Supremes hear case on Obamacare language

The Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday on the most serious legal challenge to Obamacare so far.  At issue in King v. Burwell is whether the language in the Affordable Care Act that provides for federal subsidies for health insurance policies purchased in exchanges “established by the state” applies also to the policies purchased in the 34 states that refused to establish exchanges.

The clumsily written and largely unvetted law and the way it is being applied poses other questions for the court:  Does a law mean what it says, or what it surely must mean?  Do the words in a law mean what was originally intended (there is evidence that the writers of the law actually intended the provision to apply to state exchanges only in order to coerce states to establish them) or what the bureaucracy wants it to mean? [Read more...]

Parents who let kids walk home lose their child neglect case

We’ve blogged about the Maryland parents who let their 10 year-old son and 6-year-old daughter walk home from a park by themselves, whereupon they were charged with child neglect.  (See this and this.)

Well, the Child Protective Services ruled against them, saying that they were responsible for “unsubstantiated child neglect,” meaning that they are on notice for five years.  The parents say they will continue to practice “free range parenting” despite the ruling. [Read more...]

D. C. legalizes marijuana, sort of

As of 12:01 a.m. today, the possession of marijuana is legal in our nation’s capital.  But it’s still illegal to sell it.  So you can have it, but you can’t buy it.  The tangled new law, with its bureaucratic twists and turns, illustrates the dilemma of a state legalizing a substance (though the District of Columbia is not a state), while  federal law (which D. C. is mostly under) still outlaws it.

It seems to me that making the possession legal while the sale is  illegal takes away the only social good that legalization might do, namely, strike a blow against organized crime.  Colorado at least, for better or worse, created a private marijuana industry.  Washington, D.C., will continue to depend on Mexican cartels and drug smugglers for its supply. [Read more...]

In Europe, only outlaws have guns

In Europe, owning a firearm is pretty much illegal.  But a huge black market has arisen in military-grade weapons, making them easily available to criminals, gang members, and terrorists.  Proving the adage that if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will own guns. [Read more...]

Judge halts Obama’s amnesty order

A federal judge stopped President Obama’s executive order that certain of the nation’s immigration laws not be enforced.  The ruling was in response to a lawsuit by 26 states.  The stay is temporary, pending the outcome of the case.  The White House said that it would appeal. [Read more...]

The mom busted for letting her kids walk home

The mother accused of child neglect for letting her children walk home from the park by themselves tells her story. [Read more...]