The rest of the Supreme Court’s term

With three decision days remaining — today, tomorrow, and next Monday — Ilya Shapiro outlines the remaining seven cases and their importance, including Texas Dept. of Housing v. Inclusive Communities Project (are defendants liable under “disparate impact” theories in housing discrimination law?) and King v. Burwell (interpreting Congress’s language on Obamacare subsidies).

Update: Both of those cases were decided this morning. In King v. Burwell, the Court broke 6-3 for the administration to uphold the IRS’s rewrite of ObamaCare subsidies. The Court keeps on hand a supply of what one observer called Get Out Of Bad Drafting Free cards, but as Justice Scalia noted in his “SCOTUScare” dissent, awards them only for certain laws. And the housing case was a big win for the left as Justice Anthony Kennedy joined the four liberals to uphold housing suits based on “disparate impact” theories. His opinion throws a sop or two about how disparate impact shouldn’t imply quotas, which I suspect will mean about as much as similar sops the Court has thrown over the years in employment and education, i.e., not much. (P.S. As one reader rightly objects, the problem in Burwell wasn’t so much bad drafting as drafting that failed of its intended coercive effect and therefore needed to be revised if there was to be a Plan B. More on King v. Burwell: Roger Pilon and Ilya Shapiro at Cato)


  • Hmmm….I guess plain English doesn’t mean what it says. It means what I want it to say, regardless of the words. So much for “rule of law”. And back to rule of 5 people in robes……

  • Re: King v. Burwell–whatever it is, it is not law.

  • The majority opinion does not seem to me to be the work of a judge who believes his role to be that of a neutral umpire, calling balls and strikes.

  • This is a new rule of statutory interpretation–wait and see. If Congress doesn’t judge the real-world reaction to statutes, the Court can fix it. Does anyone doubt that had 45 states set up an exchange, there wouldn’t be a single vote for the current interpretation? So, basically, state legislative enactments or the absence thereof, are now an interpretative aid.


  • I’ve come to the conclusion that the rule of law is mere window dressing. We have a Supreme Court that has little if any connection to reality, a Congress that refuses to do it’s job in a linear, honest fashion, and an Executive branch that just does not care at all about real outcomes. It matters not what side of the aisle I’m on- I get no relief as I see law after law after court decision take away what very little I have. Seriously, I give up. I’m just glad that I have no children that will have to clean this mess up when the party is finally over.

    I’m actually warming to the idea of Bernie Sanders as President. He can’t make circumstances any worse than what we have now. At least he sorta supports the 2nd Amendment. No telling anymore what SCOTUS would do on a straight yes or no decision.

  • “But this Court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex
    marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us.
    Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what
    the law is, not what it should be. The people who ratified
    the Constitution authorized courts to exercise “neither
    force nor will but merely judgment.” The Federalist No.
    78, p. 465 (C. Rossiter ed. 1961) (A. Hamilton) (capitalization

    From the second paragraph of Chief Justice Roberts’ dissent in Obergefell et al v.

    I wonder where that sentiment can be found in his King v Burwell decision yesterday, where I can find no trace of it…

  • @Bill H
    I am not sure Bernie Sanders would take his Second Amendment support from pro-gun Vermont to the national stage. As a Congressperson from upstate NY,Kirsten Gillibrand was a reliable gun-rights supporter, but now as a NY-wide Senator, she is mainly known for Mattress Girl and seeking to impose Mattress-Girl standards on the US military.

    PS: It can get worse. Look up Venezuela.