Has the SCOTUS Conservative agenda put itself out-to-pasture or is it simply regrouping and awaiting the arrival of an argument it can win? Perhaps it’s longer term success will be not in the changes of law it holds back but in the charges of law that it persuades liberals to introduce. Increasing conservatism and nannyism will be a more potent conservative victory than the agenda of railing against change.
By upholding a key provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in King v Burwell, a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court demonstrated that while the conservative revolution led by Justice Antonin Scalia may have had a strong impact on the court (and on the nation), it has not succeeded in winning over Justice Anthony Kennedy or Chief Justice John Roberts. Thus, while Justice Scalia has won many battles, he has not won the war. And in today’s King v Burwell decision he lost a major battle.
Justice Scalia has fought tirelessly both to limit the court’s focus in interpreting statutes (in other words, to look only at the letter of the law and not at the broader purpose of the legislation) and to limit the power of the national government.
King v Burwell seemed tailor-made to vindicate both goals.
The basic question in King v Burwell was whether the…
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