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Jeffrey Toobin’s article isn’t factually accurate:

As Congress originally conceived it, the A.C.A. called for each state to set up its own exchange with a Web site, which most of the blue states and a few of the red ones did. But two dozen of them did not, so the Obama Administration established a federal counterpart, centered on the Web site healthcare.gov.

First, three dozen states didn’t create state-run exchanges, not two. Next, HealthCare.gov was created in the same legislation that authorized states to build their exchanges. The Obama administration didn’t create HealthCare.gov after they saw states refuse to create state-run exchanges.

Then there’s this:

According to the D.C. Circuit majority, one line in the text of the A.C.A. makes the federal exchange invalid. The law says that subsidies are to be available through exchanges that are “established by a State,” without an explicit authorization of federal exchanges. Thus, according to the judges in the majority, five million or so people who have used the federal exchange to buy health insurance must now lose it.

That’s another inaccurate statement. It isn’t just that judges said people who bought insurance through HealthCare.gov weren’t eligible for subsidies. The US House, the US Senate and President Obama said it, too.

If the US House, the US Senate and President Obama wanted everyone to get these subsidies, they could’ve written it into the ACA’s language. What’s really at play here is that the US House, the US Senate and President Obama wanted everyone to be eligible for those subsidies but they also understood that they’d need a hammer to hold over red states to force them into creating state-run exchanges.

The US House, the US Senate and President Obama calculated that they could force red states into creating state-run exchanges by making it politically unpopular to not create state-run exchanges.

The problem with the Democrats’ bluff is that red states called the Democrats’ bluff. They essentially said that they weren’t worried about not creating a state-run exchange in their states.

Next, Toobin constructs a strawman argument:

Katzmann writes that “excluding legislative history is just as likely to expand a judge’s discretion as reduce it…. When a statute is ambiguous, barring legislative history leaves a judge only with words that could be interpreted in a variety of ways without contextual guidance as to what legislators may have thought. Lacking such guidance increases the probability that a judge will construe a law in a manner that the legislators did not intend.”

There’s nothing abiguous about the legislative language in this provision. It’s exceptionally clear. When a statute says that subsidies are only through exchanges “established by a state”, that means that subsidies aren’t available to people who bought their insurance through HealthCare.gov.

The more important point is that this should be a shot across the legislators’ bow to write clearly written statutes. If legislation can be “interpreted in a variety of ways”, then legislators aren’t doing their job. If the legislators who wrote the law can’t write it clearly, then that’s their problem. Period. The citizens who didn’t qualify for subsidies should take it out on the people who wrote the bill and the people who voted for the legislation.

Further, people who don’t qualify for these subsidies should take it out on Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. They’re the people who brought the bill up for a vote before anyone could read the bill. They’re the people who wrote the final bill in the privacy of their offices rather than marking it up in committees.

Here’s a whopper:

When the Affordable Care Act was being debated, every member of Congress–supporters of the A.C.A. as well as opponents–understood that the federal government would have the right to establish exchanges in states that chose not to create them. As Judge Harry Edwards observed in his dissenting opinion in the A.C.A. case, “The Act empowers HHS to establish exchanges on behalf of the States, because parallel provisions indicate that Congress thought that federal subsidies would be provided on HHS-created exchanges, and, more importantly, because Congress established a careful legislative scheme by which individual subsidies were essential to the basic viability of individual insurance markets.”

Judge Edwards is wrong. The clear language of the bill doesn’t imply that “federal subsidies would be provided on HHS-created exchanges.” It directly says the opposite.

What can be stated is that Congress wanted everyone who made less than 400% of the federal poverty level to be eligible for subsidies and that all 50 states establish state-run health insurance exchanges. Further, we can state that Congress wrote the bill the way they did to force states into creating their own health insurance exchanges.

Congress can’t have it both ways. Either they write the law to make everyone below a certain income level eligible without conditions or they write it so that only people that met specific criteria were eligible.

As the Halbig case demonstrates, textualism is as politically fraught as any other approach to judging. The Halbig case is not an attempt to police unclear drafting but rather the latest effort to destroy a law that is despised by many conservatives.

