Civil and Human Rights

TV (FOX News Channel): Supreme Court to Hear Cases on Obamacare Legislation and Same-Sex Marriage

CAC Chief Counsel Elizabeth Wydra appeared in this piece broadcast on FOX News Channel’s Special Report with Bret Baier discussing the blockbuster Term developing at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Transcript below:

BRET BAIER: This could be a busy and historic year for the U.S. Supreme Court. Correspondent Shannon Bream has a preview tonight. 


This could be a busy and historic year for the U.S. Supreme Court. Correspondent Shannon Bream has a preview tonight. 


THOMAS DUPREE, FORMER JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: It’s a potentially very critical decision. 


SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: In March, 2015, the Supreme Court will once again delve into the legality of the Affordable Care Act and how it’s being interpreted. And it’s hard to overstate the impact the justices’ decision could have.


At issue is language in the law which says subsidies or tax credits to help people buy health insurance can only extend into states which have established their own exchanges. Thirty-six states chose not to, but the IRS decided to extend subsidies into those states anyway. 


DUPREE: I think everyone agrees that if you construe the statute literally, well, Obamacare could be in jeopardy. 


ELIZABETH WYDRA, CONSTITUTIONAL ACCOUNT CENTER: And that could be problematic obviously for those who are getting the tax credits but also could start what’s been called a death spiral in the insurance industry overall. 


BREAM: And while the nation’s highest court has thus far steered clear of deciding a same-sex marriage on the merits, the justices may no longer be able to avoid what is likely to be a historic debate. Until recently there was no split on the issue among the federal appeals courts.


WYDRA: But now there is, and that really puts the pressure on the court to take the case now. 


DUPREE: I think this is one of the most important constitutional questions of our time and I think the time is right for the Supreme Court to jump in and decide the case. 


BREAM: The issue of religious freedom is on the docket again this term, from a case involving a Muslim inmate fighting for the right to grow a beard, though it violates prison policy, to a church’s plea for equality when it comes to posting signs in public. Decisions in all the cases will be due by late June when it ends and when speculation or possible retirements really heats up. A growing number on the left are publicly urging Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to step down so that President Obama can nominate her successor. 


WYDRA: But she’s been pretty clear that she’s not in any hurry to leave the court.


DUPREE: She’s going strong. She’s doing a great job. She’s got great questions. She’s active, she’s engaged, and I don’t think she’s going to retire at least in the near future. 


BREAM: Four of the current justices are 76 of or older, including Justice Ginsburg who is 81. Bret?


BAIER: Shannon, thank you.



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