at the point where the nominees for both parties have been selected. And instead of today’s ruling, The Supreme Court ruled that the subsidies for many people were illegal. Now we have a bunch of people who have had health insurance for several years who suddenly actually have to pay the full freight for that insurance, just like the vast majority of Americans who have insurance. They naturally view that as being unfair – having to pay for what you bought. (It’s a mindset that people who shoplift can well understand).
So, as we go into the final stretch before the 2016 election, you would see a flood of headlines in the liberal media and constant reference among the talking heads on television, that since Republicans (who did not vote for the law in the first place) did not provide a fix to an inherent (and I think intentionally designed flaw) in the original law, they are out to persecute minorities, the disadvantaged and everybody else who makes up the mindless mob that is at the core of the Democrat base and are, once again “throwing Granny under the bus.” (Granny has more tread marks on her withered frame than a month’s output of product at a Michelin factory).
In a certain sense, the Court’s ruling today is irrelevant. If you read the original law you understand that the IRS was vested with a tremendous amount of authority to administer it. And that agency, which can’t comply with Federal archival registry laws regarding official documents, such as the Lois Lerner emails which it is only beginning to find several years after clearly stating that they were destroyed, had previously stated that in determining the subsidies to which an Obamacare health insurance participant they would rely on the word of the taxpayer as “they were unable to verify the information.” Funny, they seem pretty capable of determining whether you or I have correctly reported our income. Today’s ruling simply says that laws don’t matter and that unelected bureaucrats have free reign to do whatever they choose to do.
This decision does have significant implications that are completely unrelated to Obamacare. Justice Scalia made that point in his scathing dissent from the majority opinion. I think this decision might best be termed, “The Clinton Decision” – not for Hillary but for sometime hubby, Bill.
Remember back to Slick Willie’s impeachment trial and one of his responses to a question about his sexual activity within the Oval Office. In typical legalistic fashion, then President Clinton answered one of the questions with the rhetorical question, “It depends on how you define ‘is”.” We now know that the former president perjured himself under oath – and received a symbolic slap on the wrist with the revocation of his law license. But in an age where politicians, bureaucrats and government officials regularly knowingly break the law which they are supposed to uphold and enforce – that is an attitude and climate that was the important part of today’s Supreme Court decision – which they essentially endorsed in their decision.
You cannot have it both ways. If you think you’re justified in breaking this or that law, because it really doesn’t apply to you or really just isn’t that important, then why should you be disturbed if someone robs a convenience store or a policeman uses excessive force in apprehending or perhaps even killing a criminal suspect?
Thomas More’s speech to his son-in-law in A Man For All Seasons comes to mind in which he says he would give the Devil his due and the full protections of the law because if we start making exceptions, even for the Master of Evil, then “All the laws of England will come crashing down and then when the last law has fallen, where will we turn for refuge?”
And that is what the Supreme Court has decided to inflict on the nation. Hopefully, a wiser and more constitutionally oriented court in the future will undo the damage that was done by this court and return that august body to its proper role which is to interpret rather than make law.