When South Texas College of Law professor Josh Blackman was researching his first book on the Affordable Care Act, he flagged all of the times he thought the Obama administration overstepped its authority in implementing the statute. King v. Burwell, the latest conservative challenge to the health care law, gave Blackman a chance to use that material.
Kingasks a narrow question: Can the executive branch extend tax credits to people who buy insurance through the federal marketplace? Blackman’s amicus brief, which he wrote with the Cato Institute, argues that the Internal Revenue Service’s decision to expand subsidy eligibility beyond state-run exchanges is part of a dangerous pattern of “executive lawmaking.”
“By radically and unilaterally modifying the core mechanisms Congress selected, the executive has warped the ACA, reengineering the statute based on the administration’s present-day policy preferences,” the libertarian think tank and Blackman argue in the brief.
Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow at Cato and friend of Blackman’s, is counsel of record.
The NLJ also offers a nice plug for my in-progress-book, and announces the working full title.
Blackman is now working on a new book, which will chart legal challenges to the ACA from 2013 through the next presidential election. The working title is “Unraveled: Obamacare, Religious Freedom and Executive Power.”
Also, don’t ask me about how FantasySCOTUS will resolve this case–I’ve recused.
Blackman also has a keen interest in using statistics and other data to help predict how courts will rule. He directs judicial research for the analytics consulting firm LexPredict, and founded FantasySCOTUS, a “fantasy football”-style league for Supreme Court buffs.
As for Blackman’s prediction on whether King will be 5-4 like previous health-care challenges? The expert in analytics and the ACA said he’s going to recuse himself from weighing in.
I have already bought my tickets for D.C. on March 4. See everyone at the Court for arguments.