Thursday, June 25, 2015

KING V. BURWELL: James Madison and Antonin Scalia blister a lawless Supreme Court

In a letter to Henry Lee dated 25 June 1824, James Madison wrote:

I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And if that be not the guide in expounding it, there can be no security for a consistent and stable, more than for a faithful exercise of its powers.

If the meaning of the text be sought in the changeable meaning of the words composing it, it is evident that the shape and attributes of the Government must partake of the changes to which the words and phrases of all living languages are constantly subject. What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense!

Echoing Madison's sentiments, in his dissent to the ludicrous majority decision of King v. Burwell, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote:

Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is ‘established by the State' ...

... Under all the usual rules of interpretation, in short, the Government should lose this case. But normal rules of interpretation seem always to yield to the overriding principle of the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved ...

... We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.

Perhaps the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will attain the enduring status of the Social Security Act or the Taft-Hartley Act; perhaps not. But this Court’s two decisions on the Act will surely be remembered through the years….And the cases will publish forever the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites.

And the Constitution, already in tatters, has been torn yet again.

Hat tip: BadBlue News.


Anonymous said...

Disgraceful. Earl Roberts, Chief Justice contorts the law once again. We are post constitutional, the law no longer matters. It's whatever you want it to be.

The "three legged stool" is in total collapse.


Martin said...

"a State"
"the State"

It's Clinton's meaning of "is," is, on a much grander scale.

If words have no meaning, then what meaning have laws, or demands made for compliance? Whatever "the State" wants them to mean.

We have but in 239 years swapped a distant tyranny for a nearer one.

Anonymous said...

Tyranny and treason. What are we going to do about it?