How SCOTUS justices bargained over fate of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, via left, stands with fellow justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer along with Elena Kagan.

Larry Downing | Bloomberg | Getty Images

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, via left, stands with fellow justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer along with Elena Kagan.

Chief Justice John Roberts traded with liberal justices over the fate of a key plank in President Barack Obama’s signature health-care legislation while the matter was before the Supreme Court in 2012, according to an adaptation published on Thursday of a forthcoming Roberts biography.

The legal battle over the Affordable Care Act was one of the most consequential disputes before the nation’s top court since Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee, took the helm in 2005.

the item has long been reported in which Roberts flipped his vote on the central element of the case, eventually siding with the liberals in a 5-4 vote to uphold the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.

although according to Joan Biskupic, the author of “The Chief: The Life along with Turbulent Times of Chief Justice John Roberts,” in which’s not the only flip-flop in which happened at the time. According to Biskupic, two of the court’s liberals, Justices Stephen Breyer along with Elena Kagan, flipped on Medicaid expansion, a separate legal issue concerning Obamacare.

When the Affordable Care Act was passed, the item required states to expand Medicaid coverage to those near the poverty line or risk losing federal funding.

According to Biskupic, Breyer along with Kagan voted during the court’s first conference on the matter, in March 2012, to uphold in which requirement. although once Roberts signaled in which he was going to switch his vote along with uphold the individual mandate, the two justices were “were willing to meet him partway.”

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