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Democrats Praise NH’s Medicaid Expansion While Republicans Scream “Repeal”

Governor Hassan signs the New Hampshire Health Protection Program

Governor Hassan signs the New Hampshire Health Protection Program

Governor Hassan and NHDP Chairman praise the two-year anniversary of theNew Hampshire Health Protection Program while Republican candidates all agree on repealing the program.  

Today is the two-year anniversary of the New Hampshire Health Protection Program, New Hampshire’s version of the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. The program provides health coverage to an additional 50,000 Granite Staters who previously were ineligible for Medicaid but could not afford to purchase private insurance. 

“Two years since health coverage began, the bipartisan New Hampshire Health Protection Program is boosting our economy, strengthening the health and financial security of our people and businesses and helping combat the heroin and opioid crisis. Today, nearly 50,000 hard-working Granite Staters have the security and peace of mind that comes with quality, affordable health insurance, and thousands have accessed substance misuse and behavioral health services. I am proud that we worked together across party lines earlier this year to reauthorize this critical program, and I look forward to continuing to work with members from both parties, health care providers and other stakeholders to maximize the benefits of health care expansion for all of our people and businesses,” said Governor Hassan.  

“For the health of our families and our economy, we need to make sure the Medicaid expansion is renewed next session,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jeff Woodburn. “Senate Democrats remain fully committed to making sure New Hampshire families are as healthy as they can be and our economy is as strong as it can be.”

“Especially with the opioid crisis still raging in our state, we can’t afford to play games with people’s health,” added Woodburn. “It’s been shown that next to Granite Hammer legislation, the single most important thing we in government can do to fight addiction is to continue the Medicaid expansion for our most vulnerable fellow citizens.”

Though the Senate has compromised in the past and expanded Medicaid with both Democratic and Republican votes, the retirements of several moderate Republicans this year puts the future of the program in jeopardy. 

“With our moderate colleagues like David Boutin and Nancy Stiles leaving us, we fear the Republican caucus will be even more extreme when we convene again in December,” continued Woodburn. “Fortunately, we have strong candidates and campaigns in every district in the state this year. With victories in key districts, Democrats will become the majority in the State Senate and will act quickly to ensure the future of this program. We’re confident that Granite State voters will back common sense in November and vote for continued Medicaid.” 

The  New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley issued the following statement on the second anniversary of coverage beginning under New Hampshire’s successful bipartisan Medicaid expansion program that now provides coverage to nearly 50,000 Granite Staters and needed resources to providers on the frontlines of the opioid crisis:

“Today, we celebrate New Hampshire taking an important step forward two years ago to ensure quality, affordable healthcare for the people of our state. We thank Governor Maggie Hassan and the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate for their tireless work to expand insurance coverage to almost 50,000 of our neighbors, improving not only our community’s health but boosting our economy as well.

“Unfortunately, some Republican leaders including Kelly Ayotte and the Republican gubernatorial candidates remain committed to putting their special interest backers ahead of the people of New Hampshire. While each of the Republicans running for Governor has made their opposition to the New Hampshire Health Protection Program clear, Kelly Ayotte has actually voted repeatedly to repeal the Affordable Care Act and end this successful program that has already helped so many in our state. 

“New Hampshire cannot afford to end this bipartisan, innovative program that is saving lives across the Granite State. That is why we must–and will–defeat Kelly Ayotte in November and maintain Democratic control of the Governor’s office.”

Every GOP candidate – Chris Sununu, Ted Gatsas, Jeanie Forrester & Frank Edelblut – has either voted to prevent or repeal Medicaid expansion or actively opposes New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion.

“That every Republican candidate for governor opposes or wants to repeal New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion reveals just how far to the right these candidates are running. Medicaid expansion has extended health care to nearly 50,000 Granite Staters, and has provided substance abuse benefits to another 6,000 people. The Republicans’ opposition to this successful program is just one more instance of their putting political ideology before the well-being of New Hampshire families,” added Buckley. 

Polls show Granite Staters favor Medicaid expansion, with a massive 66% of voters backing its original authorization. But the Republican candidates are unanimous in their opposition to New Hampshire’s Medicaid expansion. 

