Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Pepperdine Symposium: The Impact Of King v. Burwell On Judicial Deference To IRS Determinations

KingSymposium, The Impact of King v. Burwell on Judicial Deference to IRS Determinations, 2015 Pepp. L. Rev. 1-81

In 2015, the Supreme Court heard the second major case surrounding the Affordable Care Act, King v. Burwell. The Court considered whether citizens of states that did not set up Health Insurance Exchanges were prohibited from obtaining a tax credit to offset the cost of health insurance premiums. The question arose from an apparent contradiction between the Affordable Care Act, which appeared to limit the credit to state-established Exchanges only, and an IRS regulation, which granted the Credit to state- or federal-established Exchanges. In its decision, the Court ruled it would not defer to the IRS regulations. The Chief Justice explained that this was because the IRS is not an expert in health care policy, which was at the heart of the regulations. This was surprising to many, especially because the Court’s conclusion agreed with the IRS regulations.

The authors in this Symposium discuss how the King Court may have reached its holding, the potential impacts of its ruling, whether the Chevron doctrine is eroding, and why tax scholars neglected to say more about this case.

Kudos to Brady Cox and the Pepperdine Law Review for producing such an impressive symposium four months after the decision in King v. Burwell. This is the third major tax symposium produced by the Pepperdine Law Review over the past three years:

Pepperdine 2

Scholarship, Tax, Tax Conferences | Permalink


Analysis of legal principles can't predict how the Supreme Court will rule on the biggest cases. Justices on both sides believe the some issues are too important to be decided based on the Constitution. Even Justice Thomas, who spoke out against the abhorrent practice of cross burning.

On the biggest issues, the Supreme Court is supremely political, not legal.

Posted by: AMTbuff | Oct 28, 2015 8:48:08 AM