Today, Attorney Michael Carvin will argue before the Supreme Court that the Affordable Care Act—or "Obamacare" if you're so inclined—is unconstitutional on the grounds that complying with it causes his clients undue hardship. If he wins, millions will lose their insurance and President Obama's most sizable domestic achievement to date will be effectively kneecapped. The reasons he thinks he'll win may... confuse you.
Yesterday's Wall Street Journal contains a short profile of Carvin, whose work for King v Burwell is his second time challenging Obamacare. The entire chest thumping thing's worth a read, but this bit reads especially strangely (emphasis added).
Mr. Carvin is optimistic about his prospects in the current suit. He said the loss in the 2012 case, which contended Congress lacked the constitutional authority to require individuals to carry insurance, came in part because it was tough to prove what the framers would have made of the overhaul the modern health-care marketplace. He also said he faced legal precedents that, to many conservatives' chagrin, have increasingly deferred to Congress.
In contrast, Wednesday's argument involves "a statute that was written three years ago, not by dead white men but by living white women and minorities," Mr. Carvin said. "It hasn't had time to 'grow' or 'evolve,'" he adds, mocking terms liberals have invoked for constitutional doctrines that conservatives deride as unsupported by the 18th century text.
He cites an unlikely inspiration for his fight: Atticus Finch, who in "To Kill a Mockingbird" defends a black man charged with raping a white woman in small-town Alabama's racist justice system.
In addition to having a lead attorney with what sounds like a terrible case of foot-in-mouth disease, recent reports have called into question the legal standing for the plaintiffs in the case. Of the four plaintiffs, two are Vietnam vets, which means they qualify for free healthcare through the Veterans Administration and the Affordable Care Act doesn't affect them. One reported an income low enough that, by law, she should not be required to purchase insurance for herself. The fourth listed a hotel room as her permanent address; if she resided in a different area, the individual mandate may not apply to her.
Anyway, buckle in, guys. This is going to be fun!
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