Executive Councilor Chris Sununu told NH1 he’s “all for repealing Medicaid,” and he has the record to prove it. He voted against endorsing a special session to consider Medicaid expansion and voted against the original contract allow Medicaid expansion to begin.

In April 2016, Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas told the Union Leader that “he does not believe Medicaid expansion is the long-term solution” for low-income Granite Staters. When criticized by a Forrester advisor for not being sufficiently extreme on the issue, “the Gatsas campaign repeated his opposition per the candidate’s point above, that the program is not the solution and New Hampshire needs to pursue alternatives.”

State Senator Jeanie Forrester voted against reauthorizing Medicaid expansion earlier this year and her campaign criticized Sununu and Gatsas for suggesting they support Medicaid expansion. Sadly, their response doubled down on their opposition, making it clear they’re just as out-of-touch with low-income Granite Staters as she is. Her health care plan, released last week, doubled down on her opposition to Medicaid expansion.

State Representative Frank Edelblut voted against Medicaid expansion reauthorization and told the Concord Monitor he would not reauthorize the program were he to be elected governor.

ICYMI: Granite Staters Protest the Trump-Ayotte Agenda

Concord, N.H. — As Kelly Ayotte continues to hide from Donald Trump and her party’s convention in Cleveland, Granite Staters came together at her Manchester office yesterday to protest the Trump-Ayotte agenda and show that she can’t escape their shared policy priorities, no matter how many “rhetorical contortions” she attempts.

Please see below or click HERE to see WMUR’s coverage of the protest, and click HERE to see photos from NH1’s coverage.

 

ICYMI: Forrester Joins Edelblut in Pledging to Pass “Right to Work”

Concord, N.H.—State Senator and candidate for governor Jeanie Forrester made her fealty to the ultra-conservative Koch brothers official Monday, signing the 2016 Americans for Prosperity Pledge.

By signing, candidates pledge to “work tirelessly to… Pass a Right to Work Law in New Hampshire.” The Pledge also includes commitments to pursue right-wing economics and oppose all forms of the Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire, including Medicaid expansion, a program that has extended health benefits to nearly 50,000 Granite Staters.

In signing the pledge, Forrester joins state Representative Frank Edelblut as the first two candidates for governor to have signed the 2016 Pledge. Chris Sununu has signed the Pledge in the past, while Ted Gatsas has stayed silent on whether he’ll pledge allegiance to the Koch brothers.

“Jeanie Forrester’s pledge to support the Koch brothers extreme far-right agenda should put to rest any questions about whose interests she’d serve as governor,” said NHDP Press Secretary Evan Lukaske. “She now has officially declared that her priority will be to do the bidding of out-of-state billionaires and to strip health care from nearly 50,000 Granite Staters. Any notion that she’d fight for middle-class families just went out the window.”

Headquartered in Virginia and funded by the ultra-conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch, Americans For Prosperity is an out-of-state special interest group that supports right-wing candidates and far-right ideology. AFP is known for spreading misinformation about climate science and promoting failed and debunked trickle-down economic policies. Former Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski previously served as their executive director.

NH Democratic Party Launches New Web Video: Dysfunction v. Results

New Video Contrasts Kelly Ayotte’s Ineffectual Senate With Governor Maggie Hassan’s Record of Delivering Results

Concord, N.H. — As Kelly Ayotte starts her two month paid vacation from the Senate, leaving critical work undone, the New Hampshire Democratic Party has released a new web video entitled “Dysfunction Versus Results” to highlight the contrasts between Kelly Ayotte’s ineffectual Senate and Governor Maggie Hassan’s record of working across the aisle to deliver results for hard working Granite State families.

While Kelly Ayotte’s Republican Senate, which is on pace this year to work the fewest days of any Senate in 60 years, is taking a seven week paid vacation without addressing Zika, passing appropriations measures to keep the government open, or filling the vacancy on the Supreme Court, Maggie Hassan has a record of working across party lines and delivering results for the people of New Hampshire. Some of the items included in this new video are the Governor’s work to: establish drug courts statewide, reauthorize the state’s Medicaid expansion, sign a ten-year transportation plan to improve New Hampshire’s infrastructure, help launch an initiative to curb veterans’ homelessness, strengthen penalties for human trafficking, and cut small business taxes.

