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Sun Jul 1, 2012, 01:49 PM

Report: Sources say Roberts switched vote in healthcare case

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/legal-challenges/235813-report-sources-say-roberts-switched-vote-in-healthcare-case-

CBS News says it has confirmed that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts changed his vote in the court’s landmark healthcare case.

(snip)
The speculation had been based mostly around interpretations of the court’s written opinions. But CBS legal correspondent Jan Crawford reported Sunday that sources "with specific knowledge of the deliberations" confirmed Roberts’s switch.

According to Crawford’s reporting, Roberts was against the individual mandate when the justices took their initial votes following oral arguments in March. He, along with the other four Republican appointees, believed it was an inappropriate use of Congress’s power to regulate commerce.

But the justices did not reach an agreement on how much of the law to strike down. Over the course of that debate, as the conservative bloc pushed hard to throw out the entire statute, Roberts changed his mind and voted to uphold the law, Crawford reported.

Roberts switched views to uphold health care law

Chief Justice John Roberts initially sided with the Supreme Court's four conservative justices to strike down the heart of President Obama's health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, but later changed his position and formed an alliance with liberals to uphold the bulk of the law, according to two sources with specific knowledge of the deliberations.

Roberts then withstood a month-long, desperate campaign to bring him back to his original position, the sources said. Ironically, Justice Anthony Kennedy - believed by many conservatives to be the justice most likely to defect and vote for the law - led the effort to try to bring Roberts back to the fold.

"He was relentless," one source said of Kennedy's efforts. "He was very engaged in this."

But this time, Roberts held firm. And so the conservatives handed him their own message which, as one justice put it, essentially translated into, "You're on your own."

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3460_162-57464549/roberts-switched-views-to-uphold-health-care-law/?tag=contentMain;contentBody

27 replies, 5826 views

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Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply Report: Sources say Roberts switched vote in healthcare case (Original post)
cal04 Jul 2012 OP
NYC_SKP Jul 2012 #1
Stuart G Jul 2012 #6
roguevalley Jul 2012 #22
Bolo Boffin Jul 2012 #2
Pirate Smile Jul 2012 #3
JDPriestly Jul 2012 #27
maddezmom Jul 2012 #4
Poll_Blind Jul 2012 #5
Stuart G Jul 2012 #7
ProSense Jul 2012 #8
TheCowsCameHome Jul 2012 #9
railsback Jul 2012 #10
Nye Bevan Jul 2012 #11
Honeycombe8 Jul 2012 #18
mckara Jul 2012 #12
Puzzledtraveller Jul 2012 #14
Raine Jul 2012 #24
justgamma Jul 2012 #13
rocktivity Jul 2012 #15
Honeycombe8 Jul 2012 #17
Honeycombe8 Jul 2012 #16
Woody Woodpecker Jul 2012 #19
UTUSN Jul 2012 #20
rocktivity Jul 2012 #21
cal04 Jul 2012 #23
rocktivity Jul 2012 #25
snot Jul 2012 #26

Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 01:51 PM

1. I want to say, sincerely, Good For Him and Thank You, Justice Roberts.

 

Very few people are ALL bad, maybe a little bit of good shone through in this instance.

K/R

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 02:09 PM

6. I agree

And if Affordable Health Care Remains, even for another year or so, then tens of thousands of people will be helped. Not a few, but thousands Some will avoid death, and have a good life because of this.

Maybe Roberts saw this, maybe not. But it is true. Medications will be given to those who cannot afford them, and some early treatments will be given to some, who would never have gotten them. Repealing this will be very difficult. Especially if the election is close as most say. If this law stays on the books, and is gradually modified and improved, then millions will be positively affected. Yes, millions..The Republicans don't give a shit about those who will be helped. Never have, never will..

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 05:28 PM

22. least he could do after citizens united. I am sure his ass is still stinging from that

sell out. He knows one more partisan vote and that bench is history. I agree with Russ Feingold his court and that vote put us in the ditch forever. Constitutional crisis indeed. I hope he remembers those for hyenas threw him away and votes the right, rather than for the right.

