Back in May, there were rumors floating around relevant legal circles that a key vote was taking place, and that Roberts was feeling tremendous pressure from unidentified circles to vote to uphold the mandate. Did Roberts originally vote to invalidate the mandate on commerce clause grounds, and to invalidate the Medicaid expansion, and then decide later to accept the tax argument and essentially rewrite the Medicaid expansion (which, as I noted, citing Jonathan Cohn, was the sleeper issue in this case) to preserve it? If so, was he responding to the heat from President Obama and others, preemptively threatening to delegitimize the Court if it invalidated the ACA? The dissent, along with the surprising way that Roberts chose to uphold both the mandate and the Medicaid expansion, will inevitably feed the rumor mill.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
The wingnet is calling out Chief Justice Roberts as a turncoat (in fevered places) who may have originally signed on to sabotage health insurance reform, but then switched to up hold the law. One nutter is even wondering whether Roberts or his family was threatened, but that is nutpicking and nutpicking usually violates the rules of the internets.
Here is how a less fevered place puts it:
The first Switch in Time that Saved Nine happened in 1937 to save key portions of the New Deal. It saved the court from the possibility of a court packing scheme which would have added more justices to the bench to dilute the reactionary block.
This second switch in time may have saved the reputation of the Nine. Invalidating a part of the law championed by your party for decades (GOPsters came up with it in the late 80s) because the other team stole the idea from your side and enacted it into law would not bode well for the court's reputation as impartial arbiters of the law. By following precedent and upholding it, Roberts saves the Nine.