"It is of course true that the Act describes the payment as a 'penalty,' not a 'tax.' But while that label is fatal to the application of the Anti-Injunction Act, it does not determine whether the payment may be viewed as an exercise of Congress's taxing power."
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan at the Aspen Ideas Festival, but the big news today comes from Washington, where the Supreme Court upheld President Obama's health care law in a series of five-to-four votes. In a surprise, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the four liberal members of the court.
At its peak, 866,000 people were glued to SCOTUSblog, waiting for the Supreme Court's judgment on President Obama's signature legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Not very long ago, SCOTUSblog was an unknown, a website where lawyers and legal wonks parsed even obscure Supreme Court decisions. But over the past few weeks, it has become the go-to place to get up-to-second news on the court.
In the most anticipated and politicized Supreme Court ruling since Bush v. Gore, which decided the 2000 U.S. presidential contest, the high court on Thursday let stand, in a 5-4 decision, the centerpiece of President Obama's health care legislation.
Chief Justice John Roberts, providing the deciding vote and writing the majority opinion, laid out the rationale, which says that Congress under the Commerce Clause does not have the authority to require people to buy insurance — but it does have the authority to tax people who do not have coverage.
Even in Washington, a city where hyperbole rules, it still seems difficult to overstate how big a win the Supreme Court's decision on President Obama's signature piece of domestic legislation is for the man in the Oval Office.
The Affordable Care Act is so identified with him, after all, that its opponents quickly dubbed it "Obamacare," a term supporters at first eschewed but later came to embrace.
Violence against women in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala has reached crisis proportions, according to a report by the Nobel Women's Initiative. The group's delegation spent ten days documenting homicides, disappearances, and attacks of sexual violence. Laura Carlsen wrote the report and discusses the findings with guest host Viviana Hurtado.
The Supreme Court upheld President Obama's signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act. Guest host Viviana Hurtado takes a closer look at the court's historic decision with NPR's Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving, Dr. Kavita Patel of the Brookings Institution, and Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute.
Kailash Sundaran (left), Devyn Greenberg and Devontae Freeland, supporters of President Obama's health care overhaul, cheer outside of the Supreme Court on Thursday, after the court upheld a majority of the law.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California watches the news of the court's ruling unfold on television. Pelosi, the former speaker of the House, was instrumental in helping to pass the health care overhaul in Congress, and was at President Obama's side when he signed it into law.