‘A Collection of Politicians in Robes’

That’s what Yale Law School professor and The New York Times columnist Linda Greenhouse accused members of the Supreme Court of being after they agreed to hear the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act. For his part, Princeton professor and fellow NYT columnist Paul Krugman called this a “cruel absurdity,” and suggested the court would “pervert the law to serve political masters.”

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Obamacare and the Language of Law

On Sept. 30, Judge Ronald A. White of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma delivered his decision in Pruitt v. Burwell, the third of four related cases to have received a judgment. The four cases challenge the IRS ruling that ObamaCare subsidies will be given to policyholders who’ve purchased health insurance in exchanges established by the federal government. Like the verdict in Halbig v. Burwell, Judge White found for the plaintiffs and against the IRS, and he vacated the IRS regulation pending appeal. The other case to have received a judgment is King v. Burwell, which found for the government. So we have a 2-1 split. The U.S. Supreme Court must eventually weigh in.

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Don’t Count On Courts to Protect Your Privacy – They Protect the Status Quo

With it becoming increasingly clear every day that Congress will not take any substantive action to stop NSA spying, some privacy advocates have begun to pin their hopes on the federal courts.

If history serves as any indication, they will find themselves equally disappointed with the judiciary. Courts tend to defer to the government, especially when it comes to “national security.”

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Eric Holder & Other Overreaching Prosecutors

An important citizen protection against government is the rule that in criminal prosecutions, criminal statutes are interpreted strictly. In other words, if the government wants to punish someone for violating a statute, it has to show that the defendant’s behavior was illegal beyond a reasonable doubt under the clear wording of the statute. Citizens are not held criminally responsible for guessing “wrong” about the meaning of an ambiguous law.

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