Oh well: D.C. Circuit to rehear Halbig case on ObamaCare subsidies en banc

posted at 11:21 am on September 4, 2014 by Allahpundit

Shady, but not surprising.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia granted an Obama administration request to have its full complement of judges re-hear a challenge to regulations that allow health insurance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act for consumers in all 50 states.

The announcement diminishes the prospect of Supreme Court review of the issue in the near term. The initial 2-1 appeals court ruling in Washington came out the same day that a panel of appellate judges in Richmond, Virginia, unanimously sided with the administration on the same issue.

The fact that the D.C. Circuit and the Fourth Circuit were split on whether subsidies are available to consumers on the federal O-Care exchange all but guaranteed that the Supreme Court would take the case — unless, that is, the full D.C. Circuit chose to rehear it en banc first and overrule the three-judge panel. They’ve now taken the first step; the next step, in which the decision is overturned, is a fait accompli given the Circuit’s liberal tilt. It used to be evenly divided between lefties and righties until Harry Reid nuked the filibuster for lower-court judges. That cleared the way for Democrats to install a bunch more progressives on the Circuit. And one thing about progressive judges: They’re highly reliable ideologically. There’s next to zero chance that the three-judge panel’s ruling on subsidies will stand, which means in a few months there’ll be no circuit split and no urgency for the Supremes to take this case.

What makes this shady (apart from Senate Democrats destroying the filibuster, I mean) is the Circuit’s own standards for en banc rehearing. Adam White, an appellate lawyer in Washington, argued last month in an op-ed that it was actually insulting to the Circuit for people to assume that they’d automatically grant a rehearing given the high bar they’d set for such things:

But if the D.C. Circuit rehears the case en banc, it would be a sharp break from history. The D.C. Circuit rehears virtually none of its cases. Each year the court’s three-judge panels make roughly 500 rulings, but the court averages roughly one en banc rehearing. This year has produced a bumper crop: two. The previous year: zero.

The low numbers are thanks to the court’s high standard, found in the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure: En banc rehearing “is not favored and ordinarily will not be ordered” unless the case satisfies one of two standards. First, an en banc rehearing may be needed to “secure or maintain uniformity of the court’s decisions.” A three-judge panel is not allowed to overrule old precedents, even when precedents are in conflict; only the full court can do so, en banc.

Second, en banc rehearing is appropriate for what the federal appellate rules call cases of “exceptional importance.” For the D.C. Circuit, this standard has been met almost exclusively by cases raising serious constitutional issues. Over the past decade seven of the nine cases reheard en banc raised difficult questions of constitutional law, such as the rights of Guantanamo detainees or of terminally ill patients.

The Halbig case didn’t overrule old precedent and it doesn’t touch on constitutional issues. You can understand why the full Circuit would be more lenient with rehearings for the latter: If they thought a three-judge panel had botched a constitutional case, an en banc reversal might be the only way to undo it. The Supreme Court might not agree to hear an appeal on the panel’s ruling and Congress, of course, would be powerless to reverse a constitutional ruling by legislation. The en banc option is essential there to get the law right. It’s not essential here. The question posed in Halbig is straightforward: Does the phrase “an exchange established by the State” in the statutory text of ObamaCare include the federal ObamaCare exchange? Even if the full Circuit thinks the three-judge panel got it wrong, Congress has the power to amend that text and make clear that subsidies are available to everyone. The en banc rehearing is unnecessary.

What you’re seeing here then, it seems, is a policy judgment by the D.C. Circuit’s liberals that the Republican House will never agree to amend the text, therefore the court has no choice but to bypass democratic channels and resolve this question itself. (That’s not unlike Obama dubiously implying that he has more executive power constitutionally when Congress is mired in gridlock.) You’re also seeing a political judgment from the court that they can’t allow a split with the Fourth Circuit on this issue to stand for fear that that’ll force the conservative-leaning Supreme Court to hear the case, which would be highly risky for O-Care supporters. Their best shot to secure a liberal outcome that protects subsidies for federal exchange consumers is to grant an en banc rehearing, reverse the three-judge panel’s decision, and then hope, hope, hope that the Supremes don’t grant cert. I don’t know how else to read today’s order. The full court wants to protect ObamaCare and they’re playing the only card they have to do so, even if it means ignoring their own standards for when to grant en banc petitions.

But look. SCOTUS can still take this case if it wants to, regardless of how the D.C. Circuit rules. They don’t even need Anthony Kennedy’s support to do it. It takes just four votes to grant cert; Scalia, Thomas, and Alito will all be game, I assume. The X factors are Kennedy and John Roberts, who might be leery of revisiting this subject after the ordeal of his landmark O-Care ruling in 2012. I continue to think that if Roberts wasn’t willing to blow up the law on the launchpad two years ago, he’s certainly not going to blow it up now that it’s taken flight. It all comes down to Kennedy. As usual.


