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Thursday round-up

There’s still more commentary on King v. Burwell, in which the Court will consider whether tax subsidies are available to individuals who purchase their health insurance on an exchange established by the federal government.  In particular, some of the commentary continues to focus on the issue of standing – whether the plaintiffs in the case have a legal right to pursue their challenge to the subsidies.  In his column for the Los Angeles Times, Michael Hiltzik contends that “[t]he fraying of the lawsuit’s claims and the doubts about its plaintiffs’ standing point to the fundamental problem with King v Burwell: it’s an ideological attack on Obamacare, . . . masquerading as a rule-of-law case.”  Rob Weiner weighs in on standing at Balkinization, criticizing the challengers’ failure to address the issue in their reply brief and arguing that, “[a]s a result, the uncertainty regarding the Court’s jurisdiction could well persist and perhaps intensify, an unfortunate outcome.”  In The Washington Post, Glenn Kessler evaluates statements made by Republican lawmakers on the subsidy issue, while at The Economist’s Democracy in America blog Steven Mazie “discuss[es] the odd but distinct possibility that it doesn’t matter whether the challengers or the government have the better interpretation of the provision in question.”   


  • At his eponymous blog, Lyle Denniston reports that the “often troubled system of war crimes trials at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, faced another setback Wednesday when its first conviction was nullified by a special military appeals court.”
  • In her column for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse discusses the possibility that the Court will once again take up the challenge to the consideration of race by the University of Texas at Austin in its undergraduate admissions program; she argues that the “path [the Justices] choose will tell us a good deal about the Roberts court’s tolerance for conflict and the limits, if any, of its drive to get the government out of the business of counting people by race.”
  • At Balls & Strikes, Calvin TerBeek discusses presidential elections and Supreme Court retirements, focusing on “which scenario — a Democratic president replacing Scalia and/or Kennedy; a Republican president replacing Ginsburg and/or Breyer — is better informed by political science.”

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Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 19, 2015, 7:59 AM),