Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was “furious” and “enraged” at Chief Justice John Roberts for his vote to uphold most of the healthcare reform law in June, according to “The Oath,” a new book about the Supreme Court by New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin.
The book confirms prior accounts that Roberts shifted his vote after initially joining the other conservative justices in overturning Obamacare, The Hill
reports. His colleagues’ insistence on dumping the entire law is what pushed Roberts to the other side, writes Toobin, who’s also a commentator for CNN.
"Scalia's view of the justices as gladiators against the president unnerved Roberts," the book reads. Scalia’s anger at Roberts’ shift doesn’t match the associate justice’s public comments after the decision scoffing at the notion of any conflict between him and Roberts.
Interestingly enough, Toobin stipulates that Roberts’ moderate stance on Obamacare will give him more room to champion conservative causes.
"Roberts did refrain from embracing the unprecedented extremism of his conservative colleagues in the healthcare case,” Toobin writes. “But it was folly to pretend that Roberts had discovered his inner moderate. He had not changed, except that he was more powerful than ever."
The Roberts healthcare vote should prevent Democrats from campaigning with an anti-Supreme Court agenda, Toobin says. But that will merely give Roberts more license to pursue conservative goals on issues like affirmative action and voting rights.
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