A Bad Week at the Office For the Supreme Court – Preview

Toward the end of its 2014-2015 session in late June, the U.S. Supreme Court issued three decisions which, for those who are fans of the rule of law and reasoned analysis, made for painful reading:

Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. the Inclusive Communities Project, a case involving the state of Texas’ distribution of low-income housing tax credits, and whether the choice of distributions of these credits violate the Fair Housing Act.

King v. Burwell, which involves an interpretation of a portion of the Affordable Care Act (aka, “Obamacare”) that authorizes tax credits that assist in paying health insurance premiums.

Obergefell v. Hodges, on whether the state laws defining “marriage” as exclusively a union between a man and a woman are in violation of the Constitution.

People more well-versed than I in the underlying litigation can give a more detailed commentary about the effect these cases will have once the government acts in accordance with these decisions. At the other end of the spectrum, the conservative commentary in broadcast and print have (in my opinion) correctly called these majority decisions wrong and dangerous, but the format of these outlets doesn‘t allow for an extended exercise in word-parsing.

My hope here, over the next few weeks, is to provide something in between, so that people who want to understand the decisions, but who aren’t familiar with the language and format of Supreme Court decisions, can read a summary in a more familiar writing format, in order to see the sleight-of-hand going on with the Court’s opinions.

Which brings me to some disclosure: I am not in any position of authority.  I have no pretense that by itself, my name would cause anybody to step back and reconsider their worldview. I’ll also admit up front that I’m not a fan of the Court’s opinions in any of these decisions.  But it doesn’t help me in the least if I try to swindle you with misinterpretations of text.

Just consider the posts to come to be messages translated from the original tongues. Do with it what you may.

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