And yet, Justice Roberts has invariably been such a disappointment to me that I had little hope he would side with Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan, and Sotomayor. Though I have great respect for Justice Kennedy, the usual swing vote on the Court, I was convinced that his long-established preference for state's rights would be essential in this case and not good news for ACA. I had no expectation that the triumvirate of Justices Scalia, Alito, and Thomas would be the least bit helpful. These men would've sided with the Confederacy on questions of state's rights. They weren't about to affirm the ACA on any grounds. So I had to pin my hopes on Roberts and by golly, that was nerve-wracking.
I did a lot of re-reading yesterday, including a good deal of the oral arguments from the case. I recalled Justice Ginsburg's cryptic statement a few weeks ago, when she said that the pundits had no idea what the Court planned to do. I took hope from that. But I went to bed last night still confused. This morning, as we came down to the wire, I tweeted what my gut told me: the Court would rule ACA constitutional. Then I waited with my fingers and toes crossed. Seconds after the opinion came down, I gave my dad a call. He was watching CNN screw it up, so I got to tell him that ACA was upheld. And we were both emotional, which pretty much says it all.
I was raised by the kind of good, old-fashioned liberals who believe that they have an obligation to make the world a better place. In his
Voting outside your own narrow interests is an important thing; the very definition of a just citizen. Today, Justice Roberts recognized that. And I am supremely thankful.