Chief Justice John Roberts voting with the Court’s liberal minority owes a great deal, I believe, to the legacy media's softening-up of Roberts with story after story saying a 5-4 conservative vote to overturn Obamacare would solidify the “public’s” (read “liberal elite’s”) image of the Roberts Court as highly partisan, hard-right. Reading the stories, Roberts buckled.Now Rich Lowry, editor of the conservative National Review, has written Roberts
came up with the only 5–4 decision that wouldn’t subject his court to the calumny of the Obama administration and law-school deans everywhere. All the op-eds that had been drafted trashing the legitimacy of the court have been filed away for now.In other words, Roberts caved in the face of liberal pressure.
The conservative Wall Street Journal more bluntly editorialized:
The political class and legal left conducted an extraordinary campaign to define [any] decision [overturning Obamacare] as partisan and illegitimate. If the Chief Justice capitulated to this pressure, it shows the Court can be intimidated and swayed from its constitutional duties.Roberts did capitulate; he can be intimidated.
Highlighting excellent detective work, the editorial noted the conservative dissent to Roberts’ ruling referred repeatedly to "Justice Ginsburg's dissent" and "the dissent" on the mandate. But Ruth Bader Ginsburg concurred with Roberts’ opinion, she did not dissent. The editorial believes Roberts was originally part of a 5-4 majority striking down Obamacare, then switched sides at the last minute.