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Good to see HA finally going green and recycling stock photos.

Frank Lib on September 4, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Now that it’s been packed by Prezint Soetoro.

Akzed on September 4, 2014 at 11:24 AM

I. Hate. Liberals. Period.

HiJack on September 4, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Dead Pecker and the HA slave are going to lose the tiny minds they had in the first place.

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2014 at 11:25 AM

But these Obamacare posts are about whistling past the graveyard, by next Novemeber Democrats will be openly running on the ACA. Mark my words.

libfreeordie on December 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Yeah, this is just like 2010 Tea Gabber wave!!

Ned Pepper on September 3, 2014 at 9:50 PM

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2014 at 11:26 AM

I wish we could just get rid of that horrible law!!!

How can something done in such an undemocratic way still be on the books?

NO ONE wants this fiasco. Why can’t we rid ourselves of these tyrants?

petunia on September 4, 2014 at 11:26 AM

I. Hate. Liberals. Leftist thugs. Period.

HiJack on September 4, 2014 at 11:24 AM

We are the true liberals.

They’re never liberal/progressive. They stole the terms. Don’t humor the leftist thugs, evaaaah.

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Yahoo is going nuts.

Meanwhile the US Pimp in Chief is hanging on to Cameron’s apron, no kidding.

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Nothing to see here..

Only fearmongering and scaring the populace

Ned Pepper on August 11, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Thank you, President Obama!

Ned Pepper on August 11, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Actually Obama’s azz is a pretty safe place to be.

Ned Pepper on August 11, 2014 at 4:36 PM

When premiums decline y’all are going to be pissed!

libfreeordie on May 7, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2014 at 11:30 AM

So the judges didn’t vote on the merits of the case but because of their political affiliation.

We no longer have a republican form of government… We have a political one and, worse, this is the very ef initial of a kangaroo court.

Dark times for the republic.

Skywise on September 4, 2014 at 11:31 AM

banana republic

forest on September 4, 2014 at 11:31 AM

What you’re seeing here then, it seems, is a policy judgment by the D.C. Circuit’s liberals that the Republican House will never agree to amend the text, therefore the court has no choice but to bypass democratic channels and resolve this question itself.

Sounds like a bunch of activist judges are running the court.

Nothing like putting politics above the Rule of Law, is there…

Newtie and the Beauty on September 4, 2014 at 11:31 AM

I never really expected this to stand. Even if the ruling had remained I think they would have figured a way around it. Regardless, the subsidies will be small comfort to those whose with the skyrocketing rates and deductibles and those who are suddenly dropped by employers and cast into the unknown. I hope the insurance companies don’t let me down and announce the changes in mid to late October.

Cindy Munford on September 4, 2014 at 11:31 AM

NO ONE wants this fiasco. Why can’t we rid ourselves of these tyrants?

petunia on September 4, 2014 at 11:26 AM

The leftists and the losers in this country love the law. So does the media, but I repeat myself.

HiJack on September 4, 2014 at 11:32 AM

“But it’s too late to try and repeal this law. We must try to fix it.”
/GOP Establishment Cabal

Bitter Clinger on September 4, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Sometimes it becomes crysral clear that the real problem around here and similar forums is that you guys really aren’t very smart.

everdiso on April 29, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Shhhhh…..we don’t talk about obamacare around here anymore.

everdiso on July 22, 2014 at 1:27 PM

I’ve never lost a debate here.

everdiso on June 13, 2014 at 2:27 PM

ROFLMAO….yeah your win/loss record was so awesome you had to change your username from lester to everdiso. Oh wait, you were banned. Prolly cause you were winning so many debates.

HumpBot Salvation on June 13, 2014 at 2:39 PM

#smartpower

everdiso on August 21, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Well, what’d you expect!?? Debbie Shot in the Head Schultz
said women are being dragged by their Hair!!

ToddPA on September 4, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Fascist activist judges. Nothing new.

Aizen on September 4, 2014 at 11:37 AM

How the hell can we have a nation of laws when nobody f*cking follows what it is that they say?

Defenestratus on September 4, 2014 at 11:40 AM

I hope the insurance companies don’t let me down and announce the changes in mid to late October.

Cindy Munford on September 4, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Cindy, don’t be surprised to hear leaks (only in the conservatie media, mind you) from the industry in October, indicating that the DOJ/IRS/WH is quietly threatening them to remain silent on the changes until after the election.

Patrick S on September 4, 2014 at 11:42 AM

You know, in the war for the soul of humanity, I kind of agree with the scorched earth strategy employed by the LEFT. See the difference is the LEFT will do whatever it takes to get their WAY.

Notice how in 2004-2006 The GOP had the White House and 55 seats in the Senate and STILL wouldn’t play hard ball with the leftist thugs and appoint whoever the F they wanted to the Courts and pass whatever the F they wanted.. A judge Estrada, would have surely been nice.

