A Cheery Thought re. King v. Burwell
UPDATED w/explanation (although this really isn't a serious analysis, just trying to make a larger point:
The conventional thinking now seems to be that Roberts and Kennedy are likely to side with the 4 liberal/Dem-appointed Justices to rule against the plaintiffs, 6 to 3.
This translates to roughly, say, a 75% chance of the federal exchange subsidies continuing, 25% chance of them being cut off:
- Ginsberg: Keep Subsidies
- Kagen: Keep Subsidies
- Breyer: Keep Subsidies
- Sotomayor: Keep Subsidies
= 4 to Keep Subsidies
- Kennedy: ???
- Roberts: ???
- Scalia: Kill Subsidies
- Thomas: Kill Subsidies
- Alito: Kill Subsidies
= 3 to Kill Subsidies
Assuming the other 7 vote as expected, with only 2 wildcards, the possibilities are:
- 1. Kennedy keeps, Roberts kills = 5:4, Subsidies Saved
- 2. Kennedy kills, Roberts keeps = 5:4, Subsidies Saved
- 3. Kennedy keeps, Roberts keeps = 6:3, Subsidies Saved
- 3. Kennedy kills, Roberts kills = 4:5, Subsidies Killed (BOO!)
= 75% chance of telling the plaintiffs to go pound sand, I suppose.
On the one hand, a 25% chance of defeat is certainly better than 50/50.
On the other hand, when playing Russian Roulette, you only have a 17% chance of blowing your head off.
That is all.