"It is of course true that the Act describes the payment as a 'penalty,' not a 'tax.' But while that label is fatal to the application of the Anti-Injunction Act, it does not determine whether the payment may be viewed as an exercise of Congress's taxing power."
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan at the Aspen Ideas Festival, but the big news today comes from Washington, where the Supreme Court upheld President Obama's health care law in a series of five-to-four votes. In a surprise, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the four liberal members of the court.
At its peak, 866,000 people were glued to SCOTUSblog, waiting for the Supreme Court's judgment on President Obama's signature legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Not very long ago, SCOTUSblog was an unknown, a website where lawyers and legal wonks parsed even obscure Supreme Court decisions. But over the past few weeks, it has become the go-to place to get up-to-second news on the court.
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.
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.