Now the Dems have the Senate and 55 seats and have PLAYED hardball to get what they want. Obamacare, stacked courts, radical appointments, etc…

The GOP has NO ONE to blame but themselves, and until they are willing to employ the same bare knuckle tactics as the LEFT, nothing will CHANGE.

Raquel Pinkbullet on September 4, 2014 at 11:45 AM

OT funny – NH – the leftist cow, who voted with obama all the way, is now with Biden “we have to follow ISIS into the gates of Hell”. Heh.

Marines told Bret Bair today “How are we supposed to do that if we’re not allowed outside the gates of the embassies?” These are the guys who once killed lots of IS.

We live in strange times, for the understatement of the ages.

obama holds on to Cameron’s apron, no kidding. He is clinically sick. Mark it.

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Good to see HA finally going green and recycling stock photos.

Frank Lib on September 4, 2014 at 11:23 AM

They’ve run out of face palm pics.

verbaluce on September 4, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Well, what’d you expect!?? Debbie Shot in the Head Schultz
said women are being dragged by their Hair!!

ToddPA on September 4, 2014 at 11:37 AM

I have a perfect comment, but….

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2014 at 11:46 AM

They’ve run out of face palm pics.

verbaluce on September 4, 2014 at 11:46 AM

They should use a pic. of stupid obama, with an “obamaIdon’tcare” caption.

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2014 at 11:48 AM

So the judges didn’t vote on the merits of the case but because of their political affiliation.

We no longer have a republican form of government… We have a political one and, worse, this is the very ef initial of a kangaroo court.

Dark times for the republic.

Skywise on September 4, 2014 at 11:31 AM

I agree, and find this incredibly depressing.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on September 4, 2014 at 11:49 AM

They’ve run out of face palm pics.

verbaluce on September 4, 2014 at 11:46 AM

They should use a pic. of stupid obama, with an “obamaIdon’tcare” caption.

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2014 at 11:48 AM

How about a picture of Allahpundit, where he’s holding a …
wait…nevermind.

verbaluce on September 4, 2014 at 11:50 AM

I heard that Roberts changed his O-Care vote b/c Obama was blackmailing him. Roberts’ children were illegally adopted. If Roberts clears up the adoption issue, will he swing our way on this??

Roberts is unfir for the bench if he let his personal life affect his judicial thought process.

Lothar on September 4, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Great News Regrading Obamacare for Conservatives!

Why Even Uber-Conservative States Are Now Bending On Obamacare

Few states are as conservative as Wyoming. Nearly 70 percent of its voters went for Mitt Romney in 2012. Out of 90 legislative seats, 78 are held by Republicans. A Republican governor. It also epitomizes the independent streak found in the West, defined by a deep distrust of the federal government.

But even there, state officials are starting to open up to the idea of expanding Medicaid under Obamacare. The legislature requested earlier this year that Gov. Matt Mead (R) meet with the Obama administration to discuss the state’s options. Mead’s office told TPM that the governor met with staff from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the first time in July. Mead said recently that he would present expansion options to the legislature early next year.

“At the end of the day, the expansion failed the first time because of that federal distrust and general disdain for the current administration,” state Sen. Chris Rothfuss (D), who has been a leading proponent of the expansion, told TPM. “It doesn’t matter who’s in the White House. The state of Wyoming is not fond of the federal government. But right now, it’s probably even worse.”

That makes this an almost unthinkable reversal — but one that typifies the shifting sands of Obamacare and Medicaid expansion specifically. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican powered to office in 2010 by the tea party wave, struck a deal with HHS last week to expand Medicaid. Indiana, led by Republican 2016 dark horse Gov. Mike Pence, is already negotiating with the administration on its own plan. Tennessee, a state like Wyoming where there’s no real Democratic threat to Republican dominance that would drive expansion talk, plans to submit a proposal for Medicaid expansion to HHS this fall.

Wyoming is perhaps the prototype for how Medicaid expansion might happen now that most of the easy states — either Democratic-led or with more moderate GOP leadership — have come around. It is a combination of selling conservative lawmakers on the financial benefits of expansion and crafting an alternative plan that is more palatable to conservative ideals in the 23 remaining states that have not yet accepted the expansion.

The business case for expanding Medicaid seems to be making the biggest headway in Wyoming, Rothfuss and Wyoming Hospital Association president Dan Perdue told TPM. The federal government covers 100 percent of Medicaid expansion’s costs through 2016 and never less than 90 percent after that.

So in states that haven’t expanded, their federal tax dollars are paying for expansion in other states while their hospitals are left caring for the uninsured left uncovered because of the state’s decision not to expand. That’s more than 17,000 people in Wyoming. Another Republican governor, Arizona’s Jan Brewer, used that fact to sway her state’s GOP lawmakers to accept Medicaid expansion.

