Friday, October 04, 2013

Ignorance (Supreme Court Edition)

Jason Mazzone

I am looking forward to Ilya Somin's posts on his new book. Until then, let's take a look at how one Slate columnist explains the operations of the Supreme Court. In an article called "The Millions Left Out of Health Reform by John Roberts," Matthew Yglesias reports that the fact that working poor in certain states will not benefit from the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion is "due to the actions of Chief Justice John Roberts" who, in NFIB v. Sebelius, "burnished his conservative cred by striking down the penalties portion of the Medicaid expansion." As a result, Mr. Yglesias says, "[t]here are going to be pockets of the country where poor people continue to lack insurance for quite a long time, all thanks to Roberts and the stubborn intransigence of conservative politicians." The Chief Justice certainly enjoys some special powers. But who knew he could singlehandedly invalidate an act of Congress? He can't, of course. Even in the world of Slate reporters, one plus zero doesn't equal five.

And for the record, Slate readers, in the portion of Sebelius dealing with the Medicaid expansion issue, seven Supreme Court justices, including those notorious Tea Party heroes Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan, "burnished" their "conservative cred" and should therefore be blamed for depriving poor people of healthcare.            

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