On the basis of having for a time shared a house with a John Roberts clerk who conveyed to me no useful information about the Chief Justice’s cast of mind, here is my prediction about tomorrow’s SCOTUS decision.
The court will uphold the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Roberts, writing for the majority, will offer a hyper-causuistical decision that discovers in standing commerce clause precedent principled grounds for ruling in an insurance mandate while ruling out congress’ power to mandate purchase of any goods and services that don’t begin with an “i” and end with an “e”, and aren’t ice or iodine. To brighten the dashed hopes of conservatives, the “Why there can never be a broccoli mandate” section of Roberts’ decision will on the whole narrow Congress’ commerce-clause regulatory powers. However, in their very great relief, and schadenfreude over bitter conservative disappointment, liberals will largely miss the minor revolution contained in Roberts’ sly scholasticism.
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If I’m right, you’ve all got to pitch in and buy me some health insurance. Please.