Democrats Join The Supreme Court's Fan Club With Obamacare Ruling & There Are More Decisions To Come
OK, folks — the decision is in. The Supreme Court, with a ruling of 6-3, in the recent King v. Burwell case, upheld Obamacare and saved health care costs from hiking up considerably in 34 states. President Obama made a speech in the Rose Garden, supporters celebrated outside the courthouse, and Washington's media interns made a mad dash for the much anticipated decision. But one interesting side effect of SCOTUS' decision is that Democrats are fast becoming the Supreme Court's fan club.
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomeyer, and Elena Kagan joined in the majority decision while Justices Anthony Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito filed a dissenting opinion. And, in a brilliant moment of snark, Scalia said the Supreme Court's decision "rewrites the law" and said he would now like to refer to Obamacare as "SCOTUScare," saying that the Supreme Court played too large a role in deciding the "Act's limitation of tax cuts to state exchanges." But despite the grumpy dissents, "The Affordable Care Act is here to stay," as Obama remarked in his speech.
After the Hobby Lobby decision of 2014, the Supreme Court wasn't doing so well on the left of the political spectrum. In case anyone wants a painful refresher, in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court decided in a 5-4 decision, that corporations could be exempt from covering the costs of contraception based on religious beliefs. RBG wrote a 35-page dissent of the decision in which she basically schooled anyone who isn't a woman and thinks he can decide what happens to her body. Legions of women joined RBG in a collective and ongoing eye-roll resulting from this decision.
But, with the first big decision of the summer, RBG is joined by five other justices in her support of the rights of healthcare for everyone, and the Supreme Court is in tune with the rest of progressive America. And with five decisions still to come, including one that could legalize gay marriage in the U.S., liberal America could soon become the majority of the Supreme Court's fan club. Here are a few factors that could determine just how happy progressive America will be.
The Supreme Court Could Really Go Either Way On Gay Marriage
During the oral arguments in April, Kennedy argued both sides of the marriage coin, reported NBC News. He suggested that marriage has been traditionally between a man and a woman, and he told Mary Binuto, a lawyer representing same-sex couples, "It's very difficult for the court to say, 'Oh, well, we know better.'" Except, well, that's kind of what we are asking the Supreme Court to do when hearing Obergefell v. Hodges: know and do better. When the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in the summer of 2013, it did not address section 2, which allows states to refuse same-sex couples to marry. Liberal-leaning folks have long been fighting to repeal the rest of DOMA, and if the Supreme Court gets real, the hands-clapping emoji will show up throughout liberal America's text message exchanges.
Can Everyone Play Fair When Deciding Lethal Injection?
In April, Slate reported that the oral arguments over the issue of lethal injection in the case of Glossip v. Gross caused the Supremes to get a little heated over a chemical called "midazolam hydrochloride." During the argument, the justices discussed the issue that "a failure to sedate the prisoner" would result in a violation of the Eighth Amendment, which prompted Sotomayor to ask whether there is a "risk that we may be burning a person alive who's paralyzed." This argument started with tame questioning and analyzation. But Slate reported that by the end of the argument, Roberts stepped in to "scold his colleagues" on their less-than-professional behavior. Capital punishment has long been an issue debated between Republicans and Democrats. Regulating lethal injections might be seen as a step toward change for those who oppose the death penalty.
SCOTUS Is Still Split On Clean Air Costs
The Supreme Court is still trying to figure out whether they want to hold the EPA accountable for failing to take into consider punishing costs when setting regulations on mercury and toxic pollutants. When looking at whether the EPA violated the Clean Air Act, Scalia called the EPA's behavior a "classic arbitrary and capricious agency action." The Clean Air Act required any regulations to be "appropriate and necessary," to which Kennedy responded that "'appropriate' is a capricious term." Get ready to rumble on environmental justice, SCOTUS. From Al Gore to Hillary Clinton, Democratic politicians and their followers have long been pushing for a cleaner world. Let's see what SCOTUS has to say on this one.
No matter the issue, the Supreme Court has a lot on its plate before the end of its 2015 decisions. Liberals are going to be waiting with baited breath over each of these issues. Play your cards right, SCOTUS, and when you look to the left, you'll see nothing but smiles.
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