S.C. on Health Care: No Bad Blood between Justices Scalia and Roberts
Jul 19, 2012 01:35 PM EDT
(Photo : Reuters)
In an Interview with Piers Morgan on CNN's "Piers Morgan's Tonight" aired on Wednesday, Justice Antonin Scalia said that all is well between him and Justice John Roberts, who was expected to support his fellow conservatives Justices (Scalia among them) in ruling against the individual mandate clause in the landmark case that ruled the Affordable Health Care Act constitutional.
"No, I haven't had a falling out with Justice Roberts...There are clashes on legal questions but not personally," Scalia told Morgan in the interview as reported by the Associated Press.
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Last month, in the most awaited decision of the year, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday to uphold the most controversial part of the healthcare plan. The individual mandate clause, which requires every American to have healthcare or incur a financial penalty, was upheld as being within the constitutional authority of the federal government to impose taxes. The Affordable Healthcare Act aka Obama care was upheld in a 5-4 vote.
Justice John Roberts provided the tie-break vote. Roberts vote does in deed surprise, since he is known to be a conservative judge appointed by former President George Bush in 2005. Roberts stated that since there was sufficient precedence establishing the federal government's powers in tax-measures and interstate commerce, the individual mandate clause was perfectly constitutional. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was expected to be the swing vote, voted against the mandate.
Justice Roberts joined the four liberal Justices - Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor in providing the majority to pass the bill. Roberts's decision took the entire nation by surprise; while it delighted some it created a lot of resentment among conservatives and made Roberts a household name. The media jumped at the opportunity to explore the curious case of Roberts, why did he rule the way he did? Was it because he genuinely believed that the mandate was a tax or was it because of his desire to seek the spot-light and turn what was known as the "Kennedy Court" to the "Roberts Court."
In a breaking story, CBS News' Jan Crawford revealed an inside scoop on Supreme Court's Justice John Roberts' switch on the healthcare issue. CBS reported that it had confirmed testimonies by credible but anonymous sources that Justice Roberts, who provided the deciding vote on the Affordable Healthcare Act, initially was going to side with the remaining conservative judges on knocking down the bill, but in a last minute, unexpected decision voted with the liberals.
CBS reported that Justice Anthony Kennedy lobbied "relentlessly" to pull down the legislation, and that Justice Roberts was believed to be with the conservatives.
The leaks from the Supreme Court have gathered huge media attention, with everyone asking the obvious question - who leaked the information? In an article titled "John Roberts, Conservative Outcast, and the Supreme Court's Unprecedented Leak," Time Magazine declares that the intentional slip came from one of the conservative justices.
According to Time's Patrick Hobin, "Supreme Court leaks - especially one originating so close to the bench and coming just a few days after a ruling of such gravity - are virtually unheard of, even if all the circumstances the story describes are not."