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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Legal Analyst: SCOTUS Decision ‘Death-Knell For Federalism’

This artist rendering shows Chief Justice John Roberts, center, speaking at the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday. From left are, Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Elena Kagan. (AP)

In the Supreme Court’s ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s liberal wing in upholding President Obama’s health care law.

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley told Here & Now’s Deb Becker that the ruling represents a blow to federalism.

“The way I read this opinion, I don’t see much left of federalism,” he said. “To use the Caesar analogy, this is really Roberts coming to bury federalism, not to praise it. He talks about federalism, the fact that you can’t do this under the commerce clause…  But then Roberts basically creates a highway to drive around it and says you can just do this under your tax authority. That, I think is going to be an amazingly sweeping ruling that is going to shrink the power of the states in fights with the federal government… It’s astonishing that it was Roberts who may have really brought the death-knell for federalism.”


  • Jonathan Turley, George Washington University law professor

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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