Guy who's argued 80 times in the Supreme Court predicts the outcome of 2 huge cases
With less than a week left in its current session, the Supreme Court still has to rule on two major cases. One will determine whether same-sex marriage bans are constitutional, and the other will determine the fate of a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as Obamacare.We reached out to Carter Phillips, a partner at Sidley Austin, to get his insights on how the court might rule. Carter has argued 80 cases before the high court - more than any other lawyer in private practice, according to his firm bio. Advertisement
The first case he commented on centers on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee, and it will consider these two questions: Alex Wong / Getty Images
Alex Wong / Getty Images
1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?Phillips said he thinks the court will strike down same-sex marriage bans, and he believes conservative justices may end up joining that majority decision. Advertisement
"I think it could be more than 5-4 because I think the justices will figure out the way the winds of history are blowing and will not be keen on seeing their individual legacies tarnished by having hopelessly attempted to block the protection of rights," Phillips wrote, "and I think the conservatives who go that way will say there is something unique about marriage and the need to protect an individual's legitimate desire to have the stability and benefit of those bonds."
The health law laid out a plan in which states set up their own exchanges but said the federal government could step in and set up the exchanges for the states if they could not do it on their own.Advertisement REUTERS/Stephen Lam
Opponents of the law point to a part of the statute that they say suggests people can't receive subsidies unless the state set up their insurance marketplace. That part of the law says that subsidies should be issued to plans through an exchange "established by the state."
If the Supreme Court sides with the law's challengers, millions of people will lose their health insurance because the federal government will no longer be able to subsidize it.
Carter added, "I don't like conspiracy theories."Despite Obama's comments, Phillips said the oral arguments suggested one of the court's conservative justices - Chief Justice John Roberts or Justice Anthony Kennedy - might be swayed to save Obamacare.Advertisement
"The four liberals were very aggressive at the oral argument and only three of the conservatives were," Phillips said. "So if Obama could pick off either the Chief or Kennedy, he would win."
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