There is now a growing body of evidence about how refusing to expand Medicaid hurts hospitals financially. Fitch Ratings cited missing Medicaid money in recent credit rating downgrades for some hospitals in non-expansion states. Meanwhile, hospitals in expansion states have reported drops in uninsured patients and the corresponding increase in paying customers, a sure benefit to their bottom line.

Hospitals were among the key stakeholders that helped to get Obamacare passed in the first place. But they’ve been hung out to dry in states that declined to expand Medicaid. Some hospital associations in major states have said that they’re basically giving up for the time being until the political winds change. But others in states like Wyoming are pressing on and perhaps setting a template for how to push expansion through in these tougher political environments.

Mead cited the hospital association’s statistic on lost federal dollars when explaining the latest developments. The group, which is leading the lobbying coalition that is pushing for expansion in Wyoming, has been sending information to state legislators and current legislative candidates in the mail and meeting with select lawmakers. Perdue himself has sat down with Mead three times on the issue, he said.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/wyoming-medicaid-expansion-obamacare-why-wy

Ned Pepper on September 4, 2014 at 11:53 AM

I heard that Roberts changed his O-Care vote b/c Obama was blackmailing him. Roberts’ children were illegally adopted. If Roberts clears up the adoption issue, will he swing our way on this??

Roberts is unfir for the bench if he let his personal life affect his judicial thought process.

Lothar on September 4, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Your tinfoil hat is too tight.

Raquel Pinkbullet on September 4, 2014 at 11:54 AM

I heard that Roberts changed his O-Care vote b/c Obama was blackmailing him. Roberts’ children were illegally adopted. If Roberts clears up the adoption issue, will he swing our way on this??

Roberts is unfir for the bench if he let his personal life affect his judicial thought process.

Lothar on September 4, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Wow.
That’s a new one.

verbaluce on September 4, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Didn’t Kennedy want to nuke Obamacare the first go-round? Why wouldn’t he be the fourth to wholeheartedly want to take this up and get another whack at the beast?

change is for suckers on September 4, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Thank you, President Obama! Well done!!

Obamacare has a CEO tax — and it just raised $72 million

With very little fanfare, Obamacare just raised $72 million from health insurance companies. To be more precise, it raised that money from health insurance company CEOs by closing a tax loophole.
For decades now, the United States has limited the corporation tax deduction for executive pay to $1 million for the company’s top four employees. That deduction cap, however, excluded performance bonuses, creating a massive loophole allowing companies to pay their top employees more than $1 million without facing a higher tax burden.

Obamacare quietly changed the rules for health insurance executives. It lowered the cap to $500,000—and, in that amount, now includes all forms of compensation. The health insurers’ regulation also widens the scope of who it hits: while the general deduction cap only applies to the company’s top four employees, the Obamacare rule hits any executive earnings more than $500,000.

That’s how much was raised just from the 10 largest insurance companies, and just 57 executives. So this estimate is likely underestimating how much was raised by the law. While $72 million is a tiny drop of the bucket in terms of the federal budget, for health care alone, it’s a good chunk of money.

Imagine how much the government could raise if it closed that loophole in every industry. No wonder Republicans hate Obamacare so much; It’s working to insure people and it’s raising money. What a nightmare for them.

http://www.vox.com/2014/8/27/6074219/obamacare-has-a-ceo-tax-and-it-just-raised-72-million

Ned Pepper on September 4, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Ned Pepper on September 4, 2014 at 11:59 AM

You cite to TPM and Vox to support your position. Glad to see you use unbiased, down the middle sources. Well, Rush Limbaugh says Obamacare is terrible, so, there you go. Sorry man, it’s science.

change is for suckers on September 4, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Wow.
That’s a new one.

verbaluce on September 4, 2014 at 11:54 AM

That rumor has been around for a long time. It’s a sad state of affairs when watching thugs employ the Chicago Way that I find it at least potentially credible and would welcome some fearless journalist investigating it – just kidding as I know that will never happen.

Drained Brain on September 4, 2014 at 12:04 PM

At least now the (D)s won’t mind when future (R)s openly direct the system in the same way.

rogerb on September 4, 2014 at 12:07 PM

from the American Thinker, The Ghost and John Roberts

John and Jane (nee Sullivan) Roberts were married in 1996 and about four years later they adopted their two children, both infants at the time, a boy and a girl, about four months apart in age. The adoptions were “private,” meaning they were arranged through private parties without the involvement of any agencies. The notion of the Obama White House blackmailing Roberts arose with rumors that the adoptions may have been illegal under the laws of Ireland.

Ireland? Yes. It seems the children were said (by whom is unclear) to be of Latin American origin. Their fair complexions and blonde hair, however, suggested to some that a northern European origin was more likely. Two sets of circumstances to keep in mind: One is that during Roberts’s confirmation battle almost nine years ago (he was nominated by George W. Bush), the New York Times was hot on the trail of anything untoward in the nominee’s past. Seven years later, in the weeks immediately preceding the ObamaCare ruling, the Obama White House was doing its own digging, and the president himself was out in public decrying a possible ruling against his signature accomplishment.

