Time: Roberts Leak 'Came From a Supreme Court Justice'

Tuesday, 03 Jul 2012 09:31 AM

By Patrick Hobin

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The leak detailing behind-the-scenes Supreme Court negotiations during Obamacare deliberations appears to have come from a Supreme Court justice, Time magazine reported.

In an article headlined, “John Roberts, Conservative Outcast, and the Supreme Court’s Unprecedented Leak,” the magazine lays out the case that one of the conservative justices likely leaked the information about the deliberations to CBS News.

The conservative justices, in the wake of the ruling upholding Obamacare as a government-imposed tax, “felt the need to explain publicly why the decision went against them, defend their efforts to prevent the outcome and vent a little spleen,” the magazine wrote.

A blockbuster CBS News report over the weekend provided an account of the decision of Chief Justice John Roberts to reverse course and the attempt by conservative Justices to sway him.

“Two sources with specific knowledge of the deliberations" told CBS that Roberts originally sided with the four conservative justices in declaring the individual mandate unconstitutional.

But while Roberts agreed that the individual mandate was unconstitutional under Congress' power to regulate commerce, he felt less strongly about whether the entire law should fall.

“Supreme Court leaks — especially one originating so close to the bench and coming just a few days after a ruling of such gravity — are virtually unheard of, even if all the circumstances the story describes are not,” the  article read.

Time  pointed to a quote by Justice Anthony Kennedy as particularly telling: “This time, according to CBS News, it was Kennedy who did the lobbying. The story describes him as ‘relentless’ until the very end, and ‘the most forceful and engaged of all the conservatives in trying to persuade Roberts.’ That quote is telling.”

The leaks did not likely come from “an angry clerk gone rogue either,” the magazine concluded.

“Conservatives are furious,” the article said. “Roberts’ fellow conservative jurists didn’t mention him by name in their dissent because ‘they no longer wished to engage in debate with him.’ One Justice, according to CBS, said the right wing of the court effectively told Roberts, ‘You’re on your own.’ They washed their hands of the ruling. Clearly, that’s something they want the world to know.”


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