Court Appears Ready to End Trump’s Special Master Review
For a while, the prospect of President Donald Trump losing his special master over his efforts to stop the implementation of the ObamaCare exchanges was a serious one.
Last Thursday, the Court granted the government’s request to dismiss Trump’s lawsuit, handing the president a major victory.
But when Justice Elena Kagan joined the Court’s four liberal Republicans in reversing the lower court’s dismissal, the prospects for President Trump’s victory were dim.
The reversal was based almost entirely on Kagan’s concurrence, joined by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor, two of the liberal justices.
What’s more, the reversal appears to have saved the government money in order to comply with a previously agreed upon schedule for Trump’s special master to turn over the documents and provide the president with answers to his question about the existence of internal documents proving that the government’s ObamaCare plans had been “enacted” by the President.
The document that the special master was ordered to provide the president contained evidence that the ObamaCare exchanges had been “enacted.”
The reversal is also based on the argument that the special master — Trump-appointed Marc Short, the former spokesman for the ObamaCare exchanges — cannot be considered a “party in interest” to the litigation, as the plaintiffs argue.
The Court issued an opinion explaining that “the special master” cannot be considered a “party” to the litigation, but the opinion was brief because, as they say, every opinion needs to be brief (or so the Court has been saying for years).
With the reversal, the lower court’s dismissal of Trump’s lawsuit was lifted, and the President would now have to make a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, based purely on the issue of the special master’s status as a “party in interest.” Should this motion be granted, the dismissal would still be on the merits, meaning that the case may still go to trial.
So, for now, it’s up to the plaintiffs (or their lawyers) to determine whether or not they want to refile the