So in the end, it was the chief justice, John Roberts, providing the key fifth swing vote to uphold the health-care law. Roberts, the conservative appointee of George W. Bush, ended up siding with the liberal wing of the court.
To talk about that turn, I'm joined by Jeffrey Rosen, law professor at George Washington University. Welcome back, Jeffrey.
Across the street at the Capitol, lawmakers lined up to issue their reactions to the court's ruling upholding the health care law. Democrats celebrated what for many of them was an unexpected victory. Republicans denounced the decision and vowed to repeal the law.
More now on the Supreme Court where health care was not the only case decided today. The justices struck down the Stolen Valor Act, which made it a crime to lie about receiving military decorations or medals. The Court ruled it may be unethical to lie about receiving the Medal of Honor, but it's protected speech under the First Amendment.
NPR's Larry Abramson reports that veterans groups are disappointed, but they say the decision leaves room for Congress to try again.
For more now on the political impact of the Supreme Court ruling, we're joined by NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Mara, hi.
MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, Melissa.
BLOCK: We heard jubilation from Democrats, some shock from Republicans there. This is clearly a very important legal win for the president and for his policy on health care. But until this point, health care has not always been a winning issue for the president. Let's listen to some of what he said today addressing that question.
Now that the Supreme Court has decided that the Affordable Care Act can stand, it's time to think about what the law actually means for your medical coverage. The requirement that everyone buy health insurance (the individual mandate) has gotten all the attention, but there's a lot more to the health law. So let's review the changes the law has already wrought and those that still lie ahead:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. The Supreme Court decision today to uphold the president's health care overhaul law drew strong reaction around the country, including right outside the court where a small sea of supporters and opponents had gathered.
After Chief Justice John Roberts read the Supreme Court's majority opinion Thursday that upheld the Affordable Care Act, the reaction from conservatives was predictable and strong. But Roberts is far from the first justice to act in unexpected ways.
Justices don't always turn out the way presidents (and commentators) might hope. President Dwight D. Eisenhower famously said his appointment of Chief Justice Earl Warren "was the biggest damn fool thing I ever did."
Update at 4:40 p.m. ET. House Votes To Hold Holder In Contempt:
In a dramatic showdown between the branches of government, the Republican-led House voted along party lines to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. This is the first time in history an attorney general has been held in contempt.
"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."
While he's best known for his aural pursuits, musician and DJ Moby has been taking photographs for years. He released his 2011 photo book, Destroyed, to accompany an album of the same name.
The book offers a visual journey of a touring musician's insomnia. Isolated and disoriented by jet lag and strange hotels, Moby shows readers what it's like to roam the world at hours when most of us are sleeping.
Conventional wisdom holds that happier workers are also more productive. But precisely how to boost staff morale has eluded many employers. But some researchers say there are specific ways companies can build a better workplace, from moving coffee stations to increasing diversity.
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.
Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 12:16 pm
Marcus Samuelsson owns two restaurants in New York City and two restaurants in Sweden. He's cooked for President Obama and prime ministers, served as a judge on Top Chef and Chopped, and recently competed against 21 other chefs on Top Chef Masters. (He won.) He's the youngest chef ever to receive two three-star ratings from The New York Times.
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.
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.
Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 11:50 am
A lot of stand-up comedians make us laugh, but only a handful, like Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen or Richard Pryor, actually change the way that comedy is done. It's too early to be sure, but another one of them may be Louis C.K., the paunchy, balding, ginger-haired comic who's something of a quiet radical. He has one of those comic talents that's at its best when it isn't worried about being funny.
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.
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.
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.
Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 12:21 pm
Renee Montagne and Linda Wertheimer has the latest on the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act. The court ruled that the law — with its "individual mandate," or requirement that virtually all Americans buy health insurance — is constitutional.
The Supreme Court has just wrapped up its term with one of the most consequential cases in decades.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
The justices have ruled that the landmark health care law that has become a signature of Barack Obama's presidency is largely upheld. The opinions run hundreds of pages. We're looking at all those pages now and we'll bring you detailed news and analysis all morning.