WASHINGTON - All it took was a dictionary.
The nation's political system has transfixed by a controversial challenge to Obamacare that the Supreme Court managed to settle with the use of Black's Law Dictionary.
Opponents of the law argued that the four words "established by the State" meant that only people in certain states, which created their own exchanges, were eligible for subsidies. But the law is clear that all exchanges qualify, thanks to the use of the phrase "such Exchange." From the ruling:
By using the phrase “such Exchange,” Section 18041 instructs the Secretary to establish and operate the same Exchange that the State was directed to establish under Section 18031. See Black’s Law Dictionary 1661 (10th ed. 2014) (defining “such” as “That or those; having just been mentioned”). In other words, State Exchanges and Federal Exchanges are equivalent—they must meet the same requirements, perform the same functions, and serve the same purposes. Although State and Federal Exchanges are established by different sovereigns, Sections 18031 and 18041 do not suggest that they differ in any meaningful way. A Federal Exchange therefore counts as “an Exchange” under Section 36B.
Now was that so hard?
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