Brian Beutler on March 26:
In a little-noticed exchange Monday, conservative Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts may have tipped his hand that he’s entertaining the possibility that the health care law’s individual mandate can be upheld on a constitutional basis that’s different from the one supporters and opponents have made central to their arguments....Roberts suggested he’s skeptical that the mandate and its penalties can be treated separately and may have opened the door to finding that Congress’ power to impose the mandate springs from its broad taxing power.
And Mark Kleiman on Wednesday:
....the ill-tempered and intemperate) outbursts from Alito about juvenile LWOP and (especially) Scalia about immigration make me wonder. If their side had won a huge victory – if they were about to overturn Obamacare – wouldn’t you expect them to be on their best behavior, and disinclined to reveal the full extent of their partisan hackery?
On the other hand, if Kennedy or maybe even Roberts decided that killing ACA was a bridge too far, it would be perfectly understandable if that put the extreme reactionaries in a pissy mood.
I offer no prediction. But I’m not in total despair. I’ll leave that for tomorrow.
I've heard others say they had the same suspicion, but didn't hear them say it before the decision came out.
Another effect includes Vermont single payer plan getting a boost:
Vermont's push for universal, publicly funded, single-payer health care is going ahead no matter what, Gov. Peter Shumlinsaid Thursday, but he hailed the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the federal Affordable Care Act as a big boost for the state's efforts.
Shumlin called Thursday "a great day for Vermonters and a great day for Americans." But, he added, "I would say that of all the states of the Union, the least to be impacted by the Affordable Care Act is probably the state of Vermont."
That's because Vermont's health care overhaul, which legislation passed last year says will be implemented by 2017, goes well beyond the federal law, in the direction of a Canadian-style public system.
The biggest impact from the federal law will be money: an estimated $400 million a year in tax credits to help people with low and moderate incomes buy health insurance. That's expected to provide a partial answer to a big and still unanswered question: how Vermont will pay for its new health care system.
I'll add more on that Commerce Clause dicta thing: if Obama's re-elected and gets to replace one of the five justices who made up the nonsense, it's far easier for a lower court to make up its own mind rather than glumly affirm a bad precedent and wait for the Supremes to overrule it.
Finally, Anthony Kennedy as a radical with some liberal social views, not a moderate. I guess I can see it.