Convservative Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts's vote to uphold the affordable healthcare act comes as a huge surprise to many. Brad Bannon, Democratic Political Consultant in Washington, D.C., says that Justice Roberts felt that if they nullified Obamacare, it would increase the common notion that the Supreme Court is partisan and republican, adding that Chief Roberts voted the way he did to show that the Supreme Court can be based on law, not politics.
Justice Kennedy was always seen as the swing vote and Bannon believes that Justice Roberts was tired of hearing he wasn't "the most important sitting member of the court," so by ruling the way he did, he made it clear that he is the most controlling factor on the Supreme Court.
This decision reflects that today, it's not always a clear win on either side. Bannon says that on the one hand, it is an advantage to Obama's presidency because "the Supreme Court ratified the iconic achievement of his administration," and showed Americans that Obama could solve a major problem in a legal and constitutional way. This has put Romney on the defensive as Romneycare was the inspiration for Obamacare. Romney is now talking about how much he disliked the Supreme Court decision but the Supreme Court has essentially ratified the insurance mandate he created in Massachusetts a long time ago. Essentially, this new visibility of healthcare has put Romney in a difficult spot as he's now criticizing a program he pioneered, explains Bannon.
Americans dislike Washington, not democrats or republicans and Congress has gotten that message. Bannon feels that's why they've worked with Obama on the Transportation and Student Loan Bills. "Justice Roberts sent a clear signal that this is how he wants the Supreme Court to operate and I think this will have an effect on the whole political process," says Bannon.
Thinking this is a smart move from Chief Roberts, Bannon feels it has restored the credibility of the Court, which had very little before this decision.
Brad Bannon is President of Bannon Communications Research, a Washington, D.C.-based political polling and consulting firm. More information can be found at www.bannoncr.com. This video commentary was hosted by The Legal Broadcast Network, which provides on-demand legal content.