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 01:55 PM

2. So the conservative four couldn't be arsed to make sure their opinion was free of indications

that this was so, even though Roberts wrote the best Romney support ad we'll ever see in this campaign. God, it was amazing to watch the GOP adopt Robert's language as one. But still these babies didn't get their bot-bot, and so they've talked about the internal deliberations of the court (or at least allowed their clerks to do so) to knife Roberts in the back. Nice one, boys.

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 01:57 PM

3. The fact that somebody is leaking this is crazy.

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Response to Pirate Smile (Reply #3)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 11:38 AM

27. Sort of a political hit on Roberts. This is shameful in my opinion.

It's like sending a message to the right-wing: Don't hire Roberts for speeches. Put him on hold. Don't return his calls.

Roberts knew that the law is constitutional under the tax and spend section of Article I, section 8 and that if it didn't pass as a tax now, it would in the future.

So overturning it would have put the country through a lot of turmoil and made the Court look foolish. Because in the end we will have universal health care. It's the human thing to do. It's the right thing to do. No one should die of a curable disease because they can't afford to see a doctor.

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 02:00 PM

4. just finished reading the CBS article

lots of insight there. Can't believe it's been leaked tho.

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Response to maddezmom (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 02:04 PM

5. I just finished it too. Excellent piece. I don't consider the information "leaked" since...

...it was not made known until at least a day or two after the ruling. If you think about it, much of these secretive backstories (in conjunction with careful reading of their opinions) actually make the justices over time- define who they are and help people more-clearly interpret what they mean. And I don't really see any sort of harm in keeping that information super-secret after the fact.

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #5)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 02:11 PM

7. And, it would have come out later, rather than sooner.

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 02:13 PM

8. Have to admit

...the media outlets are sharp. Why is this a surprise? I wouldn't be surprised if this isn't a leak, but the MSM trying to stir shit up using fairly routine speculation. The biggest clue is this:

Chief Justice John Roberts initially sided with the Supreme Court's four conservative justices to strike down the heart of President Obama's health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, but later changed his position and formed an alliance with liberals to uphold the bulk of the law, according to two sources with specific knowledge of the deliberations.

Except the dissenters didn't simply want to strike down the "heart" (the mandate). They wanted to strike down the entire law, which likely influenced Roberts.

How far the four dissenters were willing to go

By Steve Benen

In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. But as the political, legal, and policy world scrutinizes the details of today's ruling, it's worth pausing to appreciate just how far the four dissenters -- who filed their dissent jointly -- were willing to go.

The conventional wisdom, which was neither conventional nor wise, was that the individual mandate was in deep trouble, but it was unrealistic to think the justices would be so radical as to kill every letter of every word of every page of the law. Such a breathtaking move would simply be unnecessarily radical.

And yet, as of this morning, four justices -- Alito, Kennedy, Scalia, and Thomas -- insisted on doing exactly that. The four dissenters demanded that the Supreme Court effectively throw out the entirety of the law -- the mandate, the consumer protections, the tax cuts, the subsidies, the benefits, everything.

To reach this conclusion, these four not only had to reject a century of Commerce Clause jurisprudence, they also had ignore the Necessary and Proper clause, and Congress' taxation power. I can't read Chief Justice John Roberts' mind, but it wouldn't surprise me if the extremism of the four dissenters effectively forced him to break ranks -- had Kennedy been willing to strike down the mandate while leaving the rest of the law intact, this may well have been a 5-4 ruling the other way.

- more -

http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/28/12459913-how-far-the-four-dissenters-were-willing-to-go


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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 02:13 PM

9. Hmmm. "you're on your own"

In some quarters, that would be taken as a threat.

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 02:47 PM

10. Certainly gives the vote more credence

 

Many thought the switch was a last minute decision, but Roberts apparently really thought this through, and wasn't swayed by the other 4.

