Bench Memos

Rick Garnett in Chicago Tribune

on what happened Thursday

What is also clear, though — and perhaps more important, in the long term — is that a majority of the justices rejected the sweeping arguments for congressional authority that most of the act’s defenders uncritically, sometimes even smugly, took for granted. The mandate stands, but the received wisdom that Congress is the sole judge of the reach of its own regulatory powers might not. Chief Justice John Roberts allowed the mandate, but only because he thought it is not really a mandate, and he concluded that the Obama administration’s arguments lead to a place “that is not the country the framers of our Constitution envisioned.”