How to make sure you can’t be prosecuted for not buying a new car, even if you’re the one paying the price
The Supreme Court’s ruling that the federal government can’t punish people for not owning a new vehicle could be overturned if Justice Anthony Kennedy can’t decide whether the Constitution gives him the authority to do so.
That’s a big if, because Kennedy has been the swing vote in almost every important decision over the past two decades, and has generally been one of the most reliably liberal justices in the court.
But he’s not the only conservative to hold that opinion, and in recent years Kennedy has also become the most outspoken conservative critic of the Affordable Care Act.
As the court prepares to take up a landmark case on the Affordable Healthcare Act and a similar law called the Affordable Housing Act, Kennedy has often found himself weighing the interests of the minority and the majority on these cases.
For example, in a 2006 case about whether the Affordable Health Care Act is constitutional, Kennedy sided with Democrats in opposing the ACA and wrote the majority opinion in support of the challengers.
And in another case involving a provision of the ACA that limits federal funding to the states, Kennedy said he would be more likely to rule against the challengers if the Court did not uphold the law.
But that doesn’t mean that Kennedy is the only member of the court who holds that view.
When Kennedy was on the court in 2010, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented from the majority in a case that overturned a provision in the Affordable Act that required insurance companies to cover the cost of a plan that covers preventive services, including contraception.
The majority opinion noted that Ginsburg had written an opinion in 2003 that found the provision to be unconstitutional.
The issue has gained renewed attention after President Donald Trump, who has vowed to repeal and replace the ACA, promised during his campaign to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
And the Supreme Court will likely consider the issue when it hears arguments in the case of the Trump administration challenging the constitutionality of the new law.
A recent CNN/ORC poll found that a majority of Americans (53%) support the ACA.
But when asked if they support a lawsuit over whether the law is constitutional (a question that could be settled by Kennedy’s vote), a plurality of Americans, 42%, said no, according to the poll.