Without question, Halbig is an attempt to destroy Obamacare. The thing is whether the Supreme Court will have the courage to say that specific language means specific things or whether they’ll say that the executive branch can change a law after it’s been written by Congress, voted on by Congress and signed by the president.

What Toobin is essentially asking for is a mulligan. He’s asking for that because 36 states didn’t do what Congress had hoped they’d do. Mulligans are for golfers, not major legislation that was passed without scrutiny in the dead of night the night before Christmas Eve.

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Thanks to this article by the Wisconsin Reporter, conservatives can learn about the Democratic Party’s witch hunt machine. Anyone that thinks Democrats are nice people that conservatives simply disagree with is badly mistaken. Read the article, then tell me that:

MADISON, Wis. – Conservative targets of a Democrat-launched John Doe investigation have described the secret probe as a witch hunt.

That might not be a big enough descriptor, based on records released Friday by a federal appeals court as part of a massive document dump.

Attorneys for conservative activist Eric O’Keefe and the Wisconsin Club for Growth point to subpoenas requested by John Doe prosecutors that sought records from “at least eight phone companies” believed to serve the targets of the investigation. O’Keefe and the club have filed a civil rights lawsuit against John Doe prosecutors, alleging they violated conservatives’ First Amendment rights.

That the John Doe prosecutors tried to get records from “at least eight phone companies” is frightening enough. Who needs the NSA when Wisconsin has these John Doe prosecutors. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there:

Subpoenas also demanded the conservatives’ bank records, “emails from every major private email provider” and other information in what some have described as a mini-NSA (National Security Agency) operation in Wisconsin.

“In fact, Defendants’ submissions confirm and expand upon the scope and intensity of retaliation previously demonstrated,” O’Keefe’s attorney wrote in documents ordered unsealed by the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Anyone that thinks this is just a case of some rogue prosecutors gone bad apparently hasn’t paid attention to Rosemary Lehmberg’s indictment of Gov. Rick Perry, (R-TX). These naive people should read this, too:

Chisholm, a Democrat, launched the dragnet two years ago, and, according to court documents, with the help of the state Government Accountability Board, the probe was expanded to five counties. The John Doe proceeding compelled scores of witnesses to testify, and a gag order compelled them to keep their mouths shut or face jail time. Sources have described predawn “paramilitary-style” raids in which their posessions were rifled through and seized by law enforcement officers.

If you thought that weaponized government was just a term used by paranoid conservatives, you’d better rethink things. This is proof that some Democratic prosecutors will use their office for blatantly political purposes. Again and unfortunately, that isn’t all these Democratic thugs with law degrees did. Here’s more:

Court documents show the extraordinary breadth of the prosecutors’ subpoena requests.

They sought phone records for a year-and-a-half period, “which happened to be the most contentious period in political politics,” the conservatives note. They note that prosecutors did not pursue the same tactics with left-leaning organizations that pumped tens of millions of dollars into Wisconsin’s recall elections, in what certainly appeared to be a well-coordinated effort.

Among other documents, prosecutors sought “all call detail records including incoming and outgoing calls,” “billing name and information,” “subscriber name and information including any application for service,” according to the conservatives’ court filing.

In other words, these Democrats wanted confidential information. That’s why the Wisconsin Club for Growth and Eric O’Keefe filed their civil rights lawsuit.

There’s little doubt that these Democrats would’ve used the information they gathered through their witch hunt to chill these conservatives’ desire to participate in the political process. The only retaliation against these Democrats is to a)prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law when possible, b) end their political careers by removing them from their positions of political power and c) pressure Democrat politicians into passing sweeping reforms to prevent these fishing expeditions from today going forward.

If Democrats aren’t willing to limit rogue prosecutors’ ability to conduct political fishing expeditions, then we’ll know that they approve of these Democrats’ behavior.

Thanks to M.D. Kittle and the Wisconsin Reporter, we now know that these Democrats were attempting to chill conservatives from exercising their right to participate in the political process. This needs to be stopped ASAP and it needs to be stopped dead in its tracks.

