Politics

The Obama Administration is Playing Politics with John Roberts, and it’s About Time

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts (AP/Michael Conroy)
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts (AP/Michael Conroy)

 

(Salon) – The Obama administration is taking a cynical approach to the Supreme Court’s consideration of King v. Burwell, conservatives’ latest desperate and quite possibly successful attempt to gut the Affordable Care Act. It is appealing to John Roberts’ political thinking, highlighting the tremendous damage it would do to what remains of the Court’s reputation and the chaos it would wreak on the healthcare system.

Thank God that they finally, finally understand the necessity of this approach. It is the only way to deal with such a political Supreme Court.

If conservative justices could be expected to “call balls and strikes,” as it were, this case would be an easy one for the Supreme Court to decide — so easy, in fact, that they would have already decided it. They would have decided that it was obviously not worth taking up. That they granted cert to the case in the first place tells you that defending the case on its legal merits, alone, will not be enough. You have to get into John Roberts’ head and tilt the political balance of his thoughts.

TPM’s Sahil Kapur reports today on the administration’s strategy to persuade John Roberts, political operator, that the politics of gutting the Affordable Care Act would be a net-negative for his legacy.

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