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Supreme Court Upholds Individual Mandate: Daily Beast Writers React

The court upheld President Obama’s health-care mandate on Thursday, handing the White House a major victory but providing Republicans—who’ve already vowed to repeal the law—with ammo for the upcoming election. Four justices dissented, but Chief Justice Roberts joined the majority opinion, ruling that the mandate is constitutional. Daily Beast writers weigh in on the decision.

Get Ready for the Tax Attack

Justice Roberts and the Supreme Court have handed Team Romney and Republicans a new weapon to use against Obama.

Just a moment ago, it seems, President Obama’s supporters were assailing the John Roberts Court for its supposed political activism. Now, Roberts has given Obamacare’s supporters their sweetest victory precisely because he did the political work that Obama and his allies wouldn’t, or couldn’t, do when they were enacting the health-care overhaul in 2010—calling the “mandate” undergirding the law what it actually is, a tax.

Hot Times at the Supreme Court

Protesters protested, politicians opined, and belly dancers danced. The scene outside the high court was a vivid representation of America’s messy democracy in action.

In the blistering oven outside the Supreme Court Thursday morning, two skimpily clad, bespangled young women calling themselves “belly dancers for single payer” shook their booties, while a male companion pounded a beledi drum and another one played a flutelike instrument called a mizmar.

A Supreme Win for Women

Thanks to Obamacare, women can’t be charged 150 percent more than men for insurance, can’t be penalized for having had a C-section—and can count birth control as preventive care.

Women have much to celebrate in today’s historic Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act—starting with the fact that it means an end to gender discrimination in the health-insurance market. In other words, women will no longer pay up to 150 percent more than men for the exact same health benefits.

Consolation for Conservatives

First, judicial restraint is alive and well after all. Plus, President Obama will no longer be able to hide behind the lie that the Affordable Care Act won’t impose new taxes.

Conservatives shouldn’t pretend that the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act isn’t a victory for President Obama. It is, and the president will naturally claim vindication for his policies.But for Obama, today’s judgment amounts to a victory in a battle, not the war.

Turning Point in Constitutional Law?

Although it upheld the individual mandate, the court reaffirmed the traditional view that there must be a judicially enforceable limit on the powers of Congress, writes Randy Barnett.

This is a bittersweet day for our Constitution and the system of federalism it established. First the sweet: today the Supreme Court reaffirmed that Article I of the Constitution does provide limits on the powers of Congress that are enforceable in the courts.

The Supremes’ Poker Faces

While the country waited to hear the fate of Obamacare, the mood inside the court was tense, hushed—and all business.

The sidewalk in front of the Supreme Court looked a bit like a carnival Thursday morning, as competing chants rang out.“Hey, hey, ho, ho. Obamacare has got to go!” was one cry.A man in a Revolutionary War hat waved a sign that said, “Don’t Tread on Me.

Romney’s Obamacare Bounce

The rage on the right will help fire up support for the GOP’s not-so-fiery nominee. Matt Latimer on how the high-court ruling helps Mitt’s cause.

In Washington the most important question surrounding the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision is not how the ruling will impact the health care of millions of Americans. Nor is it about the implications of the decision for the future of the high court.

The Ump Made the Right Call

After Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, many despaired that the Supreme Court would be able to salvage its reputation as a politically neutral arbiter.

As the Senate was considering his nomination to become this nation's 17th chief justice, John Roberts—once a star pupil in my constitutional law class—famously compared the role of a judge with that of an umpire, just calling the balls and strikes.

Marbury v. Madison Redux?

Is today’s decision upholding the Affordable Care Act the new Marbury v. Madison, a dramatic case that alters the nation’s checks and balances? Chris Geidner compares the texts.

The cases are 209 years apart, but just below the surface, the similarities between Marbury v. Madison, the landmark Supreme Court case establishing judicial review, and today’s decision upholding the health-care law’s individual mandate are striking.

A Supremely Mature Decision

The high court’s ruling on the ACA is not a political football. It’s a fundamental acknowledgment that people are mortal. By Dr. Kent Sepkowitz

The Supreme Court, with today's decision on the Affordable Care Act, has decided that we all are grown-ups and can hear the true facts of life and death. They realized that health care is not just another commodity, but is, like death and taxes, a requirement.

Roberts's Stunning Ruling

After weeks of anticipatory gloom, liberals can exhale and smile. Obama dodged a bullet—and the right will be left to stamp its feet. Prepare for the temper tantrums. 

Stunning. There’s just no other way to say it. John Roberts, the fifth liberal? Actually, the decision gets a little more complicated than that in its details, but the bottom line is the bottom line: the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate—upheld the law pretty much in full.

Conservatives’ Health-Care Victory

Conservatives may have lost the legal battle over Obamacare’s individual mandate, but they are winning the fundraising war over the issue. Daniel Stone reports.

