The plaintiffs’ position has always reminded me of an old Amelia Bedelia story. When the literal-minded but big-hearted housekeeper is told by her employer to weed the garden, she decides to plant a big row of really big weeds. “She said to weed the garden,” insists Amelia Bedelia, “not unweed it.”
When asked why anyone would want more weeds, Amelia Bedelia has to stop and think. “Maybe vegetables get hot just like people,” she says. “They need big weeds to shade them.”
Writing for a six-justice majority, Chief Justice Roberts recognized that the plaintiffs’ attempt to explain why Congress would withhold subsidies for residents of some states was every bit as “implausible”—his word—as Amelia Bedelia’s notion that vegetables need shade. In his view, other provisions of the statute demonstrated that Congress meant subsidies to be available nationwide.
I’ll have more up at Scotusblog soon; I’ll link to it when it’s up.