Discussion: Could Supreme Court Throw Out Anti-Obamacare Lawsuit On Standing?

Discussion for article #233147

As laws go, O’care isn’t perfect, but it is designed to do what laws should do, help the governed.
But it is associated with a President that a significant section of the population has been taught to hate.
Is it any wonder then, that the motley collection of Birthers, Birchers and Besmirchers that constitute the current iteration of the GOP wants to do away with it?

24 Likes

The 4th plaintiff, Ms Levy, is a substitute teacher who likely makes very little money, and may well lack standing even before she turns 65. So standing appears to be absent in all cases. As the article notes, courts are obligated to consider standing whether or not the defendants raise that issue.

Now one might ask why the government didn’t raise that issue in the lower courts. Were they so confident of winning that they didn’t bother to investigate the plaintiffs? Since reporters were able to uncover this information, it seems the government could have done so rather easily. Regardless, the information is now out there and the Court is required to consider it.

As far as finding other plaintiffs-sure they could, but those cases would have to restart from zero and could well come before different appellate who would not create the conflict that got this case to the Supremes. If the government really wanted to, they could simply grant waivers to any plaintiff who sued. Would that kill the mandate? Practically speaking, no, because the number of people who would actually go so far as to sue is small. Frankly, I will bet that of the 10 million or so who have gained insurance under the ACA, the vast majority love having it and would keep it, mandate or no.

10 Likes

I want to know how standing is possible for anybody. How has anybody suffered a wrong as a result of the challenged language.

11 Likes

“As far as finding other plaintiffs-sure they could, but those cases would have to restart from zero and could well come before different appellate who would not create the conflict that got this case to the Supremes.”

Exactly. I can’t wrap my head around the government saying they have such a strong case they should proceed even if the plaintiffs don’t have merit. That should be one more piece of evidence that the challenges are bogus, and also, the longer people have the benefit of the ACA, and the more people who have it, the more horrific it would be to snatch it away on a very weak technicality like this.

12 Likes

I do agree that somebody with standing would make it eventually ( how one is hurt by getting subsidize is still strange to me…at least in any real practical way). However, the lower courts should have thrown this case out then, it is their job to do so. Establishing standing should not even be an issue at this stage of the game. Even ignoring that this lawsuit should never be in the first place.

5 Likes

B-b-b-but…they’re gonna replace it with, uh, something way better.

6 Likes

TPM:

“The fact that they hate the president — that’s not relevant to standing,” Bagley said.

No, it’s not. The fact that each of them appears to be unharmed by the ACA, due to being exempted from the tax penalty - and therefore have no standing - is what’s relevant,

12 Likes

It’s in the grand G.O.P. tradition of Nixon’s 1968 secret plan to end the Vietnam War. Give us what we want now, and that will be followed by the great unveiling. Trust us.

7 Likes

“A New Surprise Twist”!!!1!!2?!

ZOMG? Did they find Scalia in a love nest with Rushbo and five pre-adolescent boys from the DR? Was it uncovered that Alito is under investigation for the murder of his former business partner? Is there a “Whitey” tape for Thomas?

No. It’s the same bullshit meme we’ve been seeing for a week or two.

And, maybe I’m too cynical by half, but the likelihood of it being dismissed for lack of standing is on a par with Scalia becoming rational/sane/consistent in his judicial Weltanschauung. Because, based on how long it took for the case to be taken by SCOTUS - as in, it wasn’t anywhere near to going through the usual process, but they reached down and said “Let’s take this one! Then we can REALLY screw Obamacare” - if lack-of-standing were ever on the radar, Roberts would make up some bullshit excuse.

I really really hope I’m wrong.

3 Likes

For the Rethugs, that’s a feature, not a bug.

5 Likes

If the subsidies are killed off in the Red States, would that automatically kill the mandate? Politically, sure. But legally? I don’t see it. So, once again, how are they harmed and how would killing the subsidies help them?

1 Like

The government didn’t raise the standing issue, because they forgot that this is the Bush vs Gore Supreme Court!