Now, a question: Which European country makes both private adoptions and out-of-country adoptions illegal? Yep. Ireland. Therefore, as the rumor has it, the Roberts children must have been born in the Emerald Isle and therefore their adoptions in America must have been illegal. Clearly the chief justice was ripe for blackmail if there were facts to back it up. Be a shame to see your family broken up over ObamaCare, wouldn’t it, Chief? Then there’s that impeachment thing.

Sensational, sure, but rumor and speculation can’t be relied upon if that’s all there is, and as far as I know, that is all there is. So we’ll leave it at that.

Drained Brain on September 4, 2014 at 12:10 PM

You cite to TPM and Vox to support your position. Glad to see you use unbiased, down the middle sources. Well, Rush Limbaugh says Obamacare is terrible, so, there you go. Sorry man, it’s science.

change is for suckers on September 4, 2014 at 12:02 PM

You are a fool.

Republican Governors in Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and Tennessee are expanding Medicaid under Obamacare. That is not an opinion. That is simply news being reported.

LOL! I know it hurts you but one by one even the most conservative states in the union are caving on Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.
Mike Pence, Jan Brewer are some of the Tea Gabber darlings who have already caved and they are now in Tea Gabber doghouse for their betrayal.

Ned Pepper on September 4, 2014 at 12:10 PM

The Supreme Court might not agree to hear an appeal on the panel’s ruling and Congress, of course, would be powerless to reverse a constitutional ruling by legislation.

http://prospect.org/article/overruling-court

smitty41 on September 4, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Couldn’t the Halbig supporters do what the Dems are doing, go judge shopping in a different district? They could claim the DC court has no standing because it doesn’t represent a state, and the definition for receiving the subsidy relates to states.

Tater Salad on September 4, 2014 at 12:13 PM

I agree with everything you said Allah, except for the parts where you stated your own opinion. To suggest that Roberts has some kind of forbidden love for ObamaCare is silly. He may have given it a pass on judicial modesty or in some kind of Faustian deal with the anarchists on the court, but he is no secret liberal. I could understand all of the mad theories born of frustration right after the decision, but to codify this received wisdom is just juvenile.

Immolate on September 4, 2014 at 12:14 PM

You are a fool.

Republican Governors in Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and Tennessee are expanding Medicaid under Obamacare. That is not an opinion. That is simply news being reported.

LOL! I know it hurts you but one by one even the most conservative states in the union are caving on Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.
Mike Pence, Jan Brewer are some of the Tea Gabber darlings who have already caved and they are now in Tea Gabber doghouse for their betrayal.

Ned Pepper on September 4, 2014 at 12:10 PM

And those governors are fools for riding the federal gravy train (like so many welfare kings/queens). Someday it will run out and then their state will be stuck with the bill.

Bitter Clinger on September 4, 2014 at 12:15 PM

You are a fool.

Republican Governors in Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and Tennessee are expanding Medicaid under Obamacare. That is not an opinion. That is simply news being reported.

LOL! I know it hurts you but one by one even the most conservative states in the union are caving on Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.
Mike Pence, Jan Brewer are some of the Tea Gabber darlings who have already caved and they are now in Tea Gabber doghouse for their betrayal.

Ned Pepper on September 4, 2014 at 12:10 PM

I see you are completely ignoring the state that is the reason for almost all the economic growth in the country – Texas. Perry didn’t allow for the expansion and we are doing just fine without it.

Tater Salad on September 4, 2014 at 12:16 PM

And those governors are fools for riding the federal gravy train (like so many welfare kings/queens). Someday it will run out and then their state will be stuck with the bill.

Bitter Clinger on September 4, 2014 at 12:15 PM

LOL! No Republican is pure enough! What is a Tea Gabber supposed to do??

Ned Pepper on September 4, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Ned Pepper on September 4, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Ned you bring to mind a child screaming obscenities at a parent in public. This is deeply humiliating because it suggests some fundamental failing in the parent.

How did we fail you Ned? Help us to find that magic juxtaposition of love and discipline that will inspire civilized behavior from our wayward child.

Immolate on September 4, 2014 at 12:22 PM

The GOP has NO ONE to blame but themselves, and until they are willing to employ the same bare knuckle tactics as the LEFT, nothing will CHANGE.

Raquel Pinkbullet on September 4, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Preach it girl! Spot on as usual!!

ToddPA on September 4, 2014 at 12:32 PM

LOL! No Republican is pure enough! What is a Tea Gabber supposed to do??

Ned Pepper on September 4, 2014 at 12:19 PM

No Socialist is pure enough!!!

What’s a Peppered Ned to do!!??

ToddPA on September 4, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Leftist thugs won’t be content until it costs $20K/yr for “free” BC. They fail at everything they try to fix. Mostly because they don’t have the sense God gave a goat’s azz. With apologies to all the goats azzes out there PBHM.

