Letters to the Editor

William Conner: Typo interpretations

Regarding the Nov. 11 column “ Death by typo”: Paul Krugman never disappoints. He can always be counted on to posit the liberal viewpoint on an issue as the only right and correct one.

Exhibit A, the “obvious typo” in the ACA that the Supreme Court has now agreed to rule on. To make his point, Krugman conveniently ignores the distinction between an obvious typo in a deed description (not exactly an unusual occurrence) and what looks to him like an “obvious typo” in a federal statute. It is a cardinal legal rule that courts interpret statutory language as enacted. Resort to intent and other background information is appropriate only in the event that the statutory language is ambiguous or unclear. Krugman’s lack of legal training has him putting the cart before the horse, relying on asserted intent to interpret clear and unambiguous language.

Worse, Krugman relies only on the asserted intent that leads to the result he favors, ignoring information suggesting that the “typo” was instead deliberate, intended to coerce the states into forming their own exchanges instead of relying on the federal government. In truth, it became a “typo” only when the coercion failed beyond all expectations.

William Conner, Cary