Let the celebrating continue in this thread.7:28 AM PT:
Justice Ginsburg makes clear that the vote is 5-4 on sustaining the mandate as a form of tax. Her opinion, for herself and Sotomayor, Breyer and Kagan, joins the key section of Roberts opinion on that point. She would go further and uphold the mandate under the Commerce Clause, which Roberts wouldn't. Her opinion on Commerce does not control.
The Court holds that the mandate violates the Commerce Clause, but that doesn't matter b/c there are five votes for the mandate to be constitutional under the taxing power.
The court found problems with the law's expansion of Medicaid, but even there said the expansion could proceed as long as the federal government does not threaten to withhold states' entire Medicaid allotment if they don't take part in the law's extension.7:33 AM PT: 7:34 AM PT:
7:36 AM PT: SCOTUSBlog give the "Plain English" summary.
The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn't comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.7:37 AM PT: 7:40 AM PT:
7:41 AM PT: Sore losers:
7:42 AM PT: Just to reiterate, Republicans are horrified that more people will have health insurance, and are vowing that the most important thing ever is to stop that from happening.