Some extraordinarily brief thoughts on the SCOTUS ACA decision.

By now, everyone is aware of the court’s decision in National Federal of Independent Business v. Sibelius, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act constitutional challenge. I’m no legal scholar—the best reaction and commentary can be found at the SCOTUSBlog and The Volokh Conspiracy, in my opinion—but I did get a chance to read the Constitutional portions of the case’s opinion, which I ultimately found to be persuasive (at least to the extent that the Court had no choice but to uphold the mandate as a constitutionally-exercised power under the Taxing Clause).

I have to share a small anecdote, to give some due credit: During the beginning of the suit, I spoke with my former Constitutional Law professor, Eric Berger (who was quoted in a recent story about the outcome). Professor Berger, I must say, called this from the beginning. Of course it’s constitutional, he said to me, it’s a tax, and Congress can tax nearly without limits under the Constitution. In essence, the Commerce Clause argument, which was the crux of the states’ case on this issue (and which it should be noted Roberts and four other justices adopted, wholesale), did not end up matter. Ultimately, what is most impressive about Roberts’ opinion—besides his easy and readable style—is that it is obvious his politics push him the other direction. Finally, a justice who seems to be finding a case that does not conveniently comport with his/her politics. (Yes, there are many decisions they make as such, but usually not on this scale.) Personally, I probably lean toward the argument that the ACA was still Constitutional under the Commerce Clause, but I can understand why the Court might have found otherwise.

You can read the opinion here.