Independent judges applying straightforward legal principles should easily conclude that the Affordable Care Act provides financial assistance to all Americans who need it, regardless of who administers the insurance marketplace in their state.
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When the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in King vs. Burwell next week, all eyes will be on Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., to try to figure out which way he's leaning. After all, this case is the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act, and the last time the law was before the high court, Roberts was the deciding vote in favor of the government. There's one very good reason to think the chief justice will rule for the government again: He's too good a lawyer to do otherwise.
At the end of the day, what matters is not what President Obama said about the legality of his action; what matters is what the laws and precedents say, and they make clear that his action was lawful. When the Fifth Circuit reviews this week’s immigration decision on appeal, it should vindicate the views of the legal advisors who approved this action, and not the political advisors who presumably told him to say they wouldn’t.
While the American people rightly revere Washington, Madison, and their fellow Framers, it took the heroic efforts of President Lincoln and his generation to create the “more perfect Union” that we live in today. It’s only after the ratification of the Second Founding Amendments that the Constitution begins to emerge fully as the inspiring document that it is today. A century and a half later, this Second Founding deserves a proper celebration.