Perhaps it was part of Mitt Romney’s coping strategy, or perhaps the beginning of his lengthy retort to an unfavorable decision. Within 30 minutes of the Supreme Court ruling to uphold much of President Obama’s health-care law, the Romney campaign announced it had raised more than $100,000.

The Media’s Obamacare Train Wreck

Journalists predicted the law would be upheld, then that it was toast--and then botched the big moment. Howard Kurtz examines the debacle.

The Obama administration has survived a train wreck.We’re not so sure about the media.During the Supreme Court’s oral arguments over Obamacare in March, CNN’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin famously said this: “This was a train wreck for the Obama administration.

Repeal Is a Fantasy

The Republican Plan B is to repeal Obamacare on Day 1 of a Romney presidency.Good luck with that.First, today's Supreme Court decision will make it a lot harder to elect Mitt Romney. President Obama has just been handed a fearsome election weapon.

ObamaCare Is Constitutional, Sun Still Shining. News at 11.

The Court's ruling is far from ideal, but there are reasons to be cheerful

As I predicted, my day lilies are still blooming beautifully, I'm still married to the love of my life, and the Commissars do not seem to have started liquidating the kulaks yet.  Obviously, I would have preferred this decision to go the other way.

Damn You, John Roberts

Sure, the chief justice has preserved health-care coverage for millions of Americans. But he has made life harder for several dozen liberal pundits!

Damn you, John Roberts. Sure, by joining the court's four liberals in upholding President Obama's Affordable Care Act, you have preserved a law that will protect tens of millions of Americans with preexisting conditions.

The Angry GOP Electorate

The chief justice’s health-care ruling has enraged conservatives today. But the decision will channel GOP anger back to the polls, where it belongs. By Peter Beinart.

It’s easy to see why liberals are relieved today: the most important progressive legislation of most of our lifetimes has survived. It’s easy to see why centrists are relieved: the Supreme Court’s legitimacy has survived. Centrists understand that it’s not a good thing for an ostensibly nonpartisan institution like the Supreme Court to be at war with one of America’s two major parties.

Saving the Court's Legacy

The chief justice proved that his court is more than an ideological rubber stamp, writes Robert Shrum.

My friend Laurence Tribe, the nation’s leading constitutional scholar who once had a student named John Roberts in his Harvard Law School class, had predicted the outcome.In the face of the overwhelming consensus that the Supreme Court would strike down the individual mandate at the heart of health reform, Tribe has repeatedly said the issue was clear and the Court did not even need to reach the question of whether the mandate was a proper exercise of Congressional power over interstate commerce.

Roberts Rises Above Partisanship

The chief justice’s image will forever be shaped by his decision to uphold Obamacare. Howard Kurtz on the Bush appointee who broke ranks with the right.

It was a moment of truth for John Roberts, a longtime pillar of the Washington legal establishment, a member of the ultra-posh Chevy Chase Club, and someone who acquaintances say cares deeply about how he is portrayed in the press.

Cheat Sheet

Health Care 101

Inside the Obamacare Ruling

Inside the Obamacare Ruling

An insider’s guide to the Supreme Court’s dramatic ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act. By Jesse Wegman.


Experts Sound Off

The Supreme Court Ruling on Obamacare: 16 Experts Weigh in

The Supreme Court Ruling on Obamacare: 16 Experts Weigh in

It’s the end of liberty! It’s the beginning of freedom! Either way you slice it, the court’s ruling on Thursday was momentous.

Cable's Crappy Health Care Coverage

You know that kid in your class who always talks but never actually does the reading? Well, today, that was CNN and Fox News. In a rush to beat their opponents to report the Supreme Court’s health care decision, both cable networks broadcast the wrong information—and then had to awkwardly retract their statements.

  1. NewsBeast Goes Live: Highlights from the Obamacare Webcast Play

    NewsBeast Goes Live: Highlights from the Obamacare Webcast

  2. Obama: 'Decision Was A Victory' Play

    Obama: 'Decision Was A Victory'

  3. Romney Praises His Own Individual Mandate Play

    Romney Praises His Own Individual Mandate

Hidden Benefits

Good News for Women?

Planned Parenthood: Ruling ‘Profound’

Planned Parenthood: Ruling ‘Profound’

Birth control without copays starts in August.

Word Cloud

Readers React

What a Relief!

What a Relief!

Minutes after the Supreme Court announced that Obamacare was upheld, we asked our Facebook readers to give their reactions in one word. Here are the results.


Watch This!

Fox News Mourns Obamacare Ruling

Fox News Mourns Obamacare Ruling

Fox News’s reaction to SCOTUS’s ruling took a notably somber tone. Watch its anchors’ descent into gloom.


Who Knew?

11 Wacky Supreme Court Facts

11 Wacky Supreme Court Facts

Scalia and Ginsburg go to the opera together and more Supreme Court trivia.