King v. Burwell and the Law
by YUVAL LEVIN
[Chief Justice Roberts] makes a much broader argument about the relationship between the vague, broadly stated aims and purposes of legislators and the role of judges interpreting the meaning of the particular laws those legislators then write…”
Obamacare is [to the Chief Justice] not so much a particular law as an overarching desire “to improve health insurance markets” and so if at all possible it should be taken to mean whatever one believes would be involved in doing so…
This understanding of the role of the judge threatens to undermine the rule of law in the American system of government, because it undermines the central place assigned to written law, and to the legislator, in that system… While it would seem to suggest that the will of the legislator should guide the system, in fact it means that the word of the legislator does not govern the other branches. It implies that Congress should have just passed a law that said “health insurance markets shall be improved,” and then left it to the executive agencies to decide how they wish to do that…
Roberts’s argument… suggests that when a law as written would be likely to have practical consequences at odds with the broadly asserted intent of its authors, judges should interpret it to have a meaning more likely to achieve that desired goal…
The health-care debate, in the context of which this case might originally have been understood, will continue because what Justice Roberts insists is impossible is true: Obamacare is a law that was intended to improve insurance markets but was designed in a way that will actually harm them. We can only hope that debate will ultimately be resolved in a way that also pushes back against the unexpected implications of this case and this decision by reasserting the supremacy of the law.
The Chief Justice has twice approved the government takeover of one-sixth of the American economy. Now he’s concerned about disrupting “markets?” He expresses that concern by elevating “intent” above the rule of law?
Obamacare, passed using procedural chicanery, by a single party whose members hadn’t read it, was intended to dupe the American people. With John Roberts it succeeded beyond Jon Gruber’s wildest dreams. Gruber laughed about the “stupidity” of the American voter. He must be guffawing about John Roberts.
The “law,” whatever it turns out to be after the next executive order or SCOTUS interpretational creativity, should hereafter be known as SCOTUScare.