10 Polemics from the Supreme Court Decision

Cheryl Clark, July 2, 2012

One may be loath to read all 193 pages of Thursday's U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including dissents and footnotes.

But some of it is quite instructive, even entertaining, and in some places, downright sarcastic. The Justices wrote with some passion, and used several catch phrases to signify major themes in their legal wrangling.

We highlighted a few. To see the context, and perhaps select your own, visit the Supreme Court website.


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1. "Economic dragooning"
Chief Justice John Roberts used this phrase in his majority argument striking down the PPACA provision that states refusing to expand Medicaid programs to people earning up to 133% of the federal poverty level would lose all Medicaid funding. One definition of the word dragooning (we had to look it up) means to compel by violent measures or threats.

"The threatened loss of over 10% of a State's overall budget is economic dragooning that leaves the States with no real option but to acquiesce in the Medicaid expansion," Roberts wrote.

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