Roberts v. Kennedy — Kennedy would have struck down the entire law


The conventional wisdom going into today was that Justice Kennedy held the deciding vote.  That turned out to be wrong.  In fact, Kennedy would have voted to strike down the entire law.  The first sentence of his dissent says:  “In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.”

Instead, it was Chief Justice Roberts — to the right of Kennedy on many issues — whose vote saved the centerpiece of President Obama’s domestic agenda.  This is a fascinating development for Court watchers.  It likely will go down in history as the crucial vote of Roberts’ years as the leader of the Court.

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