10 choice words from Justice Scalia's King v. Burwell dissent

From the justice who has brought phrases like "argle-bargle," "fairyland castle," and "Ask the nearest hippie," to the high court, Justice Antonin Scalia's words did not disappoint Thursday in his dissenting opinion on the King v. Burwell ruling. The dissent was packed with colorful expressions and quite a few scathing words.

Here are 10 highlights from Justice Scalia's dissent.

"You would think the answer would be obvious — so obvious there would hardly be a need for the Supreme Court to hear a case about it," Justice Scalia said regarding the crux of the case — to decide whether people who buy insurance on federal exchanges should receive subsidies.

"Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is 'established by the State.'"

"Impossible possibility, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act!" This exclamation came in protest of the idea that "Exchange established by the State" might also refer to federal exchanges.

"The Court's next bit of interpretive jiggery-pokery involves other parts of the Act that purportedly presuppose the availability of tax credits on both federal and state Exchanges."

"Pure applesauce." Justice Scalia referred to this snack in regards to claims that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act must equate federal and state exchanges if it defines "qualified individuals" as those who live in the "State that established the Exchange," because there would otherwise be no qualified individuals on federal exchanges.

"Could anyone maintain with a straight face that §36B is unclear?"

"What are the odds, do you think, that the same slip of the pen occurred in seven separate places?" Justice Scalia asked, referring to the term "Exchange established by the State," which appeared seven times throughout the PPACA in conjunction with tax credits.

"We should start calling this law SCOTUScare." This scorcher refers to what Justice Scalia believes is the Supreme Court revising the law to uphold it.

"The somersaults of statutory interpretation they have performed ... will be cited by litigants endlessly, to the confusion of honest jurisprudence." Here, Justice Scalia refers to the majority opinion.

"And the cases will publish forever the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites."

 

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