HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Creighton University School of Law

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

ACA Oral Argument Day 3

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Mr. Clement, there are so many things in this Act that are unquestionably okay. I think you would concede that reauthorizing what is the Indian Healthcare Improvement Act changes to long benefits, why make Congress redo those? I mean it's a question of whether we say everything you do is no good, now start from scratch, or to say, yes, there are many things in here that have nothing to do frankly with the affordable healthcare and there are some that we think it’s better to let Congress to decide whether it wants them in or out. So why should we say it's a choice between a wrecking operation, which is what you are requesting, or a salvage job. And the more conservative approach would be salvage rather than throwing out everything....

JUSTICE KAGAN: I mean, we have never suggested that we were going to say, look, this legislation was a brokered compromise and we are going to try to figure out exactly what would have happened in the complex parliamentary shenanigans that go on across the street and figure out whether they would have made a difference. Instead, we look at the text that's actually given us. For some people, we look only at the text. It should be easy for Justice Scalia's clerks.(Laughter.)...

JUSTICE SCALIA: I don't care whether it's clerks. I care whether it's easy for me. (Laughter.)

Transcript and audio files are now available, here. [NPT]

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