ObamaCare Will Define John Roberts' Supreme Court

Chief justice pledged not to be activist, but controversial case a test
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2012 6:57 AM CDT
Updated Jun 26, 2012 7:59 AM CDT
ObamaCare Will Define John Roberts' Supreme Court
Chief Justice John G. Roberts' ruling this week on President Obama's health care law could define his tenure on the Supreme Court, say many experts (pictured here from Oct. 8, 2010).   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Chief Justice John Roberts swore up and down in confirmation hearings that he wouldn't legislate from the bench, a vow that has taken center stage along with his entire judicial legacy, as his Supreme Court gets ready to announce its ruling on ObamaCare on Thursday. Roberts has not written any of the majority opinions yet for the cases argued before the Supreme Court this spring, notes Politico, leading analysts to suspect he is going to take the lead on the health care ruling. And with Roberts and Anthony Kennedy siding with their liberal colleagues on yesterday's immigration ruling, court experts are at a loss to predict how he'll rule on the controversial case.

The Arizona immigration case hints that Roberts could side with federal authority, or he could side with the other conservatives but use his position to produce a very narrow ruling. No one, however, expects him to go solo, buck his conservative colleagues alone, and give liberals a 5-4 win. "The health care case will undoubtedly define his chief justiceship," says the New Republic's legal affairs editor. "The scope of the law, the amount of people affected, the fact that it’s the centerpiece of the president’s domestic agenda, all make it as politically charged as imaginable." Click for the full analysis. (Read more US Supreme Court stories.)

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