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When the Halbig v. Burwell ruling came out last week, lefties like the New Republic reached out to Jonathan Gruber after their initial spin failed. Their initial spin consisted of this being a drafting error which should be excused by the courts.

When conservative bloggers found a video of Jonathan Gruber saying that health insurance subsidies were only available to people buying health insurance through state-established exchanges, TNR called Gruber. Dr. Gruber immediately backtracked by saying what he said was “a speak-o”. Michael Cannon’s op-ed blows that spin out of the water:

The administration’s defenders responded to the Halbig case by insisting that Congress never intended to withhold subsidies from residents of states that did not establish exchanges. Like the Obama administration, Gruber told the D.C. Circuit that this idea is “implausible.” The D.C. Circuit disagreed when it ruled for the plaintiffs last Tuesday.

Gruber then became part of the story on Thursday when a video surfaced in which he espouses the very interpretation of the law he now publicly derides as “screwy,” “nutty” and “stupid.” In 2012, Gruber told an audience: “If you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits.”

Frankly, this appears to be proof that Dr. Gruber is willing to say anything to save his greatest legislative achievement. There’s no question what the legislative language says, which is the only thing the courts can go by.

As damning as that is, this is the part of Cannon’s op-ed that sinks Dr. Gruber:

The problem with his explanations is that Jonathan Gruber doesn’t “flake.” He knows this law in and out. He knew what his words meant, with all their implications, when he spoke them. He knew the feature he was describing essentially gave each state a veto over the PPACA’s exchange subsidies, employer mandate and to a large extent its individual mandate. He knew that could lead to adverse selection. To claim Gruber didn’t know what he was saying is as absurd as saying a conductor might fail to notice that the brass section suddenly stopped playing.

It’s rich that the guy who boasts that he knows “more about this law than any other economist” suddenly left to dissembling when he’s caught spinning.

Richard Epstein’s explanation of the ruling is compelling and succinct:

Do the words an “exchange established by a State” cover an exchange that is established by the federal government “on behalf of a state”? To the unpracticed eye, the two propositions are not synonyms, but opposites. When I do something on behalf of myself, it is quite a different thing from someone else doing it on my behalf. The first case involves self-control. The second involves a change of actors. It is not, moreover, that the federal government establishes the exchange on behalf of a state that has authorized the action, under which case normal principles of agency law would apply. Quite the opposite: the federal government decides to act because the state has refused to put the program into place. It is hard to see, as a textual matter, why the two situations should be regarded as identical when the political forces at work in them are so different. Under the so-called “plain meaning approach”, there is no need to look further. The text does not authorize the subsidies for these transactions, so it is up to Congress to fix the mess that it created in 2010.

The only context needed is the text itself. It’s clear that language agreed upon means that the only people who are eligible for subsidies are people who bought them through state-established exchanges. There’s no question that the federal government used this carrot-and-stick approach to coax states into creating exchanges. There’s also no question that the federal government couldn’t force states to create these exchange.

That’s considered commandeering by the federal government, which isn’t allowed in our federalist system of governance.

This is enlightening information, too:

Last year, seven career Treasury and IRS officials told congressional investigators that they knew the PPACA did not authorize them to issue tax credits in federal exchanges, and that their regulations had originally confined tax credits to exchanges “established by the State.” At the direction of their political-appointee superiors, however, they dropped that language and announced that tax credits would be available through exchanges established by the federal government as well.

Isn’t it interesting that the rules didn’t change until after President Obama’s political appointees ordered the rule changes? That clearly shows the IRS regulation changing the clear intent of the ACA was an act of political mischief.

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Lefties went apoplectic this week after the DC Circuit issued its ruling in the Halbig v. Burwell lawsuit. Their initial spin was that it was “a drafting error.” Sean Davis’ article laid out the foolishness of their spin. While Davis’ article buried the administration’s spin with irrefutable facts, something that Jonathan Gruber said might hurt them in a court of law even more. Here’s what Gruber said that’s so damning:

What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits—but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges.