“When it comes to Kelly Ayotte and Maggie Hassan, the choice facing New Hampshire voters is clear: dysfunction versus results, special interests versus hard working families, and gridlock versus progress,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “This web video is the next step in our efforts to hold Kelly Ayotte accountable for her record of failing to do her job get results for New Hampshire while highlighting the great work that Maggie Hassan has done as Governor and will continue in the U.S. Senate.”

New England Protesters Call Out Donald Trump’s Outsourcing Record and Divisive Rhetoric

Concord, N.H. — Donald Trump’s visit to New England concluded with a stop in Manchester yesterday. Protesters were on hand at every turn to stand against his divisive rhetoric and his businesses outsourcing jobs overseas, despite his claims of favoring American workers.

“Donald Trump’s claims of being for American jobs are utterly disingenuous,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “His companies employ low-wage workers in China, Bangladesh and Honduras, among others, because it means more money in his pockets. It is has been clear that throughout his career and his presidential campaign, he is only out for himself.”

Protesters also sounded the alarm on Trump’s racist and insulting rhetoric on Latinos and Muslims. At the Manchester event, Trump joked that a “Mexican plane” was flying overhead, “ready to attack,” and suggested that he was “looking into” banning TSA workers from wearing hijabs.

Highlights of the protests

New Hampshire

WMUR

 

Eagle Tribune: Trump talks trade in NH visit

Trump and his trade remarks came under fire from the Clinton campaign and Democratic leaders, including New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley.

“New Hampshire, and the United States, deserve a president who will fight for workers and their families, not a fraud who will do anything to get ahead and cares only about himself,” Buckley said. “Donald Trump is unfit to serve as president of the United States, and voters across America will make that quite clear come November.“

NH1


Maine

WLBZ

Portland Press Herald: Trump takes aim at Clinton during raucous rally in Bangor

[Maine Attorney General Janet Mills] said Trump and his companies represent the outsourcing of jobs that has hurt manufacturing in Maine and other states. None of the products he touts or wears is made in the United States, she said.

“Donald Trump has nothing in common with the working men and women of Maine and no interest in helping them,” Mills said. “He has lined his pockets with cheap foreign labor at the expense of Maine workers and American workers. The ‘King of Debt,’ so-called, who says wages are too high, will be no help to the people of Maine.”

WGME


Massachusetts

CBS-Boston: Donald Trump’s Private Boston Fundraiser Target of Protestors

A group of about 100 protesters that included Congressman Michael Capuano and Ayanna Pressley held signs and chanted across the street from the hotel in Post Office Square more than an hour before Trump’s arrival.

NECN: Protesters Gather Outside Trump’s Closed Fundraiser in Boston

“Donald Trump needs to know that his disastrous message on the economy and is bigoted hate speech is not welcome in Boston, it’s not welcome in Massachusetts and that’s what people here want to let him know,” said Dan Hoffer of the Service Employees International Union Local 888.

U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano was among those protesting the real estate mogul outside the Langham.

“This is his welcome to Boston,” the Democrat said of Trump.

Sanders Supporters Attempt To Change Super Delegates Votes Through NH Democratic Convention

NH Convention 2016

Democrats line the street leading up to Bedford High School where the NH Democratic Party held their convention today.

An attempt by Bernie Sanders supporters, to change the New Hampshire Democratic Party platform regarding super delegates, failed at today’s NH Democratic Party Convention.

As the Democratic National Committee rules allow, super delegates freely choose whom they will support, regardless of whom the voters of their state voted for in the primary.

Secretary Clinton collected hundreds of super delegates before many of the primary votes were cast. Most of NH’s super delegates became outspoken surrogates Hillary throughout the primary.

After Sanders beat Clinton, 60%-38% in the NH Primary, voters began to call for the super delegates to change their position and support the candidate that the voters overwhelmingly supported.

At today’s convention, delegates were given the final copy of the party platform that included a resolution to pursue changes to super delegates in the 2020 primary. To many of the delegates this was not enough, but the convention rules, once adopted, would not allow for any amendments to the state party platform from the delegates on the floor.