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 02:52 PM

11. I think Roberts is a very, very smart guy.

He knew what would happen to the Court's reputation if people started dying because they could not get health insurance for their pre-existing conditions. So he figured out a way to allow the ACA while still taking a conservative approach to the issue of regulation of interstate commerce.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #11)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 04:15 PM

18. The Supreme Court's credibility on the upcoming major decisions?

Someone on TV was guessing that maybe Roberts is concerned about the public's perception of the S.Ct. as a tool for the right, esp. on a bill this big and that would affect so many people's lives directly. But also because of the historical decisions coming up.

There are decisions coming up on some big things, but I forget what they are. Maybe Roberts was concerned that the perception not be that the conservatives have been bought, so those decisions would go down historically an uncredible.

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 02:58 PM

12. ACA was a Huge Boon for the Insurance Industry; Roberts is a Corporatist

 

I doubt his reasons were as altruistic as people think.

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Response to mckara (Reply #12)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 03:09 PM

14. Exactly, because if his conviction from the outset was that he was adamantly against all of it

why would it take so little to change his mind, because we would be led to believe his mind was made up early. The argument and case that would have to be made to him would have to be very compelling, and it would of had to come from entities outside of the court.

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Response to mckara (Reply #12)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 05:51 PM

24. Yes, EXACTLY. Follow the money ... ALWAYS. nt

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 03:07 PM

13. Roberts has one thing the rest of the court doesn't have.

What if because of his epilepsy, he knew that getting insurance with a pre-existing conditions was impossible?

It sounds like he had a choice, throw it all out or pass it. Could it be the radical right on the court went even too far for him?

Doubtful, but just maybe he did the right thing with his own situation in mind.

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Response to justgamma (Reply #13)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 04:05 PM

15. DING DING DING! Justgamma, you're our grand prize winner!

Could it be the radical right on the court went even too far for him?

I think that's EXACTLY what happened. He saw no legal reason to strike down the entire plan, and the liberal judges agreed. But it sounds like the neocon-artist judges wanted the whole thing struck down for reasons having to do more with spite than legality. Which Roberts wanted nothing to do with.


rocktivity

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Response to justgamma (Reply #13)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 04:12 PM

17. Maybe. But he could've struck down the mandate only. I didn't know he had epilepsy.

I did a post before trying to guess at what was different about Roberts from the other four conservatives. Something totally different that gave him a different perspective.

The obvious thing I noticed was that he's the only Justice with young children, I believe.

But if he has epilepsy, he could be the only conservative with a serious physical condition. But I doubt it, given the ages of the others. They are all likely to have serious physical ailments of one sort or the other.

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 04:09 PM

16. I don't know that I believe that. The only ones to leak would be the Justice's staffers.

A devoted, loyal group of academics who do the initial drafts of opinions, the research, etc., for the Justices.

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 04:21 PM

19. If the 4 teabagging Justices have expelled Roberts, we should welcome him and ask him to

 

abandon his politics and help the segment that has been violated by partisan politics, and agree to preside over the impeachments of Kennedy, Scalia, Alito and Thomas. They have held nothing but partisan and have harmed real Americans.

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 04:42 PM

20. It was ROBERTS and KENNEDY doing a tandem stranglehold on both sides of the decision writing

My own take is that he and KENNEDY made a deal:

That ROBERTS would take the heat off of KENNEDY as the #5 vote,

that KENNEDY would write a dissent that went ALL THE WAY further saying the WHOLE law was unconstitutional, and

that ROBERTS could take the main message away from the 4 Libs by writing the main decision with his own spin on top of the Libs’ versions.


That way, KENNEDY and ROBERTS, both of them together, had control over both sides of the written decisions.

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 04:48 PM

21. Over the next six weeks, as Roberts began to craft the decision striking down the mandate,

Last edited Tue Aug 21, 2012, 09:52 PM - Edit history (2)

the external pressure began to grow.