The government had no idea that such a inane legal argument would not be laughed out of court, just like I had no idea that the Democrats could be such political IDIOTS for not pointing out the following over and over again:

In contracts the word “such” is added to indicate a third party acting as an agent of the principle is implicitly written where ever the principle’s name is explicitly written.

In the case of the ACA the bold text bellow makes it is clear that if a state does not operate its own state exchange either a non-profit or the Federal government will operate one for the state on its behalf, but it is still an entity created by the state within the state entirely owned by the state.

c) Failure To Establish Exchange or Implement Requirements-

(1) IN GENERAL- If–

(A) a State is not an electing State under subsection (b); or

(B) the Secretary determines, on or before January 1, 2013, that an electing State–

(i) will not have any required Exchange operational by January 1, 2014; or

(ii) has not taken the actions the Secretary determines necessary to implement–

(I) the other requirements set forth in the standards under subsection (a); or

(II) the requirements set forth in subtitles A and C and the amendments made by such subtitles;

the Secretary shall (directly or through agreement with a not-for-profit entity) establish and operate such Exchange within the State and the Secretary shall take such actions as are necessary to implement such other requirements.

So this entire inane legal argument fails apart when you read the one sentence they are harping on as “State or agent acting as such”, but of course the media even the authors on sites like this fail to point this out or at least gave the masses the following KISS (keep it simple stupid):

Duh - There is no “federal exchange” where you can buy a “federal plan” there are 50 “state exchanges” where you must buy a “state plan” so of course subsidies are eligible!

12 Likes

LovelyalliterationLew!

jw1

6 Likes

Frankly, if so, then it’s further evidence, to me anyhow, that a number of the government lawyers dealing with defending Obamacare aren’t all that good. With respect to Hobby Lobby, for example, as a non-lawyer, it seems to me that a fundamental, vital element of a claim to have a sincere religious belief, which inherently is something that can belong only to human Americans, is that one HAVE a sincere religious belief. The fact that the Green family had zero problems with some of the pills, etc. when they had absolute complete control over what their insurance plan covered. casts some doubt on the sincerity of their belief when it happened to be that coverage was required by an uppity president. This doubt is amplified – or should have been amplified – by the fact that they voluntarily invested in manufacturers of the pills, etc. that they purportedly object to. Given the fact, a pretty non-trivial fact, that they make many millions of dollars off the work of Chinese women who may be compelled to endure forced abortions (redundancy intentional) suggests to me that the beliefs that they hold more sincere than opposition to birth control are a desire to make money and hostility to an uppity president.

10 Likes

I think this is important for a different reason than the obvious. You have an anti-ACA movement funded by tens of milion of wingnut dollars, with access the some of the best (at least most highly paid) lawyers in the country and all the pretrial research resources they could ask for. And yet in a headline case they cannot find four people (or, apparently, even one person by the time the decision would be rendered) who a) arguably would be harmed by the law and b) is willing to put their name on the front of this dog’s breakfast.

7 Likes

And, maybe I’m too cynical by half, but the likelihood of it being dismissed for lack of standing is on a par with Scalia becoming rational/sane/consistent in his judicial Weltanschauung.

Not necessarily. The California gay marriage case, the companion to Windsor, was dismissed because the Petitioners lacked standing to pursue the appeal to the Ninth Circuit, much less the Supremes. That left the decision below in place, but didn’t decide the merits.

4 Likes

What bastards repubs are! They could have fixed the exchange problem if they would have wanted to do so. Yesterday I read where the folks who will be hurt the most if the repubs win this case are their base living in the south. If there is a hell repubs will all be rotting there.

6 Likes

The fact that they hate Obama does not have legal merit, but it’s the whole damn point behind the lawsuit.

It’s astonishing to see the sheer hate for this president.

And depressing beyond belief, honestly.

12 Likes

[quote]It would be highly improper (and embarrassing) for the Court to decide the merits…[/quote]Oh please, if the Justices that signed on to this case were the least bit concerned about propriety they wouldn’t have hijacked the case from the DC court and the Justice whose wife is receiving a six-figure plus salary working for groups campaigning against the law would have fucking recused himself.

14 Likes