Roberts Did Flip on ObamaCare: Sources
Fellow conservatives then battled for his support for entire month
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 2, 2012 9:37 AM CDT
In this Jan. 27, 2010 file photo, President Barack Obama greets Chief Justice John Roberts.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
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(Newser) – John Roberts hadn't always planned to give ObamaCare the green light—but once he'd changed his mind, no amount of convincing from Anthony Kennedy could bring him back, sources tell CBS News in an in-depth account of the decision-making process. Kennedy—himself long seen as a potential swing vote in favor of the law—"was relentless" in his efforts to bring Roberts back into the conservative fold after he switched his vote, a campaign that lasted for a full month. In the end, Roberts' fellow conservatives refused to sign on to even the aspects of his opinion with which they agreed, and penned a dissent that was unsigned—a "highly unusual" move, says CBS.

At first, Roberts was poised to strike down the individual mandate alongside the other conservatives, arguing that the law was an overreach of the Constitution's Commerce Clause. The reasons for his shift remain a mystery, but CBS offers some clues. Roberts closely follows the media, and while he worked on writing the mandate-killing majority opinion, the news was flooded with reports of risk to the Supreme Court's credibility if it nixed the mandate ... and to Roberts himself. The chief justice also suggests in his final opinion that the health law decision is best left in the hands of elected officials. He pushed for Kennedy's support, but never received it. Click through for the full story.