The Man Who Predicted the Verdict

The Supreme Court decision to uphold the mandate because Justice Roberts saw it as a tax was surprising to most.  But for all the conspiracy theories floating around about Roberts changing his mind at the 11th hour, there’s at least one observer who understood what Roberts was thinking back in March after the oral arguments.

Mr. Dellinger was wrong about Kennedy, but was precisely on the mark with Roberts.  Considering I’m not aware of anyone else who thought of this outcome as a serious option, that’s pretty impressive, no?


  1. The Lorax says:

    I said Roberts would join the majority in upholding the law. I just didn’t predict Kennedy wouldn’t also join!

  2. I thought Jeff Toobin and all the idiot analysts on the left overreacted in March, though I was cautiously optimistic, since I did not see Roberts flipping without Kennedy to back him up.

    I think Dellinger’s analysis was right in that both Roberts and Kennedy were looking for ways to uphold the law. I was less surprised by the outcome than I was by how Roberts got there. In retrospect, perhaps the attorney for the states (who also unsuccessfully argued Arizona’s case) should have argued the tax point more forcefully. For instance, even if it is a tax, is it necessarily an income tax, as Roberts claimed it was? If it were viewed as a direct tax, then the federal government would have no basis for collecting it as it is not apportioned among the several states in accordance with their respective populations.