The Supreme Court this term has released three opinions on laws that have implications for Arizona’s business policymaking and politics.
Affordable Care Act
In a 6-3 decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court upheld the legality of subsidies to health insurance purchasers on both state exchanges and the federal exchange. The decision, rather than turning on the exact language of the law, instead focuses on lawmakers’ intent. While the SCOTUS has spoken, serious problems with the Affordable Care Act still remain. Check out this blog post from our friends at the U.S. Chamber, 5 Problems that Still Remain with Health Care Law after the King Ruling
Clean Air Act
In a 5-4 decision written by Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court ruled the EPA unfairly interpreted the Clean Air Act of 1963. The rejected regulation was one of the president’s most overreaching and severe environmental regulations. While the initiative had the goal of lowering mercury emissions, it failed to account for the extreme costs and minor benefits associated with the regulation. The Clean Air Act requires its regulations to be “appropriate and necessary.” Justice Scalia wrote in the majority opinion “It is not rational, never mind ‘appropriate,’ to impose billions of dollars in economic costs in return for a few dollars in health or environmental benefits.” For more on the impact of regulatory overreach on Arizona’s business environment, check out our CEO Glenn Hamer’s latest column, and for his take on this SCOTUS decision, specifically, check out his latest blog post.
In a 5-4 decision written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court upheld Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission. The ruling maintains the existing process of redistricting through the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. The committee’s purpose is to avoid the problem of gerrymandering- or manipulating electoral districts in order to favor one party. In Chief Justice John Roberts’ dissent he claims that the court’s decision has no basis in the Constitution and accuses the Court of “gerrymandering the Constitution.”