When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke to a group of law students and reporters Monday night, he made it clear he wouldn’t talk about past cases or anything currently before the court.But that didn’t stop a Reuters’ reporter from trying to slip in a question about health care.
And we’ve got to say, he took a pretty creative approach.
Scalia vehemently opposed the health care ruling in June, which upheld the mandate that most Americans hold health insurance or pay a penalty.
So Monday night a reporter asked Scalia how he felt about a mandate from 1790 that required mandatory health care for all seamen.
And while the rather cantankerous justice who says he rules based on the text of statutes and not on legislative history first refused to answer the question, he couldn’t keep his mouth shut for long.
Requiring merchants to insure seamen, who often acted as militiamen in the 1700s, is quite different from the current mandate that affects all Americans, according to Scalia.
But, the reporter argued, both the 1790 mandate and the current one place a burden on American citizens.
“Congress imposes a lot of burdens on the citizenry,” Scalia fired back.
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