Jonathan H. Adler: Did Conservatives Lose the Battle, but Win the War?

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Jonathan H. Adler is a law professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

It’s unfortunate that Chief Justice Roberts joined the liberal justices to uphold the individual mandate as a tax.  Yet as I understand the ruling, the opinion does very little to enlarge the federal government’s power and, in key respects, reinforced federalism limitations on federal power.  According to SCOTUSBlog, while Chief Justice Roberts concluded the mandate is a tax, he also rejected the Commerce Clause arguments in favor of the mandate.  This is significant, because it will limit the ability of Congress to adopt additional mandates in the future.  No one will be able to claim such requirements are not a tax, and this will make such requirements more difficult to enact....

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