Affordable Care Act

  • February 23, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    Staven Rattner discusses in The New York Times how the Affordable Care Act is working for tens of millions in the United States.

    At Talking Points Memo, Steve Peoples writes that governors throughout the country have no plan if the Supreme Court rules against the Affordable Care Act subsidies.

    Nicholas Stephanopoulos argues in the Los Angeles Times that the Supreme Court’s decision on an upcoming Arizona redistricting case could present trouble for other sensible redistricting reform efforts throughout the country.

    Richard Gonzales reports for NPR that immigration courts are now “bogged down in delays” and have no immediate solutions to the crisis.

    At The Root, Charles D. Ellison explains how Republicans could sabotage Loretta Lynch’s confirmation as the first African-American Attorney General.

  • February 20, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    Mark Berman reports for The Washington Post that a Texas county has issued the state’s first marriage license to a same-sex couple. The Texas Supreme Court has issued a stay to halt other such marriages, and the Texas attorney general is arguing that the same-sex couple’s marriage is void, reports the Associated Press.

    Also in The Washington Post, George Sargent writes that a Supreme Court decision against the Affordable Care Act could cost the United States billions of dollars.

    At Talking Points Memo, Sahil Kapur examines the strategy of Affordable Care Act defenders to persuade Chief Justice John Roberts in King v. Burwell.

    Joel Cohen considers in Slate how to reform grand juries in the wake of the controversial Ferguson grand jury and public distrust of the grand jury system.

    At the blog for the Brennan Center for Justice, Michael Li discusses two Texas redistricting cases working their way through the courts.

    Gail Collins writes for The New York Times about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s growing popularity and refusal to retire.

  • February 19, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    In the Los Angeles Times, Michael Hiltzik asserts that the continued unraveling of the case against the Affordable Care Act in King v. Burwell reveals that the case is merely “an ideological attack…masquerading as a rule-of-law case.”

    Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post examines whether GOP lawmakers have changed their opinions on the subsidies in the Affordable Care Act.

    Cristian Farias argues at The New Republic that the recent federal judge’s temporary injunction that blocked President Barack Obama’s immigration action was a political move.

    In The New York Times, ACS Board of Directors Member Linda Greenhouse considers with the Supreme Court will hear another case on affirmative action.

    At the blog for the Brennan Center for Justice, Michael Li writes that two cases before the Supreme Court this term may allow politicians greater freedom to gerrymander.

    Irin Carmon reports for MSNBC that Mississippi has requested that the Supreme court rule on a law that would close the state’s last abortion clinic.

  • February 18, 2015
    Guest Post

    by Rob Weiner, formerly Associate Deputy Attorney General in the United States Department of Justice, is a partner at Arnold & Porter LLP. This post first appeared at Balkinization.

    The issue of standing to sue has prompted the latest commotion in King v. Burwell, where the Petitioners ask the Supreme Court to deny low-income families the tax subsidies granted under the Affordable Care Act to help them purchase health insurance.  To bring a lawsuit in federal court, plaintiffs must have standing to sue.  The prerequisite for standing is injury.  Plaintiffs challenging a federal law thus must show either that it caused them injury or that they face an imminent risk of injury.  If the risk abates or is too speculative, the litigants have no standing, and the court therefore no longer has jurisdiction.

    The plaintiffs (now Petitioners) in King asserted standing based on a roundabout explanation of the harm they would suffer if they received this tax relief.  The subsidies, they claimed, would lower their cost of insurance below eight percent of their income, the threshold for the individual mandate to apply.  They therefore would be required under the ACA to purchase health insurance or pay a tax penalty—a sufficient injury to confer standing.

    Recently, however, some enterprising investigative reporters have raised doubts whether the subsidies would in fact cause any of the plaintiffs in King to be subject to the individual mandate.  Two of the four plaintiffs, it turns out, are veterans.  Eligibility for VA benefits, or at least enrollment in the program, would exempt them from the individual mandate.  A third plaintiff has relocated since the case was filed, and geographic variation in the cost of insurance could affect whether the subsidies put her under the eight percent threshold.  And reporters have questioned whether the fourth plaintiff has so little income that she would be exempt from the mandate even with the subsidies.

  • February 12, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    Jenny Kutner reports at Salon on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s belief that the United States would quickly adapt to nationwide same-sex marriage.

    At The New Republic, Brian Beutler asserts that the conservative case against the Affordable Care Act has reached the point of absurdity.

    William Greider considers in The Nation whether 2016 GOP presidential candidates would try to follow the example of Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore.

    At The Atlantic, Inimai M. Chettiar discusses a new report that shows how incarcerating more offenders may be counterproductive to reducing crime.

    Ciara Torres-Spelliscy writes at the blog for the Brennan Center for Justice that a new case could change campaign finance disclosure laws.