SteveInRTP on September 4, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Why wait for the hearing? Just have the court release the new ruling now.

Its not like the hearing itself will have any impact on the ruling.

BobMbx on September 4, 2014 at 12:43 PM

So instead of Halbig being settled during the 2014 election cycle, it’s now heard by the circuit court and decided in the next several months and then gets bumped to the Supreme Court, which hears it and decides during the 2016 presidential election cycle. Not exactly a great scenario for the Democratic nominee, given the public feeling now on Obamacare, now that it’s no longer a hypothetical, as was the case in the 2012 ruling.

jon1979 on September 4, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Clownish third world kangaroo courts are one of the lasting legacies of O’Bozo – The Clown President.

Jaibones on September 4, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Not exactly a great scenario for the Democratic nominee, given the public feeling now on Obamacare, now that it’s no longer a hypothetical, as was the case in the 2012 ruling.

jon1979 on September 4, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Yes, that is why Republican Governors in Ruby Red Wyoming and Tennessee are signing up for Medicaid expansion under Obamacare!!

Brilliant!

Ned Pepper on September 4, 2014 at 12:48 PM

What is happening to the federal courts is what I experienced many years ago as a new co-pilot for a US airline when we had an interchange with a South American airline where they flew some of our aircraft during our off season and we flew some of their aircraft during their off season. The captain for our airline went to ferry one of our planes to the other country and asked the other country’s co-pilot if he would like to fly the plane home instead of the captain. The co-pilot answered that he really couldn’t fly that well and that he was there because of his family. Our judges are just like that co-pilot in that they do not have to have the integrity required to be a federal judge but who they know instead. This is the end of our country if this pervades the other courts and the public’s trust in our judicial system will be lost forever just like it has for the FBI, CIA, EPA, State, Supreme court and especially the Dept. of Justice.

inspectorudy on September 4, 2014 at 1:02 PM

So how is that Kansas thing working Peckerhead?

itsspideyman on September 4, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Ned I know this is off subject but do you still support an Obama dictatorship? You seem to have no problem with the government having more and more control over us. You seem to have no problem with Obama ignoring the congress. I am just curious and wonder why you give your king and Saviour,,, I assume that you are an atheist as well ,,, undue devotion that only the Lord should receive. Are you willing to get rid of the GOP and all the state governors as well. There are so many questions that I would love to hear but you seem never to have any answers.
t

garydt on September 4, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Ned Pepper on September 4, 2014 at 12:48 PM

you seem to have a stutter problem

smitty41 on September 4, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Meanwhile, in Realville, Obama’s approval rating is 15 points underwater.

Below 40%.

itsspideyman on September 4, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Ned Pepper on September 4, 2014 at 12:48 PM

How does it feel to know that the next GOP president will nullify this law by a 315M waiver EO on his first day in office?

Live by the power-grab, die by the power-grab. It’ll make your b*ching about gerrymandering, an underhanded tactic which your party also invented but now seems to hate, look like a minor complaint.

crrr6 on September 4, 2014 at 1:28 PM

What is so precious and sacred about filibusters? They should be eliminated completely. There is nothing in the Constitution about a minority of senators being able to reject a nomination.

If we care about blocking liberal judicial nominees, we should elect a Senate majority willing to do so, or, better yet, win the presidency.

Tony82 on September 4, 2014 at 1:35 PM

LOL! I know it hurts you but one by one even the most conservative states in the union are caving on Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.

Ned Pepper on September 4, 2014 at 12:10 PM

From page 4 of the 404care opinion:

5.CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS, joined by JUSTICE BREYER and JUSTICE KAGAN, concluded in Part IV that the Medicaid expansion violates the Constitution by threatening States with the loss of their existing Medicaid funding if they decline to comply with the expansion. Pp. 45–58.

The explanation for the reasoning of the unconstitutional provisions attached to the Medicaid expansion followed on page 5.

Put in terms you understand, SCOTUS found the implemented, strings attached Medicaid expansion unconstitutional; hence, there IS no Medicaid expansion “under 0bamacare.”

Newtie and the Beauty on September 4, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Why wait for the hearing? Just have the court release the new ruling now.

Its not like the hearing itself will have any impact on the ruling.

BobMbx on September 4, 2014 at 12:43 PM

Maybe they can put mannequins behind the bench to hear oral arguments…because you’re 100% correct. It wouldn’t surprise me if the decision has already been written.

DRayRaven on September 4, 2014 at 2:07 PM

George Soros’ group, Democracy Alliance, have succeeded in packing DC Court of Appeals with left-leaning judges to gain en banc reversal of Halbig/Obamacare decision. Plan outlined below in August & May 2014. Links included. Sorry I don’t have time to edit for brevity. Worth reading, IMHO, if interested in “how” & “why”.

