In the most anticipated and politicized Supreme Court ruling since Bush v. Gore, which decided the 2000 U.S. presidential contest, the high court on Thursday let stand, in a 5-4 decision, the centerpiece of President Obama's health care legislation.
Chief Justice John Roberts, providing the deciding vote and writing the majority opinion, laid out the rationale, which says that Congress under the Commerce Clause does not have the authority to require people to buy insurance — but it does have the authority to tax people who do not have coverage.
We have been devoting this hour of MORNING EDITION to the Supreme Court's decision upholding President Obama's signature health care law that came through less than two hours ago. Within minutes of the court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, health care related stocks swung up and then down.
Even in Washington, a city where hyperbole rules, it still seems difficult to overstate how big a win the Supreme Court's decision on President Obama's signature piece of domestic legislation is for the man in the Oval Office.
The Affordable Care Act is so identified with him, after all, that its opponents quickly dubbed it "Obamacare," a term supporters at first eschewed but later came to embrace.
Violence against women in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala has reached crisis proportions, according to a report by the Nobel Women's Initiative. The group's delegation spent ten days documenting homicides, disappearances, and attacks of sexual violence. Laura Carlsen wrote the report and discusses the findings with guest host Viviana Hurtado.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Viviana Hurtado. Michel Martin is away. Still to come, we see how African-American lawyers fought civil rights battles in court even when the law cast them as second class citizens. That's in a few minutes.
There was a lot of speculation about how the Supreme Court would decide, but almost every prognostication was wrong: from who the swing vote would be (it was Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the opinion), to what the basis for the opinion would be (it wasn't the Commerce Clause).
The law was upheld thanks to Chief Justice John Roberts, who sided with the court's more liberal wing, on a very narrow grounds: Instead of saying Congress has the authority to regulate interstate commerce, they said Congress has the authority to levy taxes. And the penalty for people who do not have health care is a tax and therefore constitutional.