Follow The Tracks: Barrett Repeatedly Attacked Rulings Upholding The ACA
October 13, 2020
At the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing just now, Senator Klobuchar highlighted how all you have to do is follow the tracks to know that Amy Coney Barrett will in all likelihood vote to terminate the Affordable Care Act — Trump said his nominee would overturn the law and Barrett has a long record of attacking rulings upholding the ACA.
Trump pledged that his Supreme Court nominee would “do the right thing” and gut the ACA.
“If I win the presidency, my judicial appointments will do the right thing unlike Bush’s appointee John Roberts on ObamaCare.” – Trump, 2015
Trump trashed a Supreme Court justice for voting to uphold the ACA.
“Remember, Cruz And Bush gave us Roberts who upheld #ObamaCare twice! I am the only one who will #MAKEAMERICAGREATAGAIN!” – Trump, 2016
“Justice Roberts, everybody liked Justice Roberts, turned out to be a disaster because of Obamacare. He could have killed it twice, and he turned out to be a total disaster, so.” – Trump, 2016
Barrett attacked the 2012 Supreme Court ruling which upheld the ACA’s individual mandate.
Washington Post: “Among the most revealing was an essay she wrote at the start of 2017, four months before Trump nominated her to the circuit bench. In the essay published by a journal of Notre Dame Law School, where she was a professor, Barrett argues that judges should respect the text of laws and contends that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who wrote the majority opinion the first time the Supreme Court upheld the health-care law, “pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statute.”
Washington Post: “In the essay, Barrett wrote that the court majority in the 2012 case, NFIB v. Sebelius, that upheld the law ‘expresses a commitment to judicial restraint by creatively interpreting ostensibly clear statutory text,’ so that “its approach is at odds with the statutory textualism to which most originalists subscribe.”
Barrett attacked the 2015 ruling upholding the ACA’s tax subsidies.
BARRETT: “I think the dissent has the better of the legal argument. That’s not to say that the result isn’t preferable. I mean, it’s clearly a good result that these millions of Americans won’t lose their tax subsidies. But just in terms of the analysis of the statute, seems to me, I was kind of thinking that the phrase ‘established by a state’ was clear.”
NPR’s TOM ASHBROOK: “If the Court had taken this phrase, which clearly did not align with the intent of the law, and overturned in effect the whole law on that basis, would that have made it an activist Court, not in line with conservative legal principles?” BARRETT: “Well, let’s see. I think that the phrase ‘activist court’ is sometimes used to describe a court that is willing to overturn statutes passed by Congress. Or state legislatures, for that matter. But I would say that actually, I don’t think of the term ‘activist’ in that way, because you might say that to uphold the Constitution as against legislation is exactly what a Court ought to be doing.”
Vox: “Many fair-minded lawyers — including the six justices who joined the majority in King — would no doubt take issue with Barrett’s suggestion that King distorted the text of Obamacare. But if Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court, it won’t really matter what those lawyers think. If Barrett is a justice, she’ll be free to vote against Obamacare even if her reading of the statute is idiosyncratic.”