Politics

Scalia Blasts Chief Justice Roberts Over Obamacare Decision

| by Ethan Brown

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was not happy with Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision to uphold President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act for the second time.

In a 6-3 vote, the Chief Justice sided with the four liberal Justices of the court and swing vote Anthony Kennedy in legalizing the health care law, which was in question again for vague wording and interpretation inside the law. Writing the opinion on the case was Roberts, in which he defended his decision to vote in favor of ObamaCare for the second time.

“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter,” Roberts said.

Scalia spoke next and quickly derided Roberts for his vote and defense of the law, saying that the current decision by the Court “rewrites the law.”

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“We should start calling this law SCOTUScare,” he said, referring to two different occasions where the Supreme Court has voted in favor of the law.

“Rather than rewriting the law under the pretense of interpreting it, the Court should have left it to Congress to decide what to do about the Act’s limitation of tax credits to state exchanges,” Scalia continued.

In question was whether the literal interpretation in the law, referring to health exchanges “as established by the State” meant the actual states themselves or the federal government. Scalia called the wording issue “interpretive jiggery-pokery” and explained his disapproval.

“The Secretary of Health and Human Services is not a state. Words no longer have meaning if an exchange that is not established by a state is ‘established by the state,’” he said.

CNN noted that several presidential candidates took to social media to voice their objection to the ruling.

Jeb Bush said he was “disappointed” by the ruling and Hillary Clinton tweeted “Yes!” after the verdict was announced, showcasing the Republican and Democratic views on the controversial topic. Republicans Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina also tweeted out messages of dissent, but reassured their followers that a repeal would happen in the future under new leadership.

The Supreme Court will decide on the legality of same-sex marriage in the coming days. You can read the most up to date information here.

Sources: Opposing Views, CNN, National Journal / Photo Credit: Peter Stevens, Flickr Creative Commons