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WikiLeaks emails: Clinton campaign and Center for American Progress discussed pressuring SCOTUS on Obamacare ruling


"it would be very helpful to have a story of how progressives and Hillary would make the Supreme Court an election issue ..."

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Hillary Clinton campaign staffers and the progressive Center for American Progress last year discussed pressuring the Supreme Court to rule in favor of a case crucial to Obamacare, WikiLeaks' recent release of emails shows.

Hillary Clinton speaks at an event. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

A June 2, 2015, email in the WikiLeaks file shows Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, wrote to Clinton staffers to explore the possibility of a story that would pressure the high court to rule in favor of the government in King v. Burwell, a case in which the petitioners argued that Obamacare tax credits were available only to those using state-operated exchanges and not federal exchanges.

Before coming aboard the Center for American Progress, Tanden served as senior advisor for health reform at the Department of Health and Human Services and worked on Obama’s health reform team in the White House. Her email to Clinton campaign staffers also indicated that the Obama administration used political pressure on the Supreme Court to get Obamacare ruled constitutional.

Tanden's email noted that "it was pretty critical that the President threw the gauntlet down last time on the Court, warning them in the first case that it would politicize the role of the Court to rule against the ACA. As a close reader of the case, I believe that was vital to scaring [Chief Justice John] Roberts off."

Image source: WikiLeaks

And indeed, the conservative Roberts cast a surprising ruling in favor of Obamacare, which won the day in a 5-4 decision.

As for King v. Burwell, Tanden added in the leaked email that "it would be very helpful ... for Roberts and perhaps [Justice Anthony] Kennedy to see negative political consequences to ruling against the government." She also suggested to the Clinton team that "it would be very helpful to have a story of how progressives and Hillary would make the Supreme Court an election issue (which would be a ready argument for liberals) if the Court rules against the government."

Image source: WikiLeaks

Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton's communication director, wrote back to Tanden that night, another leaked email showed, saying Clinton was already making it a campaign issue and that Tanden's suggestions "should be manageable."

Image source: WikiLeaks

Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon also communicated with Tanden on the subject, according to another leaked email, saying, "I can give folks the nod if you want to direct whoever you guys pitch to me."

Image source: WikiLeaks

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the government in King v. Burwell.

(H/T: Zero Hedge)

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