Courts Give Green Light To Lawsuits That Could Finish ObamaCare





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In finding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) constitutional, 5 justices of the Supreme Court literally ignored the statutory language of the law and the wishes of Congress. In fact, Chief Justice Roberts rewrote portions of the Act in order to bring its substance into line with his own politically motivated preferences.

In May, the IRS also ignored the will of Congress as expressed in the ACA. The law specifically states that subsidies and tax credits provided to certain ObamaCare enrollees may be awarded ONLY by “a governmental agency or nonprofit entity [ObamaCare exchange] that is established by a state.”(My emphasis) But this would prevent subsidies being awarded in the 33 states that have refused to build an ObamaCare exchange. Such a setback would effectively ruin the Affordable Care Act.

So the IRS decided to rescue its master’s namesake healthcare plan by presenting ObamaCare enrollees with $800 million worth of subsidies and tax credits even in states that have not built an exchange. After all, defenders of ObamaCare maintain that the whole affair simply represents  “…a minor drafting error [in the law] that courts will and should overlook.”

But not everyone agrees that the IRS may legally assume the lawmaking powers of Congress. In 2012, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt filed an amended suit, claiming that the IRS had no right to pass out subsidies contrary to the will of legislators. And as subsidies are not permitted in states with federally built exchanges, neither are the penalties–or taxes– the law imposes for noncompliance. In short, both the individual and employer mandates must be nullified.

In August, an Oklahoma district court ruled that 3 counts of Pruitt v. Sebelius may go forward. And as these represent the principal arguments of the action, should any of the 3 receive a favorable ruling, the status of ObamaCare exchanges will be placed in significant peril.

On October 22, a federal judge ruled that Halbig v. Sebelius–a suit whose content effectively mirrors that of Pruitt–may proceed. DC District Judge Paul Freidman “…rejected several Justice Department arguments on why the legal challenge should be tossed out of court.”

The existence of two lawsuits demanding the IRS follow the law rather than a political agenda gives opponents of ObamaCare 2 chances of upending the Affordable Care Act. Should an effective split decision occur, the Supreme Court would almost definitely hear the surviving case in its upcoming term.

Some 100 lawsuits filed against one or another facet of the Affordable Care Act are still making their way through the courts. Of the major “Act-ending” actions, Pruitt and Halbig probably represent the best hope of destroying ObamaCare as it now exists. As usual, we can only hope that an honest judge interested in maintaining the rule of law will make the ultimate ruling. If one can be found, ObamaCare’s days may be numbered.

 

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Eric Holder Condemning Black Students To Failing Schools





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In the name of diversity, the modern left will stoop to almost any level to achieve its goal. A number of prominent Republicans are accusing Attorney General Eric Holder of curtailing the educational potential of black youth in Louisiana based on his desire to impose racial quotas.

About two dozen senators signed a letter demanding an explanation for the Department of Justice’s decision to force at least 570 students to stay in underperforming schools despite the fact they received scholarships to relocate to better facilities.

One of the Republican senators named in the letter, Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey, said Holder’s decision to “block any child from obtaining a good education is bad enough,” adding “doing so based solely on the children’s race is inexcusable.”

Hundreds of kids were told they could escape their failing schools following Hurricane Katrina, he explained. Nine out of every 10 students given a scholarship were minorities.

Since then, however, the Justice Department ruled that many of the black students told they could transfer must remain in their current school to maintain racial quotas.

According to the senators’ letter, if the area’s racial makeup were different, students would not be held hostage in substandard schools.

“These children are not statistics,” the letter states, requesting a response from Holder by Nov. 6.

For all their posturing on the issue of racial equality, it is clear progressives care only about the perception of such ideals as evidenced by a minority’s representation in any given community. Conservatives, on the other hand, want to foster success for everyone — regardless of race.

Unfortunately, the left’s lip service regarding race has been so distorted that many Americans identify it as genuine concern. That perception is now showing deep cracks, however, as evidenced in the senators’ pointed letter.

–Western Journalism staff writer

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The Press Endures Obama’s Unrequited Love





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Some years ago, Bernard Goldberg wrote a book, “A Slobbering Love Affair With Obama”, about the way the press treated his 2007-2008 campaign and election as President. The mainstream press continues to protect Obama, often rather blatantly. The curious thing about this is that it is not reciprocated. More and more, the press acts and sounds like an abused wife.

