Noted asshole and Washington Post blogger Jonathan Adler’s quest to deny poor people the freedom of getting subsidized health insurance that could improve their well-being was dealt another blow this morning:
This morning the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted rehearing en banc in Halbig v. Burwell, one of four cases challenging the lawfulness of an IRS rule authorizing tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies for the purchase of health insurance in federal exchanges….
The order is here. Oral argument is scheduled for December 17. In all likelihood, an opinion would not issue before mid-to-late Spring.
En banc rehearings only occur on matters of high importance to a Circuit Court. Typically it is to either re-affirm a high priority decision or to correct what the majority of that circuit believes to be a monumental fuck-up.
Halbig is a monumental fuck-up. Vacating Halbig means there is no Circuit disagreement at this time, so the Supremes are highly unlikely to grant cert for the
Oklahoma King case. The highly probable spring time decision is Halbig is a monumental clusterfuck of a ruling that, if a similar brief in logic and substance was submitted by a second year law student, a nice professor would advise that student to look into another area of law to concentrate on.
Update 1 The Supremes seem to want to duck King as they agreed to a government request for an extended deadline on filing briefs. This delays any cert decision for a while. King is the case decided by a 3-0 margin that effectively laughed at Adler and Cannon’s argument. [h/t Joan McCarter at Daily Kos ]