Marquel, TPVs NYTimes White Out Section correspondent, was thinking who was the most adorable U.S. Supreme Court Justice, when he read Four Words That Imperil Health Care Law Were All a Mistake, Writers Now Say.
Marquel read that four words in the Obamacare statute clearly and strictly offer subsidies only to states that have their own insurance exchanges. A handful of States don’t, enough to deep six the entire law. Now the law’s supporters say the four words which unambiguously say the subsidies only apply to states that have their own exchanges, are a
” mistake, a drafting error that wasn’t caught in the final draft.”
Justice Scalia, who fancies himself “a strict constructionist” and has decided countless cases based upon “the words Congress wrote, not the words congress wished”, will certainly vote no against this juvenile argument
” he made me say it, he made me say it, that’s not what I meant, that’s not what I meant”.
The larger problem are the so called liberals who have spent decades castigating Scalia and his ilk for their strict approach to language. Marquel could hear the Reagan antiliberal Alzheimer refrain echoing in his ears, ” there they go again ” and he’d be right.
What’s worse is the consequences, the so called slippery slope argument. Once liberals say the law doesn’t mean what it says, where does it stop?
Marquel asked Mufi, who has advanced postgraduate degreesfrom Oxford and Cambridge in jurisprudence and language.
“The possibilities are endless. Did you know that both Jefferson and Madison had doubts about the first amendment? It wasn’t even the first. It was the second until the true first was defeated. The forefathers never imagined unrestricted speech as interpreted by the supreme court. In fact they were afraid of exactly that, that the court would either gut it or expand it. And there are four words that seem to have snuck in there, ‘the freedom of speech’ which were never intended. “
“It’s true. I have a diary of Jefferson and he never once talks about speech. It never entered his mind. The first amendment is based on a legislative error just like obamacare.” He said.
“Let me see that diary, “I demanded.
Sure enough, the diary was filled with references to Mrs Jefferson’s complaints that he could no longer ‘service her. ‘ And one passage stuck out, ”
oh If I could only have at night what I have in the morning, I would trade that whole amendment about freedom of priests'”
“I’m afraid so. It was all about protecting religion. But that’s not what it says. Should we enforce the words or the intent? After all, it was an error, a mistake. ”
“Tons. Look at the 13th amendment that abolished slavery. The words ‘slavery or involuntary servitude’ were inserted by a black scribe. No one suspected. ” Mufi said.
“According to Andrew Johnson’s notes, and he had a lot to do with this, it originally said, ‘water or sand traps. ‘ He was a big golfer and thought the American game shouldn’t resemble its ‘dishonest European roots. ‘” said Mufi.
“According to Johnson’s notes, it would have said, ‘neither water nor sand traps. .. shall exist within the United States. …’ “
“Aha!” He exclaimed. “Does it matter? Should secret notes, diaries, or even errors, take precedence over the clear words of the Congress or founding fathers? ”
“But it’s not a questions of degrees. It’s a question about how you want your legal system to work. The rule of law or of second thoughts?”
“Do you want the court rewriting laws because somebody goofed? Who writes the laws here, congress or the courts? Shouldn’t Congress just amend the statute if they agree it’s a mistake? Should the court do that? Next time it may be the other side saying there was an error, are you going to agree to change the law according to somebody’s complaint about mistake? Are you ready to set that precedent?” He asked.
“So for expedience you’d rather change our entire constitutional structure which says only the Legislature legislates?” Said Mufi.