Gruber isn’t an outsider:

Jonathan Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist who helped design the Massachusetts health law that was the model for Obamacare, was a key influence on the creation of the federal health law. He was widely quoted in the media. During the crafting of the law, the Obama administration brought him on for consultation because of his expertise. He was paid almost $400,000 to consult with the administration on the law. And he has claimed to have written part of the legislation, the section dealing with small business tax credits.

In other words, Gruber admitted, after working on the ACA, that the subsidies were made available for people who bought their insurance through state-established exchanges to put political pressure on reluctant governors and legislators to establish state-run exchanges.

That’s supported by the legislative language of the ACA:

The statutory authority for state-based exchanges comes in section 1311 of Obamacare. The statutory authority for a federal exchange in the event that a state chose not to establish one comes from section 1321(c) of Obamacare. Right off the bat, we have two discrete sections pertaining to two discrete types of health exchange. Was that a “drafting error”?

Then we have the specific construction of section 1321(c), which allows for the creation of a federal exchange. Nowhere does this section say that an exchange created under its authority will have the same treatment as a state-based exchange created under section 1311. At no point does it say that section 1321 plans are equivalent. Why, it’s almost as though the exchanges and the plans offered by them were not intended to receive the same treatment. Was that another “drafting error”?

Most important, we have the sections of the law providing for tax credits to help offset the cost of Obamacare’s health care plans: sections 1401, 1402, 1411, 1412, 1413, 1414, and 1415. And how do those sections establish authority to provide those tax credits? Why, they specifically state ten separate times that tax credits are available to offset the costs of state health exchange plans authorized by section 1311. And how many times are section 1321 federal exchange plans mentioned? Zero.

I’ll repeat myself. Gruber’s quote matches up with the legislative language of the ACA. The good news is that there’s a legislative fix for this problem. Congress can pass legislation that makes the subsidies available to anyone making less than 400% of the federal poverty level, aka FPL.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that House Republicans won’t include things like repealing the medical device manufacturers tax and the individual and employer mandates.

Therein lies the Democrats’ real problem. They’ve gotten their way on every single item in the bill thus far. They aren’t interested in compromising with Republicans on a single provision in the ACA. That’s tough. It’s time for them to stop acting like spoiled brats. It’s time for Democrats to implement some of the Republicans’ good ideas.

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Sean Davis’s article utterly demolishes the Left’s argument that the DC Circuit was willing to throw millions of people off health care because of a “drafting error.” Here’s a key portion of Davis’s demolition of that argument:

Let’s take a step back to see how plausible that explanation is. There are two types of exchanges: state-established, and federally established. The statutory authority for state-based exchanges comes in section 1311 of Obamacare. The statutory authority for a federal exchange in the event that a state chose not to establish one comes from section 1321(c) of Obamacare. Right off the bat, we have two discrete sections pertaining to two discrete types of health exchange. Was that a “drafting error”?

Then we have the specific construction of section 1321(c), which allows for the creation of a federal exchange. Nowhere does this section say that an exchange created under its authority will have the same treatment as a state-based exchange created under section 1311. At no point does it say that section 1321 plans are equivalent. Why, it’s almost as though the exchanges and the plans offered by them were not intended to receive the same treatment. Was that another “drafting error”?

Most important, we have the sections of the law providing for tax credits to help offset the cost of Obamacare’s health care plans: sections 1401, 1402, 1411, 1412, 1413, 1414, and 1415. And how do those sections establish authority to provide those tax credits? Why, they specifically state ten separate times that tax credits are available to offset the costs of state health exchange plans authorized by section 1311. And how many times are section 1321 federal exchange plans mentioned? Zero. Was that yet another “drafting error”?

Either these progressive pundits are the worst liars in the world or the person who wrote the legislation is the most inept person ever to draft legislation. I’m voting for the former, not the latter.

It’s obvious that the bill was written properly. It’s obvious that Democrats didn’t think 36 states would opt out of establishing a state-run health insurance exchange, aka HIX.

The media’s fiction that this was a drafting error is intellectually dishonest intended at painting the judges as hate-filled conservatives who don’t care about poor people. The truth is that it’s Democrats that intentionally played politics with poor people’s lives.

