Sunday, June 28, 2015

Health Care and Marriage Rights: Matter of Law Hopefully Forever

Now it's the law, too (about time)

Yeah, seriously

The most-important question for all Americans


Two biggies as they say. Two critically-important USSC rulings - both good and both hopefully will be settle law (for how long, we'll have to wait and see - the GOP is not about to give up - but they should).

King v. Burwell: Chaos, Pain, and Agony Adverted

UPDATED (June 25, 2015): USSC says, 6-3, the Federal subsidies at state levels are okay – will stand. 

Chief Justice John Roberts remarks for the 6-3 majority in part - (my emphasis added):  “In a democracy, the power to make the law rests with those chosen by the people. Our role is more confined —'to say what the law is … that is easier in some cases than in others. But in every case we must respect the role of the Legislature, and take care not to undo what it has done. A fair reading of legislation demands a fair understanding of the legislative plan. Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”

Recap as it were:  King v. Burwell was and remains a strong power ideologically-charged case for the GOP-Conservatives whose real-world implications were much more serious than political gain indicated during the process. Many GO-Conservatives argued against the ACA have undercut their argument in the past, showing the weakness of their own case. (See related link below).

Now it is high time that GOP-Conservatives stop playing political games with the livelihood of 10 of millions of Americans about health care and instead pitch in and help make it work. The well-being and financial stability of all Americans are much more important that partisan politics. But try telling that to the GOP.

To them political points along with more Congressional power is their only aim, and they have the unmitigated gall to say “we support the American people” practically in every speech and sound bite while in Congress. If gutting this law, which is working fine now by all accounts, is standing for the American people, and for many who now have affordable health care for the first times in their lives, then I would hate to see them “stand against the public.”

The other biggie: Gay marriage passes, just barely (another close 5-4): (emphases are mine)

Boy when a 5-4 ruling goes the GOP’s way it’s all yippee, Wahoo, drinks on me boys, but when a decision goes the other way – ouch … pass the crying towels and then work to find another way to repeal health care or gay rights, or hell even before voting rights gone: 5-4 Yippee for voter ID tough laws and other road blocks, but a 5-4 to protect the right equally to marry … hang the 5-4 court.

The 5-4 majority ruled that preventing same-sex people from marrying violated their constitutional right to due process under the 14th Amendment and that the states were unable to put forth a compelling reason to withhold that right from people, and was written by Justice Kennedy who said in part that not a majority

“… would be to misunderstand these men and women by saying they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.” (Amen to that statement Mr. Justice Kennedy).

Now the other end of a 5-4 spectrum from Chief Justice John Roberts who read a stinging dissent from the bench, as Kennedy sat beside him, saying in part:

“Five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law. Stealing this issue from the people will for many cast a cloud over same-sex marriage, making a dramatic social change that much more difficult to accept.”

Then the Chief Justice told same-sex couples they could “celebrate today’s decision,” even though he disagreed with it so strongly, adding: “Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”

(So, why did the case get to the high court in the first place, Mr. Chief Justice, and, isn’t the 14th Amendment (ratified in 1868) as Justice Kennedy cited it part of the Constitution – which is equal justice under law – is that not now not true?).

At this point how about Rick Perry moment: “Oops.”

Related:
1.  The ACA bill passed and was signed into law in March 2010 without one single Republican vote of support.
2.  It has been a focus of GOP-Conservative outrage ever since with nearly 60 votes in congress to repeal it – drive a stake through it – all failed.
3.  In 2012, the Supreme Court first upheld the central provision of the law requiring Americans to carry health insurance or pay a penalty, in a close 5-4 decision.

GOP Myths that have proven to be just that: Mythical (all links from Media Matters):    

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