Democracy Alliance Bankrolled Court-Packing Scheme
Influx of progressive judges to D.C. Court of Appeals could lead to en banc reversal of Halbig decision

LINK: http://freebeacon.com/politics/democracy-alliance-bankrolled-court-packing-scheme/
      
BY: Alana Goodman  
August 25, 2014 9:00 am

A shadowy network of wealthy liberal donors bankrolled an operation to pack one of America’s most powerful courts with progressive judges, according to documents reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon.

Now the effort could prevent an Obamacare challenge from reaching the Supreme Court, legal experts say.

The strategy to fill the D.C. Court of Appeals with left-leaning judges was aided by the American Constitution Society, a non-profit group that “promotes a progressive vision of the law.” The ACS is funded in part by the Democracy Alliance, a liberal donor network that funnels millions to a web of dark-money member groups.

During a fundraising presentation at the Democracy Alliance’s meeting in Chicago this spring, the American Constitution Society boasted about meeting its “performance goals,” which included helping to secure the Senate filibuster reform that paved the way for reshaping the D.C. circuit court.

The group said it “advanced filibuster reform” by “highlighting [the] issue in national media” and “successfully leveraging attention to create outcry for confirmation of long-stalled D.C. circuit nominees,” according to its presentation.

The ACS also said it drafted and supplied materials that were used by Senate Democrats to advance the rule change.

Experts argued these activities appeared to cross the line from education to lobbying.

“It bills itself as a tax-exempt educational organization, but obviously the American Constitution Society is engaging in policy-making activities,” said Daniel Epstein, the executive director of Cause of Action and an expert at the conservative Federalist Society. “They created the intellectual arsenal behind filibuster reform.”

“[The Democracy Alliance is] investing a lot of money to get the American Constitution Society to do things that are going to benefit the Democratic Party politically,” he said.

In an historic move, Senate Democrats used the “nuclear option” last year to eliminate filibuster rules that allowed the Republican minority to hold up executive and judicial nominees.

Republicans had been blocking several nominees to the D.C. Court of Appeals who they argued were radical judicial activists. The D.C. circuit court hears some of the most consequential appeals cases on issues ranging from health care reform to federal agency regulations.

Prior to the filibuster reform, the court was evenly divided between liberal-leaning and conservative-leaning judges. After the nuclear option, additional progressive judges were added to the D.C. circuit.

Three of the judges were ACS members, the group noted in its Democracy Alliance presentation.

The organization said it “met [its] goal to deepen ACS’ influence within the legal community” by getting “five members of ACS network confirmed to federal bench, including three of four new D.C. Circuit members.”

In the case Halbig v. Burwell, the D.C. circuit court rejected an Obamacare provision that provided taxpayer-funded subsidies to individuals in states that had set up state health care exchanges. Residents of states that declined to establish exchanges were not eligible for the tax credits.

The D.C. circuit’s decision in Halbig put it at odds with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which had ruled in favor of the federal government. The conflicting rulings made it more likely that the U.S. Supreme Court would take up the case.

However, the Obama administration is now pushing for the D.C. circuit to rehear the case en banc—meaning that it would go before a panel of all of the court’s active judges. Legal experts predict that such a hearing would favor the Obama administration, because a greater number of progressive judges sit on the bench.

If the D.C. circuit sides with the 4th circuit during a rehearing, it would be less likely the case would make it to the Supreme Court.

“You’d no longer have a circuit split, and therefore you’d have a less of a chance the Supreme Court will review,” said Epstein.

Secretive Soros-backed group looking to spend nearly $40M in 2014
By Lachlan Markay 
May 20, 2014 Washington Free Beacon

LINK: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/05/20/soros-backed-democracy-alliance-looking-to-spend-nearly-40m-in-2014/

A secretive dark money group backed by George Soros and other liberal mega-donors is looking to steer nearly $40 million to left-wing groups in 2014 to support high-profile political and policy efforts, according to documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. 

The documents reveal for the first time the Democracy Alliance’s full portfolio of supported organizations, a large network of powerful liberal groups looking to win key electoral and legislative victories. 

The Democracy Alliance connects major Democratic donors with some of the largest and most influential liberal activist groups in the country. Previous beneficiaries, such as the Center for American Progress and Media Matters for America, are set to get millions more in 2014. 

The list also reveals DA support for newer organizations, such as Organizing for Action, the advocacy group that succeeded President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. That group has received official sanction from the White House, and operates websites and social media accounts branded with the president’s name. 

In all, the document reveals, the Democracy Alliance hopes to provide $39.3 million to 20 organizations this year. If it meets those fundraising targets, it will likely be responsible for one out of every five dollars in those groups’ 2014 budgets. 

Alliance-supported organizations will spend more than $175 million in 2014, according to budget projections contained in the document. 

The Democracy Alliance is highly secretive in all of its operations. The donors it solicits and the organization to which it directs their financial support are prohibited from speaking publicly about its operations. 