Prior to the adoption of the convention rules, NH State Representative Peter Bixby offered up his own rule changes. The change was pretty basic, allow delegates to amend the resolutions, or the party platform, from the floor.

If this rule change would have passed, the New Hampshire Democratic Party could have passed a resolution similar to the one passed in Maine, which would have forced more super delegates to cast their vote for Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention next month.

Both rules changes failed to get the required votes (140-293, 175-297). Unlike the convention in Nevada where a similar resolution was defeated by a voice vote, NH delegates cast their votes in a standing count.

Though Sanders supporters did not get the result they wanted, they process was done professionally. Rep. Bixby even commended Michael Rollo, the rules committee chair, for the way he handled the proposed amendment and the voting process.

After this amendment to the rules failed, the proposed resolutions and party platform were adopted by the convention body without any discussion.

The only question left is what are Sanders and his supporters going to do now?

Will Sanders go to the National Convention and endorse Hillary Clinton? Will he succeed in changing the National Party Platform to remove super delegates from future primary contests? Will those Democrats who supported Sanders in his campaign come together with Clinton supporters to ensure that Donald Trump does not become president?

Lastly, what will happen to all of the Sanders supporters who supported his strong progressive democratic policy ideas but do not call themselves Democrats? What will they do in the general election between Trump and Clinton? Will they keep pushing the Clinton campaign to take a stronger position on Wall Street reform and money in politics? Or will they end up supporting Donald Trump, the man who epitomizes everything that Sanders stood against?

The Sanders campaign scooped up nearly 40% of the overall Democratic voters in his run for the President. Without their support, Hillary Clinton will not be elected, and we will forced to endure four years of Donald Trump.

The National Education Association of NH Recommends Van Ostern For Governor

NEA-NH Button 201X201Today, the National Education Association-New Hampshire (NEA-NH), the state’s largest educator and public employee union, strongly recommended Colin Van Ostern for Governor of New Hampshire.

“Colin Van Ostern has a proven record that New Hampshire educators and families can trust,” said Megan Tuttle, NEA-NH Vice President and Pembroke teacher. “From working to lower tuition costs to championing full-day kindergarten, Colin Van Ostern is an advocate for educators and students, alike. As our next Governor, Colin will continue moving New Hampshire forward, so that everyone has a chance to succeed – not just those at the top.” 

“We’re honored to receive the endorsement of NEA-NH that represents 17,000 hardworking New Hampshire educators,” said Pat Devney, campaign manager for Colin Van Ostern. “As Governor, Colin will fight to lower tuition costs, expand full-day Kindergarten, and work to ensure that New Hampshire offers a world-class education. We must continue to move New Hampshire forward and we’re proud to earn the support of eight local labor unions in that effort.” 

Van Ostern has previous picked up the endorsement of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2320, and the Teamsters Union Local 633.

Many in the labor movement remember how as Executive Councilor, Van Ostern took a stand against Fairpoint Communications showing his support to the thousands of workers who were on strike.  Van Ostern blocked the renewal of Fairpoint’s multi-million dollar contract with the State of New Hampshire and refused to renew it until the strike was settled.

Governor Maggie Hassan Files For US Senate

Maggie Files (Image by Laconia Democrats)

Image by Laconia Democrats

Joined by Hundreds of Supporters, Governor Hassan Officially Files to Represent New Hampshire in the United States Senate

CONCORD – Joined by hundreds of supporters, Governor Maggie Hassan officially filed today to represent New Hampshire in the United States Senate, vowing to stand up against special interests, to solve problems to get results for New Hampshire’s families and small businesses and to keep working to build a more innovative economic future where everyone has an opportunity to get ahead and stay ahead.

“I am running for Senate because I want to ensure that all of our people are included in our shared success, that we have a thriving middle class and that parents can once again feel confident that the next generation will have a brighter future than the last,” said Governor Maggie Hassan.

“Here in New Hampshire, we’ve shown that it’s possible to bring people together across party lines to lay the foundation for a new generation of innovative economic growth. We’ve made progress by working together – Democrats, Republicans and independents – to solve problems and get things done for hard-working Granite Staters, and it is long past time for Washington to take the same approach. I will always fight for New Hampshire’s priorities, and I will work to bring people together to build an economic future where everyone has the opportunity to get ahead and stay ahead,” added Governor Hassan.

