Dysfunctional SCOTUS ?


Folks, this is big.  Really, really, really big.

Jan Crawford is reporting over at CBS News that there is serious dissension among the Chief Justice and the eight Associate Justices of the SCOTUS.

Her lead paragraphs drop the bombshell

Chief Justice John Roberts initially sided with the Supreme Court’s four conservative justices to strike down the heart of President Obama’s health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, but later changed his position and formed an alliance with liberals to uphold the bulk of the law, according to two sources with specific knowledge of the deliberations.

Roberts then withstood a month-long, desperate campaign to bring him back to his original position, the sources said. Ironically, Justice Anthony Kennedy – believed by many conservatives to be the justice most likely to defect and vote for the law – led the effort to try to bring Roberts back to the fold.

From page 4 of her article

The majority decisions were due on June 1, and the dissenters set about writing a response, due on June 15. The sources say they divided up parts of the opinion, with Kennedy and Scalia doing the bulk of the writing.

The two sources say suggestions that parts of the dissent were originally Roberts’ actual majority decision for the Court are inaccurate, and that the dissent was a true joint effort.

The fact that the joint dissent doesn’t mention Roberts’ majority was not a sign of sloppiness, the sources said, but instead was a signal the conservatives no longer wished to engage in debate with him.

The fact that Supreme Court justices disagree should not be a surprise.  The really, really, really big deal about this is that one (or more) of the justices perpetrated a leak to the media.

Stay tuned.

 

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