WASHINGTON – "An out-of-control act of judicial tyranny," said presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Condemnation of the Supreme Court from Republicans and conservatives burst like a dam following a decision effectively upholding Obamacare.
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In a 6-to-3 ruling in King v. Burwell, both Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy sided with the left wing of the court to confirm the legality of the nationwide tax subsidies in Obamacare. If the court had ruled otherwise, it would have meant six-to-eight million people would have lost their subsidies, effectively overturning the law.
A dumbfounded Judge Andrew Napolitano said the chief justice employed "bizarre and odd contortions" to save the statute twice.
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Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said the Supreme Court ruled "the law doesn't mean what it says," and worried it will soon rule on same-sex marriage that "the Constitution doesn't mean what it says."
Sen Ted Cruz, R-Texas, blistered the bench, charging, “For nakedly political reasons, the Supreme Court willfully ignored the words that Congress wrote, and instead read into the law their preferred policy outcome."
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"Unelected judges have once again become legislators, and bad ones at that. They are lawless, and they hide their prevarication in legalese. Our government was designed to be one of laws, not of men, and this transparent distortion is disgraceful," added the presidential candidate.
Later, during a speech on the Senate floor, Cruz referred to "rogue justices" who "are not behaving as umpires calling balls and strikes. They have joined a team, and it is a team that is hurting Americans across this country."
He added, if the "justices want to become legislators, I invite them to resign and run for office."
Perhaps the strongest condemnation of the ruling came from the court, itself.
In his dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, "We should start calling this law SCOTUScare," using the acronym for the Supreme Court of the United States.
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"Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is 'established by the State,'" he added. "It is hard to come up with a clearer way to limit tax credits to state Exchanges than to use the words ‘established by the State."
"I am stunned that the Supreme Court expanded the power of the executive branch to rewrite law it doesn’t like. Not only does this decision prop up a failed policy, it enshrines the principle that the president can trump Congress," observed Rep. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho.
"The Supreme Court's Obamacare acrobatics should dispel for good the comforting illusion that we can rely on judges to save us," said Sen. Jeff Sessions. R-Ala. "Whether on socialized medicine, executive amnesty, or any other action which erodes our Constitution and the powers of Congress, conservatives will have to rally the everyday voting citizen."
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, observed, "In recent years, the U.S. Constitution has taken a severe beating at the hands of this president’s administration. The United States Supreme Court has now added to the constitutional malfeasance by decreeing from on high that what the Affordable Care Act itself said is not legal is legal."
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Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said the decision "does not change the basic truth: Obamacare is a bad law, sold deceptively, and it is fundamentally broken."
"Without this court case, I think we’ve lost the leverage to actually have the president negotiate with us," said presidential candidate Sen Rand Paul, R-Ky.
Cruz even blasted many who were blasting the decision:
“At the same time, crocodile tears are flooding our nation’s capital today over the Supreme Court’s decision to illegally rewrite Obamacare, which has been a disaster since its inception. But one day of faux outrage from the Washington Cartel won’t fool the millions of courageous conservatives across our country."
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He added, "They know the Republican leadership in Washington is quietly celebrating the Court’s decision. If they believe this issue is now settled so they don’t have to address it, they are sorely mistaken."
The Texan also warned his fellow presidential contenders, "Every GOP candidate for the Republican nomination should know that this decision makes the 2016 election a referendum on the full repeal of Obamacare."
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GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush tweeted, "I am disappointed in the Burwell decision, but this is not the end of the fight against ObamaCare."
Presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said, "This doesn't mean Obamacare is fixed, and never will be unless a Republican is elected president in 2016," and that the election now will be America's last chance to stop Obamacare.
Presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., tweeted, "I disagree with the Court’s ruling and believe they have once again erred in trying to correct the mistakes made by President Obama and Congress in forcing ObamaCare on the American people."
Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain said, "This isn't just a win for the Democrats and Obama, it's a big win for the majority of Republicans – who value the perks of office and an easy job more than they care about the Constitution.
House Speaker John Boehner said the ruling "doesn't change the fact" that "Obamacare is fundamentally broken, increasing health care costs for millions of Americans."
It will not stop the "rolling disaster" that is Obamacare, said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Presidential candidate Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wisc., tweeted, "Today's #SCOTUScare ruling means Republicans must redouble their efforts to repeal and replace this destructive & costly law."
Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina tweeted, "It is outrageous that the Supreme Court once again rewrote Obamacare to save this deeply flawed law," and, "Repeal Obamacare and let the free market – not more crony capitalism – improve access and care for all Americans."
GOP Presidential candidate and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry tweeted, "Americans deserve better than what we’re getting with Obamacare. It’s time we repealed and replaced it!"
"Today's ruling makes it clear that if we want to fix our broken health care system, then we will need to elect a Republican president with proven ideas and real solutions that will help American families," said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.
Talk-show host Tammy Bruce warned, "This is not going to be good (for Democrats) when it comes to the reaction of the American people come 2016. It makes things clear ... the Democrats own this ... (voters) realize something dramatic is going to have to happen in 2016."
"No amount of rhetoric, no amount of smugness, is going to change (the fact Obamacare is bad for America).
"This decision is disappointing and troubling,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, or ACLJ, which filed an amicus brief challenging Obamacare.
"Unfortunately, the majority of the Court failed to apply the law as written. The Court instead rewrote the law, something it did not have the constitutional power to do. It is troubling that the high court backed the Obama Administration’s overreach in its ongoing effort to rewrite or suspend portions of the ACA (Affordable Care Act), in violation of the separation of powers. The Court clearly over stepped its authority."
"In order to protect its own reputation the Supreme Court handed down another absurd Obamacare ruling," said Jenny Beth Martin, CEO and co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots.
