Inbox – June 17, 2015

Irony or duplicity in the outcome of King v. Burrell

Remember Bush v. Gore? That was the controversial U.S. Supreme Court case that essentially decided the 2000 election in favor of President Bush II. One of the key factors in that decision was a legal concept known as the “safe harbor principle.” The essential question posed by that principle usually goes like this — What behaviors can a law tolerate or excuse for the greater purpose of accomplishing its intent? In Bush v. Gore, the majority decided that the constitutional deadline for determining the results of the presidential election provided a safe harbor for the mishandling of ballots by the State of Florida.

Today, some court-watchers hear an echo of the safe harbor principle in King v. Burrell. This is the case that seeks to invalidate healthcare tax credits for those who have obtained their health insurance coverage through a federal exchange. The law as written omits mention of the federal exchange in its provisions concerning tax credits. One important question is whether or not the Affordable Care Act allows a safe harbor for IRS regulations that attempt to resolve apparent inconsistencies in its wording.

It’s Ironic, don’t you think? A principle that rewarded the Republican Party fifteen years ago might work against them today. On the other hand, suppose the majority of high court’s justices reject the safe harbor principle this time. Would that be irony or duplicity?

Tom Louderback, 40205

Paul v. McNope on legalization

Seven billion dollars in revenue and 35,000 jobs is the estimated economic impact for Ohio legalization. The ballot initiative has twice the number of needed signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Kentucky could be the epicenter for the great cannabis debate, considering Rand Paul and Senator McNope’s diametrically opposed positions. We could turn a complete lemon (prohibition) into lemonade (recognizing reality), but I doubt common sense will show up anytime soon.

The only reason you’re reading this letter is because Kentucky citizens don’t enjoy the same freedoms that citizens in other states have.

A trillion dollars wasted, 23 million arrests, millions denied medical relief, massive employment discrimination, huge racial disparity in our jails and record overdose fatalities all because we ignored the fundamental freedoms guaranteed in the U.S. and Kentucky Constitutions.

Tom Rector, Jr., 40059


Last week’s cover story, “Dustin Staggers: the restaurant machine keeps rolling” (LEO, June 10) inaccurately stated that Rumplings was co-owned by Dustin Staggers, Griffin Paulin and Chip Hartley, but the only owners were Staggers and Paulin. Chip Hartley was not an owner. Our sincere apologies for this mistake.