Security was tight at its recent conference in Chicago where reporters from the Free Beacon and Politico were rebuffed by attendees who would not answer questions about their involvement with the group. 

The Free Beacon obtained and recently published a list of new Alliance “partners” — individuals and organizations that must pay $30,000 in dues and contribute at least $200,000 to DA-aligned groups each year — providing previously unreported details on its financial backing. 

NightmareOnKStreet on September 4, 2014 at 2:29 PM

What makes this shady (apart from Senate Democrats destroying the filibuster, I mean)

Republicans abused the hell out of the filibuster but you call fixing that shady, naturally.

Tlaloc on September 4, 2014 at 2:51 PM

I wish we could just get rid of that horrible law!!!

How can something done in such an undemocratic way still be on the books?

NO ONE wants this fiasco. Why can’t we rid ourselves of these tyrants?

petunia on September 4, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Undemocratic? It passed both houses of congress with 60% votes and was signed by the president and upheld by the SCOTUS once already. How much more democratic can it get?

Oh right you only think things you agree with count as democracy…which would be true if you could get a majority of americans to agree with you…but you can’t.

Tlaloc on September 4, 2014 at 2:54 PM

I never really expected this to stand. Even if the ruling had remained I think they would have figured a way around it. Regardless, the subsidies will be small comfort to those whose with the skyrocketing rates and deductibles and those who are suddenly dropped by employers and cast into the unknown. I hope the insurance companies don’t let me down and announce the changes in mid to late October.

Cindy Munford on September 4, 2014 at 11:31 AM

All the evidence so far is that there will be no rate skyrocket.

Tlaloc on September 4, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Three words – Lawgivers-In-Black (do note the capitalization).

Steve Eggleston on September 4, 2014 at 2:58 PM

And those governors are fools for riding the federal gravy train (like so many welfare kings/queens). Someday it will run out and then their state will be stuck with the bill.

Bitter Clinger on September 4, 2014 at 12:15 PM

“I paid for health care for my state’s people and all I got was health care for my state’s people.”

Yeah, somehow your argument doesn’t inspire a lot of sympathy, clinger. You really think paying for something like saving lives is a waste of money?

Tlaloc on September 4, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Meanwhile, in Realville, Obama’s approval rating is 15 points underwater.

Below 40%.

itsspideyman on September 4, 2014 at 1:12 PM

When will you earn to stop cherry picking polls? Didn’t the 2012 election teach you anything?

Instead of using single polls use a poll aggregation so you are snookered by outliers:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_obama_job_approval-1044.html

Tlaloc on September 4, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Tlaloc on September 4, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Darlin, most have already experienced significant increases in both premiums and deductibles, so no increases would the only acceptable news this October. Do you think that is going to happen?

Cindy Munford on September 4, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Yeah, somehow your argument doesn’t inspire a lot of sympathy, clinger. You really think paying for something like saving lives is a waste of money?

Tlaloc on September 4, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Moron. More people die because of Medicare’s denial of payments for services than all other insurance companies combined.

UnstChem on September 4, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Sep 04, 2014 at 3:14 pm UnstChem
… More people die because of Medicare’s denial of payments for services than all other insurance companies combined

Well then, maybe we should get rid of Medicare. Though I’m not sure what that has to do with the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

cam2 on September 4, 2014 at 4:02 PM

cam2 on September 4, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Well if you add Medicare killing people and the VA killing people, what makes you think that another government run agency in the form of Medicaid wouldn’t do the same?

Cindy Munford on September 4, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Well then, maybe we should get rid of Medicare. Though I’m not sure what that has to do with the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

cam2 on September 4, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Well if you add Medicare killing people and the VA killing people, what makes you think that another government run agency in the form of Medicaid wouldn’t do the same?

Cindy Munford on September 4, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Thinking is hard.

UnstChem on September 4, 2014 at 5:46 PM

We have two examples of single-payer insurance programs that when it comes to saving lives, are utter disasters.

But it’s only old people and less-than-worthless veterans, so give’s a rat’s rear-end, amirite?

I personally experienced another crappy single-payer system. The insurance and medical care that all active-duty military members get. Compared to the private healthcare systems, it’s utter shite.

UnstChem on September 4, 2014 at 5:53 PM

The full court wants to protect ObamaCare and they’re playing the only card they have to do so, even if it means ignoring their own standards for when to grant en banc petitions.

The nice thing about standards is that there are always so many to choose from….

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 4, 2014 at 6:09 PM

UnstChem on September 4, 2014 at 5:46 PM

When it comes to the examples of the loyal opposition at HotAir, there is no soft bigotry of low expectations because there are no expectations.

Cindy Munford on September 4, 2014 at 7:57 PM

Cindy Munford on September 4, 2014 at 7:57 PM

.
Ouch.

listens2glenn on September 4, 2014 at 8:12 PM