"While Americans suffer under the law and the federal government issues subsidies contrary to what the law says, the Supreme Court seems intent on actively changing the text to uphold the law. We are living in interesting times when both the Executive and now the Judicial Branch seem to have an utter disregard for what is written into law."
Democrats sought to portray the ruling as an end to the national debate over Obamacare.
President Obama declared from a podium in the White House Rose Garden, "The Affordable Care Act is here to stay."
Hillary Clinton tweeted,"Yes! SCOTUS affirms what we know is true in our hearts & under the law: Health insurance should be affordable & available to all."
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla, chair of the Democratic National Committee, crowed, "After two Supreme Court victories, we can confidently declare that the Affordable Care Act is no longer just a law to be debated – it is woven into the fabric of our society and how we care for each other."
But she also warned leftists, "Let's not forget that our Republican opposition just doesn't understand that this debate is over – they're going to keep fighting to undo the progress we've made. We can't let that happen."
Cruz's full statement:
"Today’s decision in King v. Burwell is judicial activism, plain and simple. For the second time in just a few years, a handful of unelected judges has rewritten the text of Obamacare in order to impose this failed law on millions of Americans. The first time, the Court ignored federal law and magically transformed a statutory ‘penalty’ into a ‘tax.’ Today, these robed Houdinis transmogrified a ‘federal exchange’ into an exchange ‘established by the State.’
“As Justice Scalia rightfully put it, ‘Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is ‘established by the State.'' He also said, ‘We should start calling this law SCOTUSCare’ – I agree.
“If this were a bankruptcy case, or any other case of ordinary statutory interpretation, the result would have been 9-0, with the Court unanimously reversing the Obama administration’s illegal actions. But instead, politics intervened.
“For nakedly political reasons, the Supreme Court willfully ignored the words that Congress wrote, and instead read into the law their preferred policy outcome. These judges have joined with President Obama in harming millions of Americans. Unelected judges have once again become legislators, and bad ones at that. They are lawless, and they hide their prevarication in legalese. Our government was designed to be one of laws, not of men, and this transparent distortion is disgraceful.
“At the same time, crocodile tears are flooding our nation’s capital today over the Supreme Court’s decision to illegally rewrite Obamacare, which has been a disaster since its inception. But one day of faux outrage from the Washington Cartel won’t fool the millions of courageous conservatives across our country. They know the Republican leadership in Washington is quietly celebrating the Court’s decision. If they believe this issue is now settled so they don’t have to address it, they are sorely mistaken.
“Every GOP candidate for the Republican nomination should know that this decision makes the 2016 election a referendum on the full repeal of Obamacare.
“I have made repeal of this disastrous law a top priority since the first day I arrived in the Senate and have made its repeal central to my campaign. Any candidate not willing to do the same – and campaign on it every day – should step aside.
“The Court adopted the IRS’s blatantly unlawful reading of the statute to make subsidies available to individuals on federal exchanges, when Congress expressly provided the opposite.
“After today’s ruling, Obamacare will now be responsible for imposing illegal taxes on more than 11 million individuals and for burdening hundreds of thousands of businesses with illegal penalties on their workers, killing jobs, and further slowing economic growth. President Obama’s health care law remains deeply unpopular and is harming countless Americans by increasing costs and worsening the quality of care.
“I remain fully committed to the repeal of Obamacare – every single word of it. And, in 2017, we will do exactly that.”
Huckabee's full statement:
"Today's King v. Burwell decision, which protects and expands ObamaCare, is an out-of-control act of judicial tyranny. Our Founding Fathers didn't create a 'do-over' provision in our Constitution that allows unelected, Supreme Court justices the power to circumvent Congress and rewrite bad laws. The Supreme Court cannot legislate from the bench, ignore the Constitution, and pass a multi-trillion dollar 'fix' to ObamaCare simply because Congress misread what the states would actually do. The architects and authors of ObamaCare were intentional in the way they wrote the law. The courts have no constitutional authority to rescue Congress from creating bad law. The solution is for Congress to admit they screwed up, repeal the 'nightmare of Obamacare', and let states road-test real health care reforms.
"Everywhere I go, I talk to American families who keep getting punched in the gut with outrageous insurance premiums and infuriating hospital bills. ObamaCare was railroaded through Congress to 'solve' our healthcare problems, but five years later, American families are getting railroaded by runaway mandates, big government bureaucracy, and out-of-control healthcare costs. ObamaCare is a $2.2 trillion Washington disaster that raided billions from Medicare and did nothing to fix our broken system of 'sick care,' which rewards irresponsibility and penalizes commonsense. As President, I will protect Medicare, repeal ObamaCare, and pass real reform that will actually lower costs, while focusing on cures and prevention rather than intervention. The status quo is unfair, unaffordable, unsustainable, and completely un-American."
Jordan's full statement:
“The Supreme Court’s decision today does not change the basic truth: Obamacare is a bad law, sold deceptively, and it is fundamentally broken. Americans deserve health care policy that makes it easier for companies to provide insurance and for individuals to buy it themselves, not harder. I hear stories all the time about how Obamacare is hurting people in Ohio. In the Fourth District, Dan, a business owner, runs a company that employs about 70 people. Because of Obamacare, his company’s health costs went up, and they had to switch plans from one they liked, to one that forces some of his employees to pay out of pocket $500 each month for asthma inhalers. This is wrong. Healthcare policy should be about empowering and helping people, not government. Obamacare is raising the cost of healthcare for Americans everywhere. It’s time to repeal this bad law. Congress must get rid of this law once and for all, and replace it with patient-centered fixes that promote personal freedom and spur job creation, instead of stifling both.”
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