Roberts Rules: What the Health Care Decision Means for the Country

By David Von Drehle – Not since King Solomon offered to split the baby has a judge engineered a slicker solution to a bitterly divisive dispute. With his fellow Supreme Court Justices split 4-4 between two extreme outcomes — blessing the sprawling health care law or killing it — Roberts maneuvered half the court into signing half his ruling and the other half into endorsing the rest. He gave the liberals their long-cherished dream of government-led reform while giving his fellow conservatives new doctrine to limit congressional power, which they have been seeking since the New Deal.

The four dissenters on the right, meanwhile, left no doubt that they were ready to plunge ahead toward greater limits on the power of the federal government. “The fragmentation of power produced by the structure of our government,” they wrote, “is central to liberty, and when we destroy it, we place liberty at peril.” more>


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