Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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In his dissent to Friday's monumental Supreme Court ruling, Justice Antonin Scalia accused the five-justice majority of "constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine."

"So it is not of special importance to me what the law says about marriage. It is of overwhelming importance, however, who it is that rules me," Scalia wrote. "Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court."

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In voting to uphold Obamacare Thursday, the Supreme Court preserved health care insurance for millions of Americans, ended what is likely the last major legal challenge to the core elements of the president's signature legislative achievement, and bitterly disappointed conservatives who saw this case as the last best hope for mortally wounding the sprawling health care reform law.

Adding insult to injury, it was Chief Justice John Roberts who joined with Justice Anthony Kennedy and the four liberal justices in the majority in King v. Burwell. Roberts authored the opinion himself in a case which was tailor-made by conservative legal activists to undermine Obamacare. Their challenge centered on a four-word phrase in the statute that the challengers said invalidated the subsidies offered to consumers in the states where insurance exchanges were operated by the federal government. Had the challengers prevailed, the subsidies for certain consumers in 34 states with federal exchanges would have been invalidated, insurance markets would have been massively disrupted in each of those states, and the Republican-controlled Congress would have tried to use the decision as leverage to force concessions from the President in future negotiations over Obamacare.

Other than that, no big deal.

Here's the rationale Roberts and the majority fashioned for upholding the Obamacare subsidies:

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Justice Antonin Scalia strongly objected to Thursday's Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, so it was amusing to see Chief Justice John Roberts use Scalia's own dissent in the last major Obamacare case against him.

It was buried in a footnote and amounted to a small dart lobbed Scalia's way, especially when compared to Scalia's blistering dissent that ripped Roberts' legal reasoning.

To defend making the subsidies available to consumers everywhere, Roberts cited a line the dissent to the 2012 decision in favor of Obamacare, in which Scalia said, "Without the federal subsidies . . . the exchanges would not operate as Congress intended and may not operate at all."

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Chief Justice John Roberts may have upheld a crucial part of Obamacare in King v. Burwell, but not without a few choice words for Congress, accusing it of "inartful drafting" in crafting the law.

"The Affordable Care Act contains more than a few examples of inartful drafting," Roberts wrote in his majority opinion for King v. Burwell. "Several features of the Act’s passage contributed to that unfortunate reality. Congress wrote key parts of the Act behind closed doors, rather than through 'the traditional legislative process.'"

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In his dissent from the Supreme Court's decision upholding Obamacare subsidies in 34 states, Justice Antonin Scalia accused the six-vote majority of engaging in "interpretive jiggery-pokery."

The court "rewrites the law to make tax credits available everywhere," he wrote. "We should start calling this law SCOTUScare."

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In addition to the nine state murder charges suspected Charleston shooter Dylann Roof is facing, federal investigators are also considering bringing hate-crime charges against the 21-year-old, according to a New York Times report.

Sources told the New York Times that there is a consensus among officials in the Department of Justice and FBI that federal charges are necessary in the case, given the apparent racial motivations behind the massacre.

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Days after FBI director James Comey said he did not think the Charleston attack that left nine dead qualified as terrorism, FBI officials now say they have not ruled out investigating the shooting as a terrorist act. FBI Spokesman Paul Bresson told MSNBC that depending on the evidence uncovered by federal investigators, the agency would be open to pursuing domestic terrorism charges, as opposed to just the hate crime charges as originally suggested.

“Both hate crime and domestic terrorism investigations afford investigators the same set of tools and techniques,” Bresson said Wednesday. “Any eventual federal charges will be determined by the facts at the conclusion of the investigation, and are not influenced by how the investigation is initially opened.”

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The racially-motivated massacre that left nine African Americans dead in a historic South Carolina black church has prompted the removal of a symbol of the Confederacy in another place of worship. The governing board of the Citadel -- a military college located in Charleston, South Carolina -- has voted to relocate the Confederate Naval Jack from its place in the institution's Summerall Chapel.

By a 9-3 vote, the Citadel's Board of Visitors put in motion the removal of the flag Tuesday. Doing so will requiring the authorization of the South Carolina legislature, as the flag's placement was part of the state's Heritage Act, the 2000 legislation that also put the Confederate battle flag on the state Capitol grounds.

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The Sons of Confederate Veterans will not just stand by passively and watch one of their cherished symbols removed from the South Carolina statehouse grounds. "Our heritage is under serious attack," read a post on the group's Facebook page. The national group held a conference call last night to organize its lobbying efforts in light of what it called "the rapidly changing situation in Columbia, South Carolina," according to another post on its Facebook page.

“I am concerned because this is a mass hysteria on anything Confederate, whether it is South Carolina or Georgia, or I got calls from what’s happening in Washington state and Alabama. It’s all over and it just seems like a feeding frenzy,” Charles Kelly Barrow, the commander in chief of the national Sons of Confederate Veterans organization, told TPM. “It’s wrong and it’s tragic that they’re taking something that happened in South Carolina -- a tragedy -- and people are trying to make political statements.”

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