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Fri May 31, 2013, 04:59 AM

Scalia Gives Obamacare a Big Boost

The Supreme Court has yet to decide this yearís attention-grabbing cases on same-sex marriage, affirmative action and the Voting Rights Act. But last week, a divided court decided Arlington v. FCC, an important victory for Barack Obamaís administration that will long define the relationship between federal agencies and federal courts.

The underlying question was this: If a law is ambiguous, who gets to interpret it? Federal judges or the agency that carries it out? Who interprets the crucial ambiguities in the Affordable Care Act, the Clean Air Act or the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act?

The divisions within the court defied the usual ideological predictions. In a powerful and convincing opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia, the courtís majority ruled that even when the agency is deciding on the scope of its own authority, it has the power to interpret ambiguities in the law. Scalia was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Clarence Thomas.

In an agitated dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Anthony Kennedy, contended that the courts, not the agency, must decide on the scope of the agencyís power. (Justice Stephen Breyer wrote separately and only for himself.)

More at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-29/the-biggest-supreme-court-ruling-you-haven-t-heard-of.html .

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Scalia Gives Obamacare a Big Boost (Original post)
TexasTowelie May 2013 OP
Recursion May 2013 #1
a2liberal May 2013 #3
Recursion May 2013 #4
rhett o rick May 2013 #5
a2liberal May 2013 #6
rhett o rick May 2013 #7
rurallib May 2013 #2
question everything May 2013 #8
ieoeja May 2013 #9

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri May 31, 2013, 05:38 AM

1. Scalia's long game has always been the disempowerment of the courts

On this issue, as on several others, he has been willing to lose the short game to further that long game.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #1)

Fri May 31, 2013, 07:02 AM

3. Exactly

this is a victory for executive power in general, not for the Obama administration. The next Republican administration will have the same power to interpret "ambiguities" towards the side that requires less regulation, with the courts no longer left with any power to enforce the actual meaning/intent of the law.

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Response to a2liberal (Reply #3)

Fri May 31, 2013, 07:05 AM

4. Yep.

Very good point.

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Response to a2liberal (Reply #3)

Fri May 31, 2013, 08:54 AM

5. This is a victory for both executive and legislative powers which are directly answerable to the

 

people. At least in theory. I believe the courts have been given over time too much power. The SCOTUS has way too much power and they are not answerable to the people. Just my opinion.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #5)

Fri May 31, 2013, 09:53 AM

6. While that sounds good in theory

the problem is that "the people" having all the power leads to a tyranny of the majority. If you think about it, the biggest advances in rights generally come from courts overturning crazy mob mentality laws.

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Response to a2liberal (Reply #6)

Fri May 31, 2013, 10:24 AM

7. And "sounds good in theory" right back. What makes us think that judges know what's best

 

for the majority. Judges that may well be appointed or elected by the tyrannical minority.

Today tyranny of the majority is a long way off. I agree that too much power to the people might be dangerous, but again, we are a long way from that. Currently the majority have very little power.

Today the majority wants gay rights, more lenient marijuana laws, and money out of politics. But the majority has to rely on the Judicial Branch for these rights.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri May 31, 2013, 06:55 AM

2. a very important decision.

Thanks for posting.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri May 31, 2013, 01:59 PM

8. That Clarence votes with Scalia - no news. But for Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan

to join these two? Now that's news!

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Fri May 31, 2013, 03:27 PM

9. So when the IRS was deciding on rules to identify suspected 501(c)4 scofflaws....

 


This ruling just killed any chance of Bohener seeing anyone go to jail.


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