Did Roberts flip his vote at the 11th hour?

Technically (ideally), over here, once you get on the bench, your party affiliation ceases to matter; you rule on the merits and the law, and nothing more. Certainly, even in places where judges are elected, you don’t know the affiliation of 99% of the people you’d face in the courtroom.

From the first link in the OP:

To me, using “we” suggests two or more people, unless it is the “royal we”, which suggests one. Why would it necessarily suggest a majority? :confused: Seems to me that the blogger is trying his best to gin up a conspiracy, but with nothing real to back it up.

But how do you know, or why do you think, that they are basing their opinions strictly on partisan grounds and not based on the “weight of legal argument.”

Since 2005, judges in the UK have been appointed by an independent commission. Anyway, the UK and most parliamentary democracies don’t have judicial review as we know it (though EUCHR can override Acts of Parliament.)

Perhaps but the very fact that the supreme court seems to be spoken of as “conservatives” and “liberals” is bizarre.

Then again, I don’t know how much of this is because your supreme court seems to be more important than ours (which has only been called a supreme court for around 5 years anyway!) due to your more questionable laws.

I can name the head judge of our supreme court, and I know there’s one woman on it.

And that’s more than 99% of brits could do.

Where as it seems to me that every reasonably informed American knows who’s on the SCOTUS and how they think.

Apparently now some conservative pundits are saying Roberts flipped his vote because he is on epilepsy medication (you just can’t make this shit up):

Not even close. There are plenty of reasonably informed Americans who probably couldn’t even point out ANY of the supreme court justices in a line-up, or name them.

They are, by far, the most oft-forgotten branch of our government, and as you pointed out in your post, incredibly powerful in that they determine constitutionality of laws.

I would be incredibly surprised if even 1% of Americans could name all 9 of the supreme court justices off the top of their head, or match their names to their faces, or something like that.

It’s got nothing to do with our “questionable laws”. It’s because our judiciary has the power to strike down laws which conflict with our foundational laws, and yours doesn’t.

Your perception is badly skewed by spending time here. Most Americans couldn’t name a single Supreme Court justice (other than Roberts, and only because he’s been all over the news this week.)

I’m not sure what your definition of “reasonably informed” Americans is, but I presume it’s more than a third of the country. Hell, I’m a law student and I couldn’t name all nine if put on the spot (I got 8, and then couldn’t remember if it was Breyer or Stevens who retired when I polled myself just now).

I am not a lawyer, but I think in legal terminology an “opinion” refers to the majority’s written opinion(s),
while “dissent” refers to the minority’s written disagreement(s) with the majority. Still confusing, isn’t it?
That’s because lawyers specialize in ridiculous, confusing language, but don’t get me started on that.

Anyway, the point is that if Thomas used the phrase “joint opinion” in an early draft that could be
interperted as meaning that when the draft was composed a majority of the justices, including Roberts,
favored overturning Obamacare.

From what I understand of all this, I think Roberts showed himself to be an extremely clever man, both tactically and strategically. Remember that he may be Chief Justice for another 20 years or more.

Put it this way–in the broader scheme of things, the actual issues of the Obamacare case will be about as prominent as the question of whether a certain DC Justice of the Peace actually gets his commission delivered on time.

A hundred years from now, no one will know what “Obamacare” was, and Obama himself will be a trivia question (along with Scalia, Thomas and the rest of the gang). But they will remember Chief Justice John G. Roberts.

Bricker - what are your thoughts here?

Been that way at least since the 1930s, and is not going to change
in the forseeable future.

Republican appointees have had a way of disappointing conservative
voters, though. Earl Warren is the most conspicuous example, and
Warren Burger, a Nixon appointee, would have none of Nixon’s legal
shenanigans during the Watergate crisis.

Two women: Ruth Bader Ginsberg and an Obama appointee whose
Latin name I am embarassed to say escapes me.

I agree, and will make an effort to remedy my failing.

It seem to me that Confused dart cum is talking about the UK Supreme Court, as s/he says later “And that’s more than 99% of brits could do.”

And the justice you can’t remember is Elena Kagan.

Ah, yes, the wise Latina.

Ah, I was wondering what the hell was meant by “Latin name.”

Uh… unless I’m being whooshed, perhaps colonial meant Sonia Sotomayor? President Obama has had two appointments to the court, both of them women.

Well, I misread another member’s post, and I forgot there are now three female US Supreme Court Justices.
I hope that is all the mistakes that need catching. I promise to read net bios of all sitting justices next week.
There are still nine of them, aren’t there?

I’m not going to own up to “Latin name” being a mistake, though. “Latin” is a standard word for “Latin American”,
and does not strike me as all that obscure.

I tend to go with the opinion that this is just another in a long line of Roberts pro-corporate decisions. The ACA IS a huge gift to big insurance companies, the very briar patch they would most dearly love to be thrown in. No more complex rule needs to be invoked. It was Roberts being Roberts.

FWIW, this article from the New York Times opines that the most important effects of the bill are 1) A hit to the power of the federal government’s ability to force states to take certain actions through pursestrings, and 2) showing the SCOTUS’ willingness to rewrite legislation instead of simply ruling it constitutional or not.


Yes, I suppose it would more likely be Sotomayor being referred to there, not Kagan. So three women justices on the Supreme court.

Honestly, I’ve never heard that term to refer to a person of Latin American decent. I’ve heard “Latino” and “Latina” but not “Latin” on its own in that context. Could just be a dialect difference. I sincerely had no idea what you meant by “Latin name.”