John Roberts joins the Supreme Court’s liberal wing to uphold the health care law. Had the court struck down all or part of the law, there would have been massive political blowback from the media, Congress, and the White House itself. The Court, of course, is not just a judicial body but also a political one. Overruling the healthcare law would have cost it a massive amount of political capital and prestige.
My cautious hope, then, is that this decision gives Roberts the psychological and political leeway needed to lead the Court in unwinding once and for all our unjust, abhorrent regime of legally sanctioned and publicly celebrated abortion.
Further, as the astute Jeremy Kessler notes, Justice Kennedy’s dissent can be seen as a decisive rejection of his image as the Court’s careful moderate. Preserving such an image would require, among other things, that Kennedy never reverses his disastrous Casey vote.