Mr Stone said Texas law “is limited to much less than that”.
“Yes,” Chief Justice Roberts said, a little irritated. “My question is what we call a hypothetical.”
Justice Kagan said Texas should not be rewarded for drafting a smart law.
The fact that after all these many years, some geniuses have found a way to evade the injunctions of “an important precedent, she said, and the even broader principle that states should not nullify federal constitutional rights and say, ‘Oh, we’ve never seen this before, so there’s nothing we can do about it’ – I guess I just don’t get the argument.”
Attorney General Elizabeth B. Prelogar, who represents the federal government, said Texas law is designed “to thwart the supremacy of federal law, in open defiance of our constitutional structure.”
“States are free to ask this court to reconsider its constitutional precedents,” she said, “but they are not free to place themselves above this court, overturn the court’s decisions in their borders, and block judicial review.” needed to defend federal rights.”
Several judges, including those who had sympathized with the providers’ challenge, seemed wary of allowing the federal government to sue states for passing laws that would violate the constitution.
“You say this case is very narrow, it’s rare, it’s very problematic,” Chief Justice Roberts said. “But the authority you claim to respond to it is as broad as it gets.”
Justice Kavanaugh said there were possible ways to move the providers’ case forward.
“Your case, on the other hand,” he told Mrs. Prelogar, “just seems different and irregular and unusual, and we don’t know where it’s going.”