They’re the people who wrote the law to not include subsidies for people buying insurance through Healthcare.gov. They’re the people who didn’t see anything wrong with the bill until after it became obvious that they’d miscalculated the popularity of the HIXs. They’re the people who made faulty assumptions.

Mr. Davis has written and/or proofed standalone legislation and legislative amendments:

When I worked in the Senate, I spent countless hours reading through various appropriation and spending bills. I also drafted hundreds of amendments, as well as a standalone public law. During the years I spent reading through proposed legislation, it was not uncommon to find obvious errors in bills and amendments. Sometimes you would see a date written as 3015 instead of 2015. Sometimes a non-existent section would be referenced, or a section number in a table of contents might be wrong. Other times, you might see a dollar figure that had too few or too many zeroes (seriously, that happened). You might even find a misspelled word or an incorrect line number every now and again. Those were true “drafting errors,” the typos of the legislative world.

The deliberate creation of a separate section to authorize a separate federal entity is not a drafting error. The repeated and deliberate reference to one section but not another is not a drafting error. The refusal to grant equal authority to two programs authorized by two separate sections is not a drafting error. The decision to specifically reference section X but not section Y in a portion of a law that grants spending or tax authority is not a drafting error.

Simply put, the Left knows that they’re in real danger of having the heart of the ACA ripped from the bill. If the subsidies disappear, the ACA, aka Obamacare, disappears, too. They know that they can’t argue the law. Arguing that is foolish. Appealing to the judges’ partisanship is the only avenue they have for winning.

At the heart of this matter is the fact that Democrats made a faulty assumption. At the heart of this matter is the fact that Democrats thought this bill would be much more popular than it is. They wrote the law based on the opinion that the ACA would pressure Republicans into supporting a terrible bill.

Democrats were wrong about that.

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The whining on the left hasn’t stopped since the DC Circuit Court’s ruling on Halbig v. Burwell. This article is a perfect example of the Left’s whining:

The Affordable Care Act was designed to offer premium tax credits (subsidies) to people to purchase private health insurance on government-run exchanges — at least those earning up to 400% of the federal poverty level. The belief among legislators was that the exchanges would be state-based, so the section of the law authorized subsidies to those enrolled “through an Exchange established by the State.”

Simply put, this is proof that the people writing the ACA wanted one thing but didn’t write the bill properly. If they wanted everyone “earning up to 400% of the federal poverty level” to get premium supports regardless of which exchange they bought it through, they should’ve written that into the law.

The assumption that “the exchanges would be state-based” is a sloppy assumption. Sloppy assumptions make terrible laws. It isn’t the judges’ fault that Max Baucus didn’t write the bill properly. Further, it isn’t the judges’ fault that the writing of the law was shrouded in secrecy.

Had this been a transparent operation, someone might’ve caught Sen. Baucus’s mistake. Had Sen. Baucus not made a terrible assumption, if that’s what it was, the bill might’ve been written with more clarity.

Blaming Democrats’ mistakes on Republicans is pathetic. Sen. Baucus, Sen. Reid and then-Speaker Pelosi made a series of decisions that produced sloppyily-written legislation. That’s on their heads, not the judges’ heads. It’s one thing to argue intent when the legislative language isn’t clear. It’s another to argue when the legislative language includes a straightforward, declarative statement.

At that point, that straightforward, declarative statement is what judges should base their opinion on. The Democrats’ attorneys argument is essentially that Baucus, Reid and Pelosi made a mistake in writing the bill, therefore the judges should clean up their mistake.

That isn’t the court’s responsibility. If Obama, Reid and Pelosi want to fix the law, the only constitutional remedy is to submit the correction to the legislative process. I wrote yesterday that the Democrats don’t want to do that because House Republicans might actually want to include other provisions in the bill that Democrats don’t like. That’s tough. If Obama, Reid and Pelosi didn’t want Republicans to have that type of leverage, they should’ve written the bill right the first time.

Their whining now just indicates that they’re looking for a skapegoat to blame for their mistakes. It’s time for them to put on their big boy pants and accept the fact that they put together a sloppy piece of legislation. It isn’t the court’s responsibility to clean up politicians’ messes. That’s the politician’s responsibility.

