Wednesday, July 8, 2015

ObamaCare and Gay Marriage Rulings: One Loss and One Win for the Right

The June 2015 Supreme Court rulings upholding the ObamaCare subsidies and sweeping aside all legal barriers to same-sex marriage have been portrayed as back-to-back wins for the Left.

But a proper understanding of the political Left and Right shows that the ObamaCare ruling is a win for the Left, and the gay marriage ruling a win for the Right. Why? Because, as Craig Biddle explains in detail for The Objective Standard, the Left stands for statism, and the Right stands for individual rights. Clearly, the ObamaCare ruling upholding the subsidies in direct defiance of the clear language of the Affordable Care Act is a defeat for the rule of objective law, and thus a victory for statism and correspondingly a defeat for individual rights. The gay marriage ruling was clearly a win for individual rights.

The right of consenting adults to forge a marriage contract recognized as valid and enforceable under the law is an extension of the rights to voluntary association and contract consistent with the basic American principles of the inalienable rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. That’s the right that the SCOTUS upheld in its gay marriage rulling known as Obergefell v. Hodges. The ObamaCare subsidies, on the other hand, violates the rights of everyone, including gays. To the extent that people are taxed (i.e., forced ) to pay for the subsidies, people’s right to spend their own money as they see fit—their property rights—are violated. That’s the right that the SCOTUS violated in its ObamaCare subsidy ruling known as King V Burwell.

So the Supreme Court essentially said that gays have a right to choose a marriage partner, but not the right to choose how they spend their money, including if, when, how, and in what capacity to assist others financially.

It’s true that what passes for the Left in America supports both the subsidies and gay marriage. On the flip side, what passes for the Right opposes both. So it would seem that, superficially, the initial portrayal—that the two rulings are a double win for the Left—is correct. But that’s only because the Left is not fully statist, and the Right is not fully a defender of individual rights. Both sides are mixed bags. So the SCOTUS provided one win for the Left, and one for the Right.

Related Reading:

How about ObamaCare’s Victims?

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