Justice Roberts scrutinized for health care vote
WASHINGTON – Chief Justice John Roberts could have taken down the entire, massive health care law that his fellow Republicans deride as “Obamacare.” He could have prevented the Supreme Court decision that largely disabled the most disputed aspects of Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigrants.
He didn’t do either, and in the process surprised (or dismayed) longtime court observers of every political stripe.
Those two outcomes in the finals days of his seventh year on the court offer some clues for reassessing what kind of chief justice Roberts is and intends to be. Is he no longer the rock-ribbed conservative loved by supporters and jeered by opponents? Has he become a pragmatic leader mindful of the court’s place in history? Is he more canny, but still solidly conservative?
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