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Judge’s Pizza Analogy Gets Obama-Care Law Backwards

From the Politico:

Judge interprets Obamacare with pizza order

By JOSH GERSTEIN | July 22, 2014

Could pizza be the key to understanding Congress’s intent in a disputed section of the Obamacare law? One of the judges who ruled on the issue Tuesday seemed to think so…

"If I ask for pizza from Pizza Hut for lunch but clarify that I would be fine with a pizza from Domino’s, and I then specify that I want ham and pepperoni on my pizza from Pizza Hut, my friend who returns from Domino’s with a ham and pepperoni pizza has still complied with a literal construction of my lunch order," Senior 4th Circuit Judge Andre Davis wrote in a concurring opinion…

"That is this case: Congress specified that Exchanges should be established and run by the states, but the contingency provision permits federal officials to act in place of the state when it fails to establish an Exchange. The premium tax credit calculation subprovision later specifies certain conditions regarding state-run Exchanges, but that does not mean that a literal reading of that provision somehow precludes its applicability to substitute federally-run Exchanges or erases the contingency provision out of the statute," Davis wrote.

This man is a federal judge? If this is an example of the brain power of the 4th Circuit Court, it’s no wonder they ruled in favor of the administration. Judge Davis’ pizza analogy is laughably inapt. Nowhere in the law does it say subsidies can go to either federal or state exchanges.

In fact, the Obama-Care law says exactly the opposite. The law carefully specifies that only the state exchanges would be eligible for subsidies. Which was purposefully done by Congress because they wanted to ‘incentivize’ (aka force) the states to build Obama-Care exchanges.

So, consequently, there is nothing in the law that says if a state doesn’t start an exchange its residents can just call up another store (the federal government) and get a subsidy.

Two of Davis’s 4th Circuit colleagues agreed that the Obama Administration’s interpretation of the law was a better one… All three 4th Circuit judges on the case also said the courts were obliged to defer to reasonable agency interpretations of such laws…

Davis was appointed to the 4th Circuit by Obama and was earlier appointed to the federal district court in Maryland by President Bill Clinton.

Say no more.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “Judge’s Pizza Analogy Gets Obama-Care Law Backwards”

  1. Petronius says:

    Good bloody grief.

    The first principle of statutory construction (and for the construction of constitutions, regulations, contracts, wills, and other written documents) is the plain meaning rule:

    Where the language of the statute is clear and unambiguous on its face, a court must apply the plain meaning of the words as written by Congress. This means the language of the statute must be enforced as written, without resort to rules of interpretation or examination of Congressional intent.

    As we see here, in the case of Judge Andre Davis, affirmative action for judges is a very bad idea — worse even than affirmative action for airline pilots or brain surgeons, because while a country may survive a hundred airplane crashes or a thousand botched surgeries, it cannot survive the destruction of the rule of law.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:


    President Phone’n’pen will just quickly and surreptitiously “fix” this wording error likkity-split, and no one will say a word.

    So what difference, at this point, does it make?

    We are ruled by high school sophomores, complete with hi-top, hi-dollar basketball shoes, pants-over-their-a**es and smug smirks of overconfidence. What could possibly go wrong?

    Yo, s’up wid dat?

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