You know how close I am to Washington, DC, don’t you? Yup, I’m right across the river — it’s right outside my window. So naturally, I have my finger on the very pulse of the Nation’s Capitol.
Sometimes, I have inside information.
Sometimes, I know what’s going to happen in advance.
Sometimes, I overhear the people at the heart of the day’s most important events.
That’s what happened this time. Yes, I knew what was coming. I just couldn’t tell you or I would have had to kill you. You know how that goes.
Because on March 28, 2012, moments after the end of the Supreme Court argument on the Affordable Care Act, Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito came to my offices.
They flew in unexpectedly. Most of our staff members were surprised and watched them from a respectful distance. But not me.
Nope. I sucked up to them big time. I offered to let them pick my brain, so they let me in real close. Close enough to hear them discuss the oral argument and listen to their opinions. You know, the opinions on which so many people like me with chronic diseases depend.
Justice Scalia was the first to arrive.
Then, Justice Alito joined his colleague on the balcony.
And just like Alan Shore and Denny Craig on Boston Legal, Antonin and Sam just kicked back on the balcony and chatted about their day.
“Wasn’t that debate a hoot, A-man?” said Justice Alito “How we gonna vote?” Sam always defers to Scalia when figuring out how to think/vote.
“It was boring,” responded Scalia. “I hardly had any opportunities to show how brilliant I am. Three days of being just like everybody else. I don’t know how I managed. Besides,” Antonin added, “I decided to vote to repeal it before Congress even passed the law. Healthcare for everybody? Even for people who don’t have lifetime judicial appointments or coverage from serving in Congress? Yeah, right. Over my dead body.”
“Of course you’re right, pal,” responded Sam. “But do you think we’ll be able to get the chicks to go along with us?”
“What are you scarfing? Didn’t you hear those ‘girly-girls’ talking?” scoffed Scalia. “‘Chronic conditions,’ ‘Judicial activism’ ‘Medicaid expansion.’ Bah! They shouldn’t let chicks on the Court. Especially not these feminista types. They have no ‘judicial restraint.’ They shouldda all been Borked.”
“You got that right, A-Man. But I think we’re stuck with them for life.” The Justices were quiet for a moment, and then Alito expressed his deepest fear in a barely audible whisper: “I’m worried about the Chief, though. You think he’s with us on this one?”
“He is getting a bit uppity these days. Independent-minded. He won’t even let me peck at corpses first any more,” responded Scalia disdainfully.
“And what about Kennedy? He is so damn wishy-washy, you never know what he’s gonna do.”
“Oh, he’ll vote with me. With us. And Thomas will too, of course.”
“Uh, A-man? What if we lose?”
“We’ll hide behind our robes. And our awesome healthcare coverage. Oh, and our lifetime judicial appointments. And maybe we can get CNN to announce the decision our way.”
* * *
I am absolutely delighted that I had to rewrite this entire post, because the Supreme Court just voted 5-4 to uphold the Affordable Healthcare Act, even though it was way funnier when I expected the ACA to be overturned.
These two vultures, voted, as predicted, to overturn the law, and were joined by Justices Thomas (no surprise) and Kennedy (a surprise to me at least).
I post this in celebration. It is a victory for folks like me with chronic health conditions. It is a victory for everybody but the GOP, who was for the mandate before they were against it.
These photos of two black vultures/supreme court justices were actually taken at my company’s offices immediately following the oral arguments on the Affordable Health Act before the U.S. Supreme Court. Photoshop was not used. All photo credits belong to my friend and colleague, Ruby, and were used with her permission.
No vultures were harmed while creating this post.