Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano blasted the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Thursday on upholding Obamacare subsidies, taking special aim at Chief Justice John Roberts.
Roberts had to put himself through “bizarre and odd contortions” in order to reach the decision in King vs. Burwell, he told Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer on “America’s Newsroom Thursday.
“My immediate reaction is that the chief justice has yet again resorted to a nearly unheard of construction in order to save the statute,” the retired judge said.
“Last time around, when the government said it was not a tax and the challengers said it was not a tax, the chief justice ruled it was a tax and that saved it,” he said, referring to the court’s 2012 decision in NFIB vs. Sebelius.
“This time around, he took the plain meaning of ordinary words, ‘established by the states,’ and somehow held that they were ambiguous, and that he could — and that the majority could — correct the ambiguity according to what they thought the drafters meant.”
The issue in King vs. Burwell was whether individuals residing in states that had not set up their own exchanges could claim health care subsidies.
A plain reading of the law would indicate that they could not. Roberts and five other justices disagreed.
“The court is now in the business of saving a statute in order to save its reputation,” Napolitano said, paraphrasing Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissenting opinion.
The chief justice “will continue to undermine his won credibility as a fair-minded jurist, because he has reached to bizarre and odd contortions in order to save this statute twice,” Napolitano said.
The decision must have been particularly stinging for Napolitano, who told Megyn Kelly in early June he expected the court was preparing to rule against the administration.
“This is a weird and and unpredictable outcome,” he concluded.
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