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I’ve spent the last half of Tuesday illustrating the fact that Section 36B is clearly written. In this clip, Charles Krauthammer explains that the bill’s language is exceptionally straightforward:

The language in the bill simply states that the subsidies are ony available to people purchasing health insurance through state-run exchanges. This doesn’t require guessing. It just requires the ability to believe what you’ve heard.

After Charles’ explanation, Kirsten Powers argued that the language was ambiguous. She essentially said that the intent was clear if you read the entire section. This doesn’t have anything to do with reading the entire section. The only context that’s required is the simple declarative statement.

The statement isn’t filled with caveats. It’s straightforward. It’s declarative.

What the administration and its apologists are arguing is that we should a) accept their word that they really meant for everyone of a certain income level to qualify for subsidies and b) ignore the straightforward language of the bill.

My response to that is simple. I don’t read minds to determine legislative intent and I don’t trust liberals who say that federal statutes really mean whatever liberals insist they mean at any point in history. Liberal constitutional law Professor Jonathan Turley agrees with me on that. Here’s what he said:

I’d love hearing Kirsten Powers or Ron Fournier dispute Professor Turley’s explanation. Ultimately, though, Prof. Turley is right in saying that this is about more than the ACA. It’s about which branch of government has the responsibility to correct the law. Ultimately, the question is whether the executive branch can usurp the legislative branch’s authority to write new laws.

Dishonest progressives argue that the executive branch isn’t writing new laws. They’re lying about that. The plain language of the bill says one thing and they’re saying that the straightforward wording isn’t what they meant.

Let’s remember that the ACA was written by Max Baucus in Harry Reid’s office. Dishonest progressives want me to believe that Sen. Baucus was so inept that he accidentally slipped that language into the bill. He’s written dozens of bills and hundreds of amendments to bills. I’m supposed to think that he mistakenly put in a straightforward-sounding statement runs contrary to his intent into the most important bill he ever wrote. Why would I buy into that?

Further, even if I thought that was the truth, I’d still argue that the executive branch, in this instance the IRS, has the authority to rewrite that language to mean what it wants the section to mean years after the fact. The language is clear. When the language is clear, the intent is clear.

I don’t need a clairvoyant to determine what Sen. Baucus meant. I just need a little common sense, a little reading ability and the ability to ignore misinformed liberals.

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Brian Beutler’s article attempts to make the case that Republicans might ultimately lose if the Supreme Court upholds today’s ruling:

An adverse Supreme Court ruling would throw the ACA into chaos in three dozen states, including huge states like Florida and Texas. The vast majority of beneficiaries in those states would be suddenly unable to afford their premiums (and might even be required to reimburse the government for unlawful subsidies they’ve already spent). Millions of people would drop out of the insurance marketplaces. Premiums would skyrocket for the very sick people who need coverage the most.

But that’s where the conservatives’ “victory” would turn into a big political liability for red- and purple-state Republicans. An adverse ruling would create a problem that could be fixed in two ways: With an astonishingly trivial technical corrections bill in Congress, or with Healthcare.gov states setting up their own exchanges. If you’re a Republican senator from a purple Healthcare.gov state—Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and others—you’ll be under tremendous pressure to pass the legislative fix. If you’re a Republican governor in any Healthcare.gov state, many thousands of your constituents will expect you to both pressure Congress to fix the problem, and prepare to launch your own exchange.

Conservatives would like to believe that they could just leave something as deeply rooted as Obamacare permanently hobbled, or that they could use the ensuing chaos as leverage, to force Democrats to reopen the books, and perhaps gut the law in other ways. I think they’re miscalculating. Just as government shutdowns and debt default threats don’t create leverage because the public doesn’t support inviting chaos in pursuit of unrelated goals, I don’t think an adverse ruling in Halbig will create leverage for the GOP.

I think Beutler isn’t just wrong about the leverage. I think he’s kidding himself if he thinks this puts Republicans in a difficult position.

By the time the Supreme Court rules on this lawsuit, it’s quite possible that there will be Republican majorities in the House and Senate. If that’s the case, think of this scenario:

Congress might well change Section 36B as part of a bigger bill that’s sure to include other provisions that Republicans like and that President Obama doesn’t like.

