Almost 75 years ago, another Justice Roberts supposedly switched his vote on minimum wage laws in Parrish, overturning a previous SCOTUS decision and rendering them constitutional. Not only did this signal a shift that would continue in future New Deal decisions (though maybe Congress just got better at writing constitutional laws), it also stopped FDR’s court-packing plan in its tracks.
While rumblings of a plan to pack the Court were today, if anywhere, in the political extremes, Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision to uphold the PPACA under Congress’ taxing power certainly came as a shock to most SCOTUS fans; especially after Citizens United. Many on the left were feeling that the Court was losing its institutional credibility (though that’s always the argument of the minority party in the Court).
However, the individual mandate/tax was upheld, and the PPACA is now officially constitutional AND the law of the land.