Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chief Justice Roberts Sides With Court's Progressives to Uphold Constitutionality of ObamaCare

I'm not surprised by today's ruling. I noted previously (somewhere around here) that the Court's decision on Arizona's SB 1070 was a warning against premature football-spiking. Chief Justice John Roberts, I suspect, is being extremely careful about preserving the institutional legitimacy of the Court --- and by extension, the legacy of "the natural court" under his leadership.

There's going to be a lot of news all day, so check back here for updates on developments. I'm just trying to digest all of the information and I'm actually trying to listen to some of the speeches. Here's President Obama's reaction:

Check the New York Times, "Supreme Court Lets Health Law Largely Stand," and the Los Angeles Times, "Chief justice leads Supreme Court's support of healthcare law." (Via Memeorandum.)

Ann Althouse has an analysis of the ruling: "Chief Justice Roberts writes an opinion limiting the commerce power and the spending power." Plus, Lyle Denniston, at SCOTUS Blog, "Don’t call it a mandate — it’s a tax (UPDATED)." And see the ruling plus related documents here: "National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius."

Finally, Neal Munro at the Daily Caller captures the essence of the decision, "In 5-4 decision, Supreme Court rules Obamacare constitutional":
The individual mandate in President Barack Obama’s health care reform law has been upheld, as a tax, in a 5-4 decision by the United States Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court’s Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the four-vote bloc of progressive judges to uphold the sweeping law, after reinterpreting it as a tax-related law.

The majority opinion, authored by Roberts, said the federal government does not have the constitutional power to compel “individuals to become active in commerce… [so] the individual mandate cannot be sustained.”

But in a stunning move, Roberts reinterpreted the law, allowing it to stand, because he said the federal government has the constitutional authority to tax people — even though the law’s advocates originally denied it was a tax while pushing for its approval in 2010. The Obama administration later argued that it was a tax.

He and the four progressive judges upheld the far-reaching law as a tax law.

Roberts then said the court is not deciding whether the law is fair or wise.

“It is not our role to forbid it or comment on [the law’s] fairness,” said Robert’s decision, which was opposed by four GOP-nominated judges, including Justice Anthony Kennedy, widely considered the court’s swing vote.

And keep checking back here for updates and analysis, and other unrelated blogging, like babe blogging!