Chief Justice Roberts addressed the D.C. Circuit’s bench and bar in his first public remarks since he dropped the Health Care Cases bombshell on Thursday, reports Joe Mandak for the Associated Press. Roberts, a former D.C. Circuit Judge, was the guest of honor at the D.C. Circuit Judicial Conference the day after he announced the decision upholding most of the Affordable Care Act.
Although he dodged a question about how “one recent opinion might fit into” the Court’s legacy, the Chief Justice did allude to his largely unexpected decision to uphold most of the Affordable Care Act. Continue reading
In his dissent in Seven-Sky v. Holder, Judge Kavanaugh opined that the Affordable Care Act’s “shared responsibility payment” is a tax, and that it is therefore subject to the Anti-Injunction Act, which deprives the court of pre-enforcement jurisdiction over “any tax.” A majority of the Supreme Court (Chief Justice Roberts, joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan) agreed with Judge Kavanaugh on the first point (that the mandate may be considered a tax) but disagreed with him on the second (that it is subject to the AIA). The competing rationales behind these decisions reflect two different conceptions of judicial restraint. Continue reading