John Roberts is not a “traitor to his philosophy.” He is not a liberal. He is, above all else, a very strict originalist, and the Chief Justice of a Court that is acutely aware – and wary – of its role in politics. Understand that his opinion, though certainly not ideal for the Right, contains more good news for conservatives in its pages than it does on its face.
After a three-day marathon of oral arguments, during which the Supreme Court considered various facets of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, final impressions everywhere are mixed.
The Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion on Wednesday, and seemed to be cold to overturning it.
If yesterday was the dramatic climax of the health case, then today is its denouement. The Court will consider two questions today: this morning, If the mandate is unconstitutional, how much, if any, of the PPACA may remain? This afternoon, Is Medicaid expansion coercion of the states?
There was talk of broccoli. And gym memberships. Even burials. In day two at the Court, Obamacare's mandate came under fire from the justices. But it's not quite time for conservatives to be celebrating.
And now, for the main event.
The most important case to reach the Supreme Court, ostensibly since Roe v. Wade, began with the words, “There is no reason to think Congress exempted the penalty as a tax.”
So what questions will the Court answer? What will the lawyers argue? How might the Justices vote?