As Governor, Maggie Hassan has worked to bring together members of both parties to build a stronger, more innovative New Hampshire where education and small businesses drive job creation. Working across party lines, Governor Hassan enacted two fiscally responsible, balanced budgets that invest in critical economic priorities while holding the line against a sales or income tax. The Governor expanded the research & development tax credit, cut taxes for small businesses and created a business-friendly environment that has New Hampshire’s unemployment rate at its lowest rate in 15 years and one of the lowest in the nation.

Governor Hassan also successfully froze tuition at state universities for the first time in 25 years and lowered tuition at community colleges, invested in fixing New Hampshire’s roads and bridges, and secured the passage and reauthorization of a bipartisan Medicaid Expansion plan that is providing nearly 50,000 Granite Staters with the health and economic security that comes with quality, affordable health insurance.

As Senator, Maggie Hassan will bring her bipartisan approach, common sense and commitment to problem solving to Washington to take on corporate special interests and get results for hard-working New Hampshire families and small businesses. She will fight for critical issues for New Hampshire families and small businesses such as encouraging business innovation, making college more affordable and reducing the burden of student loan debt, safeguarding Social Security and Medicare for New Hampshire’s seniors, and protecting every woman’s right to make her own health care decisions. She will also continue to focus on combating the heroin and opioid crisis and keeping our communities safe and secure.

Most importantly, just as she has as Governor, Maggie Hassan will be a Senator who will always put New Hampshire families and small businesses first.

“I look forward to Maggie Hassan continuing her tireless advocacy on behalf of the people of New Hampshire in the U.S. Senate next year,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley. “We’ve seen great successes as a state during her tenure as Governor, and to continue moving forward we need Maggie in the Senate to bring people together to get things done the Granite State way and fight the special interests who have rigged the system against middle class families.

“Since going to Washington, Kelly Ayotte has stood in lockstep with special interests including Big Oil, Wall Street and the Koch Brothers to protect their interests at the expense of Granite State families on critical issues like college affordability, retirement security, and women’s health,” added Buckley. 

Buckley concluded by stating, “New Hampshire deserves better; we need Senator Maggie Hassan.”

Planned Parenthood for Maggie Hassan for SenatePlanned Parenthood Action Fund members were cheering on Maggie Hassan today as she filed to run for US Senate. Hassan has a clear record of supporting women’s access to a full range of health care services, including leading efforts to successfully expand Medicaid, signing into law a bill that protects safety of patients while accessing health centers, voting to expand emergency contraception for Granite State women, and voting to block efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. 

Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire provided thousands of breast exams and thousands with birth control, administered nearly 20,000 STI tests, over 1,000 Pap tests, and engaged in sex education and outreach to nearly 2,000 individuals in 2015 alone. Both Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Action Fund have endorsed Maggie Hassan for US Senate.

“Maggie Hassan is a champion for women’s health, and has never wavered in her support for women to make their own choices about their private health care decisions, including abortion,” said Kayla McCarthy, Advocacy & Organizing Manager of Planned Parenthood New Hampshire Action Fund It is clear to us, and to the thousands of Planned Parenthood supporters in New Hampshire that Maggie Hassan will work hard to ensure the life saving services that Planned Parenthood of Northern New England provides remain affordable, high quality, and inclusive. New Hampshire wants a leader who will fight for reproductive health care and rights, not someone who will continue to try and take us backwards.”

Former Gov. Sununu Continues to Fret About Trump/Sununu Ticket

Trump Sununu Campaign SignGov. Sununu tells MSNBC Trump could hurt downballot;
Chris Sununu still backs Trump
 

Concord, N.H. – For all the talk of Republican Party unity in the Granite State, there is one senior Republican who is clear eyed and candid about the disastrous effects of a Trump candidacy on New Hampshire’s downballot Republicans—including his own son’s.

This morning, former Governor John H. Sununu, father of gubernatorial candidate and Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, speaking about Trump’s effect on other Republicans, told MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki, “I have a son running for governor. I am concerned about the downballot.”

