Saturday, June 27, 2015

Brad DeLong buries the Lead in what is left of George Will's Credibility

A 16th paragraph (if I counted right) at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth blog is more prominent that a first paragraph here, but Brad has never been a stickler for restrictions on fair use, so I will steal his amazing catch. He notes George Will being sloppy then dishonest.

George F. Will is angry:

The paramount injury [from Roberts’s decision] is the court’s embrace of a duty to ratify and even facilitate lawless discretion exercised by administrative agencies…. Rolling up the sleeves of his black robe and buckling down to the business of redrafting the ACA, Roberts cites a doctrine known as “Chevron deference.”… The doctrine is that agencies charged with administering statutes are entitled to deference when they interpret ambiguous statutory language. As applied now by Roberts, Chevron deference obligates the court to ignore language that is not at all ambiguous but is inconvenient…
One problem is that George F. Will seems not to have read John Roberts’s opinion before writing. He decided to attack John Roberts for expanding the deference that the Supreme Court offers the President. But Chief Justice John Roberts says expressly that he is not – repeat NOT — deferring to the IRS in the manner of the Chevron case. He is not expanding the deference that the Supreme Court offers the President: he is, in fact, narrowing it:

John Roberts:

We often apply the two-step framework announced in Chevron…. “In extraordinary cases, however, there may be reason to hesitate before concluding that Congress has intended such an implicit delegation” [to an agency.] This is one of those cases…. Whether… credits are available on Federal Exchanges is… central to this statutory scheme…. It is especially unlikely that Congress would have delegated this decision to the IRS, which has no expertise in crafting health insurance policy…. This is not a case for [deference to] the IRS. It is instead our task to determine the correct reading of Section 36B…
Because of Roberts, no future President with a different IRS can change the implementation so that tax credits flow only to state exchanges.

The honest thing for Will to have done — after he got around to reading Roberts’s opinion — would have been to pull an Emily-Litella-“never-mind” and pulled his piece.

Instead, he has tried to silently edit it — at least the version appearing in National Review Online:

George F. Will:

Rolling up the sleeves of his black robe and buckling down to the business of redrafting the ACA, Roberts cites a doctrine known asinvents a corollary to “Chevron deference.”… It says that agencies charged with administering statutes are entitled to deference when they interpret ambiguous statutory language. As applied now by Roberts, Chevron deference obligates the court to **While purporting to not apply Chevron, Roberts expands it to empower all of the executive branch to** ignore or rewrite congressional language that is not at all ambiguous but is inconvenient…

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