...The inner workings of the Supreme Court are almost impossible to penetrate. The Court's private conferences, when the justices discuss cases and cast their initial votes, include only the nine members...and their law clerks must agree to keep matters completely confidential. But in this closely-watched case, word of Roberts' unusual shift has spread widely within the Court...among law clerks, chambers aides and secretaries. It also has stirred the ire of the conservative justices...

In the Court's private conference immediately after the arguments, (Roberts) was aligned with the four conservatives to strike down the mandate. The other four conservatives believed that the mandate could not be lopped off from the rest of the law and that, since one key part was unconstitutional, the entire law must be struck down...

Some of the conservatives, such as Justice Clarence Thomas, deliberately avoid news articles on the Court when issues are pending...(T)hey don't want to be influenced by outside opinion or feel pressure from outlets that are perceived as liberal. But Roberts pays attention to media coverage...and he also is sensitive to how the Court is perceived by the public.

There were countless news articles in May warning of damage to the Court - and to Roberts' reputation - if the Court were to strike down the mandate.


Well, if that's the case (if you'll pardon the expression), how was CBS able to get this story, especially if they've been getting leaks for six weeks? If their sources weren't the "law clerks, chamber's aides and secretaries," it must have been the conservative judges themselves, as part of their "external pressure" program -- via the conservative media!


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #21)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 05:47 PM

23. From ThinkProgres

Supreme Court Springs A Leak; Leaks To Conservative Pundits May Have Started More Than A Month Ago
http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/07/01/509359/supreme-court-springs-a-leak-leaks-to-conservative-pundits-may-have-started-more-than-a-month-ago/

(snip)
Crawford sites two unnamed sources, and there are a very limited universe of people who could have revealed this information to her. Only the justices and their personal staff would have access to this knowledge, and it is highly unlikely that a clerk or secretary would be willing to risk their entire career by revealing the Court’s confidential deliberations to the press. Crawford, moreover, is a very well connected conservative reporter who has, at times, worked closely with the Federalist Society to drive conservative legal narratives. Nothing is certain, but it is likely that one or both of Crawford’s sources is a conservative justice.

Moreover, as Linda Greenhouse points out, it is possible that the Court started springing leaks more than a month before Roberts handed down his opinion

Around Memorial Day, a number of conservative columnists and bloggers suddenly began accusing the “liberal media” of putting “the squeeze to Justice Roberts,” as George Will expressed the thought in his Washington Post column. “They are waging an embarrassingly obvious campaign, hoping he will buckle beneath the pressure of their disapproval and declare Obamacare constitutional,” Mr. Will wrote. Although the court has been famously leakproof, Mr. Will and some of the others are well connected at the court, and I wondered at the time whether they had picked up signals that the chief justice, thought reliable after the oral argument two months earlier, was now wavering, and whether their message was really intended for him.


(or maybe this is just not true. I guess we'll have to wait and see if some kind of statement comes out to what is being reported)

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 09:03 AM

25. SWITCHED views?

Last edited Thu Jun 25, 2015, 01:37 PM - Edit history (9)

"...Roberts was against the individual mandate when the justices took their initial votes following oral arguments in March. He, along with the other four Republican appointees, believed it was an inappropriate use of Congress’s power to regulate commerce...But the justices did not reach an agreement on how much of the law to strike down...(T)he conservative bloc pushed hard to throw out the entire statute...Roberts...voted to uphold the law...


Roberts did NOT "change his mind" about striking down the law, only the mandate. He upheld the mandate by defining it as a tax -- by CBS's own admission, Roberts was NEVER against the rest of ACA. Apparently leaks to sympathetic media was part of the "conservative bloc's" campaign to get Roberts to "switch views" -- up to and including insinuations about his health by referring to him as "wobbly." Most important, keep in mind that the "sources" for the CBS story could very well be the conservative judges themselves.

Another piece of political mythology is born, like Al Gore's invention of the Internet.


rocktivity

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Mon Jul 2, 2012, 09:30 AM

26. This OP is a dupe; see http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002891040

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