On June 15, 2015, the Supreme Court, without comment, declined to review a decision by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruling striking down North Carolina’s requirement that doctors take an ultrasound and describe the image to a woman before performing an abortion. The U.S. Court of Appeals found that the requirement violated the First Amendment rights of the doctor performing the procedure.
The Obama administration’s top healthcare officials are urging Congress and state officials to develop a solution if the Supreme Court stops the payment of health insurance subsidies to millions of Americans by ruling for the plaintiff in King v. Burwell. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, testified before the House Ways and Mean Committee that “[t]he critical decisions will sit with Congress and states and governors.” This sense of urgency for Congress and the states stems from the fact that according to Ms. Burwell and the White House, the Administration has no plan in place to react to the Court’s decision if it strikes down the subsidies.
President Obama declared Monday that King v. Burwell is “an easy case” and further stated that “[f]rankly, it probably shouldn’t even have been taken up.” Obama stressed that he expected the King case to result in a quick ruling, while emphasizing the importance of the Court “do[ing] what most legal scholars who’ve looked at this would expect them to do.” Obama argued that if the Court found contrary to "legal scholars," the Court would essentially level a monumental blow to millions relying on subsidized health care. One wonders what makes this case so easy and why does the President have so much confidence in this case?
In a USA Today article speculating about the possible retirement of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia, CFJ’s Curt Levey notes that "an incredible amount rests on this next presidential election. The Supreme Court could take a dramatic turn in either direction."
George Will writing in the Washington Post points to the radical nature of Senate democrats' attempt to amend the Bill of Rights.
This week saw two federal court opinions in the gay-marriage debate resulting in two polar opposite rulings.
Jonathan Adler of the Washington Post's Volokh Conspiracy reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has granted rehearing en banc in Halbig v. Burwell.
SCOTUSblog reports that the Supreme Court has issued a stay on the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which had held that Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
SCOTUSblog reports that a federal judge has struck down Washington, D.C.’s total ban on carrying a gun in public. The decision, which was five-years in the making, is a huge win for advocates of liberty.
NBC News reports that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage. The ruling handed down today, which conjures up a fundamental right of homosexuals to marry, is a stark reminder that the once conservative appeals court is fast becoming the new Ninth Circuit.