A former federal prosecutor claimed Tuesday that a new case challenging Obamacare in federal court is “a slam dunk” for opponents of the law.
Fred Tecce spoke to Fox News’ Jenna Lee about a lawsuit opening today in Washington, DC. Business owners are suing the government over one small clause in the law, arguing that the wording does not permit poor people in 36 states to obtain government-funded health care and would allow the IRS to saddle small businesses with massive penalties. (RELATED: Obamacare back in court Tuesday).
Lee asked Tecce if the plaintiffs challenging the law had a case. “Do they have a case?” he answered incredulously. “I’m going to tell you something. Before, as Dr. Krauthammer said, this ‘lawlessness’ began, this case would be a slam dunk.”
“It’s very simple,” he explained. “When you talk about interpreting a statute, Jenna, the words of the statute control. And the words of the statute define this exchange as set up by a state and they authorize subsidies for exchanges as defined by the statute. And — this is the irony of this — the law presumes that Congress knew what they were doing when they passed a statute. That’s the end of the conversation.”
Teece also pushed back against the government’s — and his fellow panelist Doug Burns’ — argument that the issue is simply “a mistake” and that the court should interpret what Congress meant, not what they wrote.
“When they wrote the section of the law that indicated who was going to get the subsidies, they specifically did not include the federal exchanges,” he said. “At the end of the day, even if it was a mistake — a typo, as my learned colleague is trying to say — it’s too bad, because mistakes are drawn against the drafters. . . If that’s what they meant, then that’s what they should have said.”
“This is what happens when you ram a bill through with no back-and-forth, no bipartisan support,” he later added. “Ultimately, because of the mistakes that were made, the irony is that the real, the legitimate, the lawful fix for this would be to send the law back to Congress and tell them to fix it.”
Both panelists admitted that the sheer scope and importance of Obamacare politics means the judges may allow the government to continue applying the law in defiance of the law’s own language. “The lawlessness has to stop,” Tecce demanded.
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