For instance, a new bill might include a change to 36B along with a change that eliminates the medical device tax, another change that changes the definition of a Qualified Health Plan, aka QHP, and a change that reduces the penalties for the employer and individual mandates.

Employers and families would certainly love a tiny penalty for not obeying the law. Young people would love being able to buy a catatrophic policy with a HSA to cover other expenses. There’s no question that eliminating the medical device tax would make medical device manufacturers happy.

At that point, President Obama signs the bill that’s essentially a fresh start that dramatically improves the ACA or he vetoes a popular bill that forces families to pay higher insurance premiums, that doesn’t repeal an unpopular tax and he alienates major parts of his base. In my opinion, that’s ‘Rock meets hard place’ territory for President Obama. The good news is that it’s great news for employers, families and young people.

All that’s required is for Republicans to pass a bill that’s filled with popular provisions. Since a majority of people don’t like the bill’s specifics, that shouldn’t be that difficult.

Finally, Beutler insists that this is judicial activism. There’s nothing activist about the DC Circuit’s ruling. They said that Section 36B meant what it said. For the record, here’s the specific language of Section 36B:

monthly premiums for such month for 1 or more qualified health plans offered in the individual market within a State which cover the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, or any dependent (as defined in section 152) of the taxpayer and which were enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State under 1311 [1] of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

The judiciary’s first responsibility is to determine whether a law is constitutional. If it passes that test, the next test is to determine whether the statute gives the executive branch the authority to take action.

In this instance, the DC Circuit ruled that the ACA didn’t give the executive branch, in this case the IRS, the authority to change a major provision of the statute.

It isn’t radical to think that the executive branch doesn’t have the authority to rewrite specific provisions of existing statutes. If the Supreme Court validates this ruling and if President Obama wants that provision changed, there’s a simple remedy: work with Congress to change that part of the ACA.

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When President Obama told Bill O’Reilly that there wasn’t even a smidgen of corruption at the IRS, Americans rolled their eyes. They knew he was full of it. They knew it because they’d gotten to know Catherine Engelbrecht and how the federal government was used to persecute her for having the audacity of participating in the political process.

Ed Rogers’ article highlights the fact that more smidgens are popping up weekly. This week, some significant smidgens showed up:

In a stunning revelation this week, it was disclosed that former IRS official Lois Lerner told colleagues, “we need to be cautious about what we say in emails” and then proceeded to ask the IRS IT department, in an e-mail, “if [instant messaging] conversations were also searchable.” When she was told they were not, she e-mailed back, “Perfect.” This is a smoking gun e-mail in that it makes plain she had a cover-up in mind. There is no other plausible explanation.

Josh Earnest, the Obama administration’s latest version of Baghdad Bob, undoubtedly will explain that Republicans are grasping at straws because their fishing expedition is going nowhere. He’ll then recite the BS that the administration has turned over tens of thousands of documents and cooperate fully with the investigation.

What Earnest won’t be able to do is explain away Jim Jordan’s interrogation of John Koskinen yielding this stunning admission:

“Has anyone at the Justice Department talked to you or anyone at the Internal Revenue Service about Lois Lerner’s lost emails?” Jordan asked Koskinen. “I have no idea whether the Justice Department has talked to anyone at the agency,” said Koskinen, who started his job last December. “They have not talked to me.”

It’s important to note that DOJ allegedly started their investigation a year ago. That admission is a major bombshell on multiple fronts. First, it says that Justice isn’t interested in investigating the IRS. Second, it sends the message to the IRS that they don’t have to worry about stonewalling Congress. These are major smidgens of corruption.

The terrible news for the administration is that their stonewalling will end, thanks to a pair of no-nonsense judges. On Thursday, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ruled that the IRS had to explain what happened to Lois Lerner’s hard drive and emails:

Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court in Washington gave the Internal Revenue Service exactly a month, until Aug. 10, to file a report, which he demanded as part of a lawsuit from a conservative watchdog, Judicial Watch, against the agency.

