The Rundown: SCOTUS Rules on King v. Burwell

Supreme Court building

SCOTUS rules in favor of ACA insurance subsidies.



While you were livin’ the high-life and making plans, something continued to move around you. What, life? No, American politics! This is ‘The Rundown.’ What is ‘The Rundown’ you ask? Other than a terrific action-comedy starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Stifler from ‘American Pie’, it’s our unique breakdown of major news stories that are currently hitting the political scene. In this edition we talk about the Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act’s (aka Obamacare) insurance subsidies in their ruling on King v. Burwell.



Ok, So Now What?

Now What Gif


After the Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 ruling that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) (aka Obamacare) insurance subsidies are in fact legal, I had only one question to ask.


Now what?


Well, let’s suss this out.


I guess for starters that means the government basically continues to subsidize health insurance for millions of Americans. There were MANY Americans that were worried if SCOTUS found the subsidies unconstitutional, that they would be left in the dust. Which meant, without government subsidies, private insurance would have become unaffordable for many of them, thus undermining the entire ACA in the process. But that didn’t happen, so I guess that’s a good thing…


Also people can now take solace that whether their state’s insurance marketplace is run by the state or by the federal government, it will work identically. After all, uniformity and certainty in government programs does make the success of them more likely, so that’s also another positive…


These are definitely all great things, but I guess my point is this.


In politics we always wait around wondering when the next battle is going to take place. Every victory only sets up for the next conflict to come. In this case, there is no next battle. So many media outlets were trying to figure out what would happen if the SCOTUS actually ruled the subsidies to be unconstitutional that no one stopped to ask, “why would SCOTUS rule the subsidies unconstitutional?”


Think about that for a second. That decision would send a major chunk of the US healthcare system into chaos! And yeah, SCOTUS makes their decisions in a vacuum outside the public forum yada yada yada… but then explain something like 2000’s decision of Bush v Gore, where SCOTUS went into their bag o’ legitimacy and ruled the way they did so the country could just get on with their lives and not stare at hanging chads all day.


After all, Chief Justice Roberts wrote for the majority opinion when he said ruling the subsidies as unconstitutional would be, “the type of calamitous result that Congress plainly meant to avoid.” Maybe the same mentality was used in the King v. Burwell decision as well. So as a nation, we can stop talking about “death panels” or state run vs federal run market places and just…










Or maybe not.



How it Broke Down

Supreme Court Photo


Majority: Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, John Roberts, Elena Kagan, Anthony Kennedy, and Stephen Breyer

Dissent: Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito



Sick Burn Brah

Scalia Burn


On page 21 of Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent he writes,


“This court, however, concludes that this limitation would prevent the rest of the Act from working as well as hoped. So it rewrites the law to make tax credits available everywhere. We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.


Friday Damn Gif


Justice Scalia then goes on and calls Chief Justice Roberts’ decision for upholding the ACA as “pure applesauce.”


Never change Scalia, never change.



Tell Us How You Really Feel… 



Chief Justice Roberts: Kickin’ It Old-School Since 2005

Old School


Twitter is a lot of things, but a medium for subtly and deep thought it is not! Moments after the King v. Burwell ruling was announced many conservative took Twitter and started proclaiming Chief Justice John Roberts as a closeted liberal. What say you to that Laughin’ Joe Biden?


Joe Biden Laughing


Yeah guys, Laughin’ Joe Biden is right. Chief Justice Roberts isn’t a closeted liberal, he’s just an old school conservative judge.


A bit of back story.


Back in the day, being a conservative judge didn’t exactly mean the same thing it does today. The tag line for many presidential candidates running on the GOP ticket was always the same; they will never put judges that believe in judicial activism on the Supreme Court. To conservatives, a “conservative judge” meant following the Constitution to the tee, not pushing for their own agendas.


It wasn’t until the Reagan era that Republican presidents tried to push for more conservative judges on the Supreme Court. Even with that in mind, both recent swing-vote artists – former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Justice Anthony Kennedy – were both known to be conservatives that followed to the letter of the law when it came to the Constitution. Both of these individuals, were appointed by President Reagan in the 1980’s.


Based on Chief Justice Roberts past decisions on the Supreme Court, he looks to be cut basically from the same cloth. Chief Justice Roberts is no liberal activist, he’s just old school conservative judge.


He isn’t the one that changed, the conservatives around him did.



(Photo Credits:, Wikipedia, Google Images)


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