Date: June 14th, 2012 12:27 PM
0L's, this kind of legal analysis might get you a job with the Times, but it'll get you c's on your exams. basically, she concludes that indianapolis v. armour, the equal protection tax case that the Court just decided 6-3 against the taxpayers, was really a "proxy fight" about healthcare. she can tell because:
The case was argued back on Feb. 20 and the decision was not issued until June 4. Thatís a long time to produce a 13-page majority opinion and six-page dissent. The facts were clear and the legal issue straightforward. [no actually Linda, it's a really tough issue.] Something else was going on.
now, why a case's being a "proxy fight" about something else would cause the opinions to take longer to write, Greenhouse does not say, but we do know that Elgin, argued on 2/27, came out this Monday, and that its opinions weren't so long either, and that 2.5 months really isn't that long for scotus to take in writing an opinion. then she says it must be a "proxy fight" because Roberts dissented, and he rarely dissents. why did he care so much, she asks? must be bc he's really "shadowboxing" about healthcare. except Roberts does dissent on occasion, and the simpler explanation is that he just really cares about taxpayers' rights. Then, she admits that her theory makes no sense because Thomas, the surest vote to invalidate the mandate, voted with the majority. She finds this very mysterious, but explains that his originalism must have "trumped" his commitment to shadowboxing w/Roberts about healthcare. Or it could be that Thomas wrote a famous opinion on tax apportionment claims 20 years ago, that Greenhouse forgets exists, where he explains why he thinks these claims aren't cognizable. No mystery.