On Friday, Judge Reggie Walton issued a similar ruling. Greta van Susteren posted Judge Walton’s ruling:

ORDERED that, on or before July 18, 2014, defendant the Internal Revenue Service shall submit to the Court an affidavit or declaration signed under oath by an appropriate individual with firsthand knowledge that: Case 1:13-cv-00734-RBW Document 91 Filed 07/11/14

1. outlines the expertise and qualifications of the individual or individuals currently conducting the forensic examination as part of the Inspector General’s investigation;
2. outlines the expertise and qualifications of the individual or individuals who previously conducted forensic examinations or otherwise attempted to recover information from the computer hard drive at issue;
3. provides a projected date of completion of the Inspector General’s investigation;
4. states whether the serial number, if any, assigned to the computer hard drive at issue is known; and
5. if the serial number is known, why the computer hard drive cannot be identified and preserved.

During her interview on Megyn Kelly’s show last night, Cleta Mitchell noted that this can’t be filled out by a political appointee like John Koskinen because his statements are inadmissable in a court of law because they’re hearsay. His statements aren’t based on firsthand knowledge. They’re based on what someone told him, at best.

Further, Judge Sullivan’s ruling and Judge Walton’s rulings have teeth in them. Prior to this, if Koskinen or Lerner or whomever misled House committees, the most that those committees could do is refer the case to the Justice Department for investigation. Thanks to Eric Holder’s corruption, that wasn’t a stick. It was a twig, if that.

These judges, however, have the authority to appoint a special prosecutor with the ability to put people in prison if they’re found guilty in a trial.

The smidgens are adding up. The American people reached their boiling point long ago. If the IRS tries playing games with these stiff-spined judges, Judges Sullivan and Walton will reach their boiling points, too. Time is running out on the Holder Justice Department. They can’t stonewall much longer and get away with it.

In the end, the smidgens will win.

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If Patrick Condon’s article highlights anything, it’s that the courts really aren’t accessible to average citizens. With their ruling, the Minnesota Supreme Court essentially said that the judiciary is only for deep-pocketed people:

The state’s high court ruled that former Republican Rep. Jim Knoblach would have to post an $11 million surety bond if he wanted his challenge to the project to continue. He said he can’t afford to post a bond of that size.

“Requiring a member of the public to come up with $11 million in a case like this is a chilling precedent to a citizen raising a constitutional challenge,” he said.

This is stunning on multiple fronts. First, the constitutional case is clear. If the Supreme Court read the merits of the lawsuit, they’d know that the lower court’s ruling was a joke and an insult to Minnesota’s constitution. Second, saying that a lawsuit can’t proceed without the litigant putting up an $11,000,000 surety bond is the fastest way to stop a lawsuit.

First things first. Judge Marek ruled that Sen. Bakk’s bill didn’t violate the Single Subject Clause of Minnesota’s Constitution because “the office building provision is linked to the rest by a common thread of “financing and raising revenue to fund state and local government operations.” In other words, the legislature can put anything it wants to pass into the tax bill if it’s something that’s linked to “state or local government operations.”

In other words, Judge Marek’s ruling essentially gutted Minnesota’s Constitution. That’s either proof that she’s corrupt or proof that she’s ignorant of Minnesota’s Constitution.

Next, it’s exceptionally elitist of Minnesota’s Supreme Court to require this surety bond. They’ve essentially said that deep pockets are required if a person wants to appeal legislative decisions. That’s stunning in its elitism.

If ever there was justification for citizens voting out judges and replacing them with judges who’ll obey Minnesota’s Constitution.

What just happened is that Judge Marek ignored Minnesota’s Constitution. Later, government lawyers convinced a judge that a pesky citizen shouldn’t really have access to the courts. Finally, the Minnesota Supreme Court completed the whitewash by agreeing with the government’s attorneys, putting the final brick in place stopping citizens from accessing judicial remedies to legislative overreach.

It’s a sad day for Minnesota’s citizens. The elitists on Minnesota’s Supreme Court just ruled that the court won’t hear lawsuits pertaining to legislative overreach unless the litigant has exceptionally deep pockets.

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