But Chris Sununu and the GOP field for governor don’t share Gov. John Sununu’s concern. Not only has Chris Sununu touted his support for Trump on multiple occasions, but he shares Trump’s beliefs that Planned Parenthood should be defunded, that the Granite State shouldn’t have a minimum wage and that climate change is a hoax. The rest of the Republican field for governor, consisting of Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, State Senator Jeanie Forrester and State Representative Frank Edelblut, also supports Trump.

Meanwhile, John H. Sununu has been warning about Trump dragging down Republicans for months.

He told Bloomberg News back in January, “up here in New Hampshire, if Donald Trump is the nominee we will not get a Republican governor. We will lose the New Hampshire state Senate, and we could lose the New Hampshire state House… and we could lose Sen. [Kelly] Ayotte.”

In March, he joined the anti-Trump Our Principles Super PAC, saying “Frankly, at this point we want anyone but Trump.” And he’s made no secret of his disdain for the Republican presidential nominee, calling Trump a loser and a phony.

“I rarely agree with John Sununu, but in this case father might know best: Donald Trump’s candidacy will be disastrous for the Republican gubernatorial candidates and for Granite Staters,” said NHDP Chair Ray Buckley. “From supporting Trump to vowing to defund Planned Parenthood to opposing the minimum wage, the race to the right in the Republican primary is fully underway.”

 

THE ECONOMIST Hammers Ayotte On Failure To Support SCOTUS Hearings

Over 60% of Granite Staters Support SCOTUS Hearings and Vote On Nominee

Current Eight-Justice Court is “Sowing Legal Confusion”

 

Concord, N.H. — A new poll from Franklin Pierce University shows that 63% of Granite Staters believe the Senate should hold hearings and a vote on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee before the next presidential election, including 51% of Granite Staters who believe strongly that the Senate should hold hearings and vote.

This weekend, The Economist also highlighted the legal confusion that an eight-Justice court is leaving across the country. The Economist editorial board wrote that “Whether the divide manifests as 4-4 splits or a tendency to hear fewer cases in which those splits seem likely, a Supreme Court with eight judges is not a court that can live up to its name.” 

See below for excerpts of The Economist editorial or click here:

…Twice since Mr Scalia’s death the Supreme Court has performed the judicial equivalent of throwing up its hands. In a small case concerning banking rules and in an important one challenging the future of public-sector unions, the justices issued one-sentence per curiam(“by the court”) rulings: “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided court.” A tie in the high court means that the ruling in the court below stands. But these non-rulings do not bind other lower courts, and the judgment has no value as a precedent. A tie, in short, leaves everything as it was and as it would have been had the justices never agreed to hear the case in the first place. 

That’s a lot of wasted ink, paper, time and breath. And now it seems the justices may be keen to reduce future futile efforts as they contemplate a year or more with a missing colleague. Only 12 cases are now on the docket for the October 2016 term, and grants are lagging below the average of recent years. The slow pace is especially notable because it marks a slowdown from an already highly attenuated docket. Seventy years ago, the justices decided 200 or more cases a year; that number declined to about 150 in the 1980s and then plummeted into the 80s and, in recent years, the 70s…

What’s wrong with eight justices? The main worry is that tied votes sow legal confusion. When the judges are split down the middle, they cannot resolve rival views on controversial issues—from affirmative action and public unions to gay rights, birth control and abortion. By letting lower-court decisions stand but not requiring other courts to abide by the ruling, the stage is set for odd state-by-state or district-by-district distinctions when it comes to the meaning of laws or the constitution…So if the justices divide 4-4 in Zubik v Burwell, women across most of America will have access to birth control through their employer’s health coverage, while women in seven midwestern states will not. 

…it is hard to see how a denuded court is appealing in the medium or long term. A patchwork of legal realities may have been fitting for America under the Articles of Confederation, before the country had a political system that turned it into a union, but America’s constitutional design is not consonant with confusion about what the law means on controversial questions. Whether the divide manifests as 4-4 splits or a tendency to hear fewer cases in which those splits seem likely, a Supreme Court with eight judges is not a court that can live up to its name.

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