An Obama-appointed judge swiped challengers of Obamacare subsidies in an opinion Tuesday upholding subsidies provided by the federal exchange. The lawsuit charged that the statute confines the subsidies to state-run exchanges.
Judge Andre M. Davis, confirmed by the Senate in 2009 by a vote of 72-16, sought to take down the challengers’ claims with an amusing pizza analogy.
Here’s the excerpt from his concurring opinion in the 3-0 ruling for the law:
In fact, Appellants’ reading is not literal; it’s cramped. No case stands for the proposition that literal readings should take place in a vacuum, acontextually, and untethered from other parts of the operative text; indeed, the case law indicates the opposite. … So does common sense: If I ask for pizza from Pizza Hut for lunch but clarify that I would be fine with a pizza from Domino’s, and I then specify that I want ham and pepperoni on my pizza from Pizza Hut, my friend who returns from Domino’s with a ham and pepperoni pizza has still complied with a literal construction of my lunch order. That is this case: Congress specified that Exchanges should be established and run by the states, but the contingency provision permits federal officials to act in place of the state when it fails to establish an Exchange.