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Delivering Due Deference

Chief Justice Roberts was nearly silent during oral argument, and then wrote the 6-3 majority opinion in today’s Obamacare case. Burt Likko replies to Justice Antonin Scalia’s accusations of through-the-looking-glass judicial activism.

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When Text And Context Collide

Wednesday, the Supreme Court will entertain the latest challenge to Obamacare. If you can make it all the way through this post, you’re going to understand what’s going on way better than your neighbors. Added bonus: a significant detour through the jurisprudence of piscene spoliation, which you’ve no doubt all been anxiously awaiting.

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2013-2014 Term Recap (Save Two)

It’s the close of the term, and here’s a recap of the major cases from SCOTUS this year. Some surprising results. Some, not so much. Alsotoo: we’re waiting until Monday for the Hobby Lobby and Harris decisions.

In My Opinion’s Wake

Burt Likko thinks that Citizens United and McCutcheon were correctly decided. But how can he square that conclusion with his recent Ordinary Court opinion?

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Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Parts II and III: Dissenting and Concurring Opinion

Tim Kowal agrees the Greens have individual standing, but suggests the corporation is the appropriate party to assert their claims.

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Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Part III: Justiciability of Individual Claims [Updated]

In Part III of the Ordinary Court’s treatment of the Hobby Lobby case, the Ordinary Justices’ voting pattern shifts, with dramatic results.

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Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Part II: Justiciability of Corporate Claims

Part II of the opinion, dealing substantively with whether Hobby Lobby can state a claim for relief under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

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Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Part I: Background and Standards of Law

The first part of the Ordinary Court’s treatment of one of this year’s most-publicized legal cases. To begin, we must understand the factual and legal landscape.

Linky Friday #57

Burt Likko fills in for Will Truman for this week’s aggregation of dozens of links to themed web randomness!

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On Obamacare and the Real U.S. Healthcare Crisis, Part I: A Look In The Rearview Mirror

The US healthcare system is about to radically change, whether or not Obamacare stands. Exactly how it’s going to change, and the degree to which that change will be good or bad for the country, is a choice we still need to make. Before we can make that choice, however, we need to understand how we got here in the first place.

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It’s Time to Unbundle Health Insurance and Health Care

John C. Goodman in his book Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis argues that Obamacare will not make health care better or more affordable because it doubles down on the same genetic defects as before–the ill-conceived bundling of health care and health insurance. Reformers opposed to Obamacare will be unable to propose a real solution until they see the problem.

Medicaid in Oregon: Does it Really Matter?

God help me, I just don’t understand conservatives sometimes. I disagree with them most of the time, but I usually understand where they’re coming from. But sometimes my best acts of imagination pale in comparison to their given task. Human beings are complicated, mysterious, even phenomenal creatures; explanations that boil down to Because They’re Bad won’t cut…

Obamacare’s Bad Politics

With the implementation of Obamacare soon to really begin in-earnest, some conservatives have begun preemptively crowing over what they’re convinced will be a disastrous transition period. Considering they’ve spent the past three years gumming up the bureaucratic works as much as possible, they very well may be right. But even if they aren’t, the American…

Ben Smith Doesn’t Understand How Insurance Works

In a post over at BuzzFeed that makes me want to pound my head against my desk, Ben Smith proves that highly visible political pundits can write regularly about health insurance from 2009-2013 and yet – remarkably – can somehow still learn almost nothing about health insurance: “Imminent elements of Obama’s grandest policy move, the…

Health Care Is Not About Numbers

Romney made news today, at least in the left-of-center blogosphere, with the claim that, “[N]o one in this country dies because they don’t have health insurance” (an assertion I’d argue the former Governor of Massachusetts, a smart and informed man and the father of Romneycare, likely knows to be false). But I don’t think it…

The Toothless Mandate?

Commenter Boegiboe writes: I’m really confused about this whole health care fine stuff. Can someone (preferably a lawyer or law student) please explain what is wrong with FactCheck.org’s analysis of this law? It seems like it has no teeth. Can it grow some? (Please read the “Full Answer” part of the link: I’m not trying…

Replies on Compulsory Insurance

B-Rob offers “A simple explanation as to why the [individual mandate] is constitutional,” via the general welfare clauses, which allow Congress to pass “all Laws” that work toward “promot[ing] . . . the general Welfare” (Article I section 8, and also the Preamble). There are some significant problems with this, however. First, it beggars belief…

Obama’s Well Nigh Impossible Wed. Night Task

President Obama’s two biggest problems politically are 1. a frankly crazy and irresponsible minority GOP party (with plenty of enablers to be sure) and 2. His own party affiliation. In the immortal words of Will Rogers, President Obama is not a member of any organized political party, he’s a Democrat. If the House Dems are…

Medicare vs. Obamacare

[updated below] Andrew Biggs crunches some numbers on Medicare over at the AEI blog.   Contra Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann and others adopting the new “Obamacare vs. Medicare” talking points, Biggs rightly points out that Medicare is not a program conservatives should be defending.  Conservatives should be looking at ways to reform Medicare, certainly, but…