A case in point is the way the networks-ABC, NBC, and CBS-covered the government shutdown. A new report from the Media Research Center analyzed the coverage, finding 41 stories that blamed the Republican Party and zero-none-that blamed the Democrats. There were 17 stories that blamed both sides. Recall, please, that the shutdown continued because the President refused to negotiate, and the Democrat-controlled Senate refused to vote on any bills sent over from the House.

A recent, glaring example of how some of today’s journalists have debased their profession was the decision by Paul Thornton, editor of The Los Angeles Times letter’s section, to openly refuse to publish any letters from skeptics about the global warming hoax that blames “climate change” on human activity, not the Sun, oceans, and other natural factors.

The cover of the September/October edition of The Quill, the membership magazine of the 8.000-member Society of Professional Journalists, featured an article by Kara Hackett, “There Goes the Sun”, referring to the metaphorical sunlight that is supposed to shine on government activities. The subtitle said, “President Obama has had successes and failures in changing the way Washington works. When it comes to his transparency promises, there’s not much to cheer. His 2008 campaign talked the talk, but nine months into his second term, where’s the walk?”

Journalists pride themselves for being on the cutting edge of events and trends, but they have been slow to realize or to admit that they have been instrumental in electing a pathological liar to the highest office in the land. “Now, after a turbulent start to Obama’s second term in office, his administration’s 2009 promise to be ‘the most open and transparent in history’ is another liability,” lamented Hackett.

Another liability…like an Obamacare from which Congress is exempt, the Benghazi attack last year, the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal, the revelations about the National Security Agency, and the fact that the IRS no longer can be trusted with your private and personal information? And that’s the short list.

The Quill devoted six pages to Hackett’s article as she carefully detailed the many measures that seemed to offer a new era in openness. Many reporters chafed at difficulties they encountered during George W. Bush’s two terms, but the hostility to Bush 43 was no secret. All administrations are reluctant to share information that might not make them look good. This is a description of the adversarial relationship that has existed since the days of George Washington.

The complaints are old and common, so Obama’s 2009 instruction to agencies and departments to “adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure” when responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) inquiries was music to their ears. In December 2009, the White House issued an Open Government Directive, “ordering agencies to publish at least three high-value data sets on Data.gov and create an open government Web page to update citizens about its progress.”

Like the proverbial frog in a pot of water being slowly brought to a boil, it took reporters a while to get beyond the glow emanating from the administration’s directives to the reality of dealing with government agencies and departments.

New York Times reporter Sarah Cohen is quoted as saying that the “information agencies provide is often an extension of their public relations arms to help them enlist support rather than to help the public understand what is really going on.” Well, duh!

What was going on was a variety of government policies that turned out to be duds. A case in point was the billions in loans to “clean energy” companies that frequently declared bankruptcy before the first term ended. Another was the “stimulus.”

More blatant was the way the administration twisted arms and offered bribes to some members of Congress to get the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) enacted. Not one Republican voted for it, so they needed every Democrat vote.

Virtually every promise Obama made about the bill has turned out to be a lie.

Within the press community, groups devoted to more open government began to take notice, from the Open the Government Coalition to the National Freedom of Information Coalition, Investigative Reporters and Editors, to the Project on Government Oversight.

The Obama administration became obsessed with secrecy to identify and prosecute “whistleblowers.”

Hackett noted that “The Obama administration has used the Espionage Act of 1917 seven times, more than all previous presidents combined, to prosecute federal employees who expose government waste, fraud and abuse”, adding that “These are the same employees the president once pledged to support.”

Even after signing the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act in November 2012, the administrative created a loophole big enough to drive a tank through. Hackett interviewed Jesselyn Radack, the national security and human rights director for the Government Accountability Project, who noted that “whistleblowers who go through the internal channels to report wrongdoing used to suffer workplace reprisals. But now, under Obama, they’re facing the rest of their lives in prison.”

When the Justice Department subpoenaed 21 Associated Press phone lines and accused Fox News reporter James Rosen of being a possible “co-conspirator” in a leak investigation, it was impossible for the press to ignore the thuggish efforts of the administration to shut down any “leaks” in a way that put a big chill on relations between contacts within the administration and reporters.

