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Last Tuesday, New York Times op-ed contributor and University of Chicago law professor William Baude floated a fantastic contingency plan in the event the Supreme Court strikes subsidies for residents of states without state health care exchanges.

If the Court affirms the (now-vacated) three-judge panel opinion of the D.C. Circuit, Baude said, the Obama Administration could just ignore it.

The Supreme Court is taking a break from oral arguments, but will resume next week with more of what the Court has become very interested in this term: agency regulatory authority.

On the docket will be some interesting First and Fourth Amendment issues, but dissents to both Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association and Dept. of Transportation v. Assn. of American Railroads, along with oral argument in King v. Burwell, show that the real hot button this term is whether agencies have too much leeway in interpreting their own regulations.

Here's a preview of next week's Supreme Court oral arguments:

Following one of the two most anticipated oral arguments of the year last week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two opinions Monday that don't contain the sexiness of, say, the Affordable Care Act or same-sex marriage, but do make a lot of difference for those interested in executive regulatory power (yes, both of you!).

Both of the opinions in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association and Department of Transportation v. Association of American Railroads were unanimous, but they garnered some explanatory concurrences -- and concurrences complaining that the Court didn't go far enough.

Take a walk through the judicial opinions of Justice Elena Kagan, the most recent addition to the U.S. Supreme Court. You'll probably find something in them that you won't see in the other justices' opinions.

Contractions, for one. Kagan uses them regularly, and that's unusual for someone at the highest echelon of legal writing. Most judges think contractions are too colloquial; judicial opinions are supposed to be formal, with the kind of tone that God probably used when he gave Moses those Ten Commandments.

Kagan thinks differently. Beyond using contractions, her opinions have a supreme readability. For example, in the recent Kansas v. Nebraska opinion, she told a story, breaking down the facts of an otherwise-boring water rights dispute into something easy to understand and, dare we say it, fun.

It didn't hurt that Kagan injected some humor into that story, either, sprinkling water puns throughout just to keep us on our toes. ("All was smooth sailing for decades, until Kansas complained to this Court about Nebraska's increased pumping of groundwater," she says, introducing the 1998 dispute between the states, and then, leading into the most recent dispute, "But there were more rapids ahead.")

Cases of statutory interpretation are rarely as sexy as those involving constitutional issues. But King v. Burwell is among the most important cases of this term, and the Supreme Court heard oral arguments today.

If the justices agree with the petitioners, then one of the three legs of the Affordable Care Act -- subsidies for low-income Americans -- would be cut off, effectively neutralizing the ACA itself.

In 2010, Colorado enacted legislation to try and collect some revenue from Internet retailers who have no physical presence in the state but nevertheless sell a lot of stuff to Colorado residents. Called the "Amazon tax" law, the statute requires retailers to tell buyers that they have to pay the state use tax. The retailers also have to send the state tax collector a list of customers who bought more than $500 worth of goods.

A trade group of non-brick-and-mortar retailers, the Direct Marketing Association, sued Colorado in federal court over several issues related to interstate commerce and the dormant commerce clause. But this case isn't even about that. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court determined whether the case could be brought in federal court at all.

After figuring out what a fish is (and is not), then telling us that anyone, not just dentists, can perform teeth-whitening, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear a round of contentious cases dealing with unreasonable searches, drawing legislative boundaries, and -- drum roll please! -- the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

Here's a preview of this week's oral arguments:

What does it take to get disciplined by the Supreme Court Bar? How about letting your client write the briefs? Back in December, the Court issued an order to attorney Howard Shipley to show cause why he shouldn't be sanctioned for his conduct in connection with a cert. petition in the case Sigram Schindler Beteiligungsgesellschaft MBH v. Lee.

That was a patent case dealing with claim construction, but patent watchers like the website Patently-O thought the petition looked a little weird. In fact, look at the petition for yourself: It's extremely weird and uses a tremendous amount of highly technical language and equations.

The Supreme Court is ready to begin its February oral arguments -- well, in what's left of February, anyway. After two weeks of arguments in January dealing with religious speech, housing discrimination, and whistleblowers, the Court took some time off (while one justice took a nap at an inopportune time).

Now that Justice Ginsburg has had her beauty rest, let's see what's in store for next week.

Same-sex nuptials have taken place in parts of Alabama, after the U.S. Supreme Court voted 7-2 not to stay enforcement of a federal judge's order that the state's gay marriage ban was unconstitutional. The High Court's decision paved the way for same-sex marriages to begin immediately (though some county courts still declined to issue marriage licenses, AL.com reports).

Wait -- I did say "7-2," didn't I? Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Antonin Scalia, wrote a three-page dissent that Court watchers are saying tips the Court's hand vis-a-vis same sex marriage.