Poor Time Picked the Wrong SCOTUS Obamacare Decider
Anthony Kennedy is not the decider, the first draft of history yet again wrong.
It was the "red-eyed" Chief Justice John Roberts (per the prolific Jeffrey Toobin's description) who read the Supreme Court's decision in the states' and peoples' suits against the Patient Protection and Affordable Act (ACA).
So pour out a 40 for Massimo Calabresi & David von Drehle, who got this week's cover of Time magazine to declare that Justice Anthony Kennedy (who joined Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito in a dissent from the court's majority ruling) would be The Decider.
I once read through a box of Times from the 1940s, and Calabresi & von Drehle are not the first Time cover reporters to get details wrong during great events.
But it turns out that Kennedy not only didn't join the court's surging rightwing tide of Tea Party enfuried wrath against all human progress. He didn't join the majority at all. Here (courtesy of Washington Examiner) is what Kennedy had to say in the dissent:
"[T]o say that the Individual Mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute but to rewrite it," Kennedy, who was long regarded as a key swing vote in the case, wrote, adding that when passing taxes, "legislators must weigh the need for the tax against the terrible price they might pay at their next election." He then suggested that Congress intentionally avoided passing the mandate as a tax in an effort to avoid that election disaster. "We have no doubt that Congress knew precisely what it was doing when it rejected an earlier version of this legislation that imposed a tax instead of a requirement-with-penalty."
Roberts will have his Beltway dance card full from now until the end of time.
How did Reason's perfectly perplexed penful of perspicacious prognosticators do with its roundup of predictions? Not so hot.
I'd like to note also that Robert Reich scored a bullseye.
Located on the streets of L.A. this morning, Melrose Larry Green reacted by saying, "I hope all you young people enjoy paying higher taxes. The good news is President Romney will repeal Obamacare next year."