A recent report by The Committee to Protect Journalists on “The Obama Administration and the Press Leak investigations and surveillance in post-9/11 America” spelled out the assault on U.S. and foreign journalists, saying that “the White House curbs routine disclosure of information and deploys its own media to evade scrutiny by the press.”

What this means is that the Obama administration has a lot to hide; and the front line of defense against its machinations, the press, continues to protect it despite having become a target for oppression. You’re next.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

 

This piece appeared at AIM.org and is reprinted here with permission. 

 

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Holder Announces Plans To Sue North Carolina





Eric Holder 13 SC 300x199 Holder announces plans to sue North Carolina

North Carolina is the latest target in the Obama regime’s mission of suing as many ostensibly sovereign states as possible. Attorney General Eric Holder announced plans to seek legal action against the state based on new voter identification laws.

While state leaders and residents overwhelmingly favor plans to ensure votes cast in a particular election are legitimate, Holder naturally assumes the real driving force is institutional racism.

“Allowing limits on voting rights that disproportionately exclude minority voters would be inconsistent with our ideals as a nation,” he said during a Monday morning press conference.

His harsh criticism stems from laws that would reduce the period of early voting while requiring voters present valid identifications at polling places.

Calling voter fraud “something that is made up,” Holder then proceeds to invent his own narrative, which apparently includes the belief his race is incapable of either obtaining an ID or casting a ballot during a somewhat shorter voting period.

Holder claims his lawsuit will “show that [the laws] were discriminatory in both intent and impact,” which marks the first time the Justice Department has attempted to make that claim prior to an election, and stands in contrast to a recent Supreme Court decision.

The high court decided in June that states can enact voter ID laws without the pre-clearance of the federal government.

Gov. Pat McCrory recently explained why he supports the new laws, which also pokes even more holes in claims of discrimination.

“You need photo ID to board an airplane, to cash a check, and even to apply for most government benefits,” he explained, adding the “right to vote deserves similar protection.”

McCrory is precisely correct in asserting proper identification is a prerequisite for nearly any significant transaction. The left’s laser-like focus on voting alone suggests an ulterior motive.

Perhaps Democrats hope an increase in “made up” voter fraud will help elect even more Marxist politicians despite the widespread disapproval of the one currently in the White House. As with most leftist accusations, Holder’s cries of racism merely serve as a thin veil concealing an intellectually dishonest position.

Follow WCJ staff writer Chris Agee here

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Obama Disregards High Court On Affirmative Action





SupremeCourt5833 300x197 Obama disregards high court on affirmative action

A U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this year proved a win for those who believe that college admission should be based on merit, not skin color. In a 7-1 ruling, justices ruled that universities must make sure “no workable race-neutral alternatives would produce the educational benefits of diversity” before they issue acceptance letters to minorities for the sake of heterogeneity.

In typical fiat fashion, the Obama administration recently sent a letter to schools across the nation effectively telling them to ignore that ruling, even offering assistance in subverting it.

According to the letter’s authors, diversity is important because it helps “prepare students to succeed in our increasingly diverse nation.”

While focusing only on the fact that justices saw the benefit of diverse college environments, the directive further encouraged schools to maintain the same admissions policies they had in place prior to the court decision.

Jocelyn Samuels of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division explained that colleges could run afoul of the ruling by doing so, noting that her agency is dedicated to making sure they find any applicable loopholes.

“I would hope that colleges and universities would undertake these programs in carefully structured ways that would avoid legal challenge,” she noted, “and we certainly are available to help them do that.”

This administration has a documented history of flouting the law when it is politically expedient; and the instructions included in this recent letter perfectly illustrate that tendency. Furthermore, the Justice Department is perpetuating a failed ideological holdover from generations past: the notion that diversity for diversity’s sake is a good thing.

Placing more emphasis on pigmentation than qualification is not only an injustice to the students who rightfully deserved a spot; it does a real disservice to those artificially propped up because of their race. Through affirmative action, minorities learn that they cannot achieve anything without government intervention. At the same time, such policies can stoke the already simmering embers of racial hostility in America.

It is amazing to behold the dichotomous lens through which the left views Supreme Court decisions. Still touting a 40-year-old ruling as license to slaughter millions of unborn humans, modern progressives consider Roe V. Wade a holy sacrament. When the same court issues a decision about which they disagree, as with affirmative action or gun rights, the decree is seen as merely an obstacle to overcome.

Learn more about the author of this article here.