More than Health Insurance

From The New Yorker:

Health-care-supreme-court-protestOn Monday, the case of the century got even bigger. In challenges to the Affordable Care Act in lower courts, several judges gave the Supreme Court an escape hatch. These judges, including Brett Kavanaugh, a young judge sure to make Republican short lists for the Supreme Court, said that the Justices should kick the can down the road and put off a decision for a year or two. Specifically, Kavanaugh said that the Tax Anti-Injunction Act (a deeply obscure law) compelled the Justices to put off a decision on the law until it takes full effect, in 2014.

Across the ideological spectrum, the Justices, through their questions to the lawyers arguing for and against the upholding the A.C.A., declined the invitation for delay. They all (that is, the eight who asked questions; Clarence Thomas did not) seemed to recognize that there were legal and prudential reasons to resolve this issue now. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, the act “does not apply to penalties that are designed to induce compliance with the law, rather than to raise revenue. And this is not a revenue-raising measure because, if it’s successful, they—nobody will pay the penalty, and there will be no revenue to raise.” The Court, it now seems clear, will decide this case on the merits.

More here.