Suffolk University Law School professors analyze the issues involved in U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

King vs. Burwell

Renee Landers

Law Professor Renée M. Landers comments:

  • Boston Globe: "High court rejects challenge to Obama health care law" - “If the plaintiffs had won, it would be open season to picking through everything that Congress has done,” Landers said. “The government can’t function with the constant threat that these little statutory inconsistencies are going to come back to blow up major programs.”
  • Health Leadership Forum: Q&A on "What the King v. Burwell decision means going forward" - "...For the time being, this decision puts this issue to rest. And I am not sure that Republicans in general are entirely sad about that, because of the disruptions that a decision the other way would have caused. Presumably, many people who have health insurance with the help of subsidies would be unhappy, so it does make life for everyone in Congress easier. I also think that if the decision had gone the other way, it would be open season on any mistake or glitch, intentional or not, that Congress makes. The Court didn’t think that would be a very productive place for democracy to be.
  • Law 360: "ACA Subsidies On Rock-Solid Ground After High Court Win" - "The practical effect of the move is that it means the court has rendered the definitive interpretation of this statute," said Renee M. Landers, a health law professor at Suffolk University Law School in Boston.
  • Modern Healthcare: “Ohio mom worries that court ruling could threaten her family's health insurance” - Landers predicts a 6-3 outcome in a news story issued before the ruling.
Richard Gregg, director of Sawyer Business School health care administration programs:

Sociology Professor Susan Sered blogs about her study of uninsured people in five regions over the course of a decade:
  • "The State(s) of the Affordable Care Act" - "Yesterday President Obama celebrated our national declaration that health care is a right, not a privilege. Now the challenge is to turn that declaration into reality on the ground – even in states whose leaders would rather thumb their noses at the feds than allow residents of their state to access the care that they need in order to remain healthy."

Obergefell vs. Hodge

Addresses whether states can deny marriage licenses to same-sex-marriage couples:

  • Boston Herald: "Full Court Press: Marshall ‘elated’ high court supports same-sex unions" - Judge John Greaney (Ret.), who teaches at the Law School and who concurred in the 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that first legalized same-sex marriage, said: “This has been fairly rapid — much faster than I thought when we wrote our decision. ...We knew it was momentous when we did it here, but we decided it and moved on and watched what developed since.” 
  • Sarah BooninLaw Professor Sarah R. Boonin shares her personal journey in advance of the decision in the Huffington Post: “Dear Supreme Court, Our Daughter Is Watching” Boonin writes: "The court now has an opportunity in Obergefell v. Hodges to right [a] historic wrong and compel all states to issue same-sex marriage licenses."

Texas vs. Inclusive Communities Project

William Berman

Law Professor Bill Berman and Housing Clinic Fellow Jamie Langowski blog about the decision.

Human Rights at Home Blog: “Supreme Court Upholds a Critical Tool in the Struggle for Inclusive Communities”

Also mentioned on SCOTUSblog

"The ruling was much less about interpreting single words and phrases in a half century old Civil Rights statute as it was about whether the court was willing to take us one giant leap backward in interpreting a law that it took the death of our nation’s greatest civil rights leader to pass.

"The fight that Dr. King began is not over. At least now advocates need not fight it with one hand tied behind their backs."

Journalists who wish to contact Suffolk Law School experts about these and other cases before the U.S. Supreme Court should contact Greg Gatlin, 617-573-8428, ggatlin@suffolk.edu or Mariellen Norris, 617-573-8450, mnorris@suffolk.edu.