The Affordable Care Act, seersucker and courage
After the Supreme Court made its ruling on the Affordable Care Act, I heard Jeffrey Rosen say that Chief Justice John Roberts was “courageous” for not only writing what was the majority opinion issued in National Federation of Independent Business, et al. v. Sebelius, et al. but also for what he surmised were Roberts' ultimately unsuccessful, behind-the-scenes efforts to create a 6-3, as opposed to a 5-4, majority opinion. Rosen described Roberts as “courageous” for taking seriously the sacred trust of the judiciary to rise about the current polarizing political climate. Obviously, Rosen went on to say, Roberts would face a barrage of criticism from the political right for his failure to side with the other “conservative” justices on this polarizing issue. It is this decision, though — and in particular, this kind of cobbled-together majority — that paints a clear picture of the type of Supreme Court over which Roberts wants to preside, Rosen said. (You can listen to Rosen's full comments here.) Earlier this week, in The Washington Post, columnist Dana Millbank lamented the demise of the Senate’s “Seersucker Thursday,” a Washington tradition that occurred heretofore on the third Thursday in June each year. As an avid fan of seersucker, I took notice of this tragic event.