Earlier this week Lyle Denniston at Scotusblog posted this interesting commentary on a recent CBS News story which reported that “two sources with specific knowledge of the deliberations” claimed that Chief Justice Roberts switched his vote to uphold the healthcare law.
The commentary is quite long, and the key passage comes near the end:
Whatever the facts about the drafting of the opinions, their sequencing, and their legal points, the fact that all of this internal deliberation has been shared with a news reporter by someone “with specific knowledge” is a departure from the Court’s norm of keeping such things to itself, and that alone can leave a trail of bitterness and recrimination. . . .
But the prospect of lingering impact of the CBS story is not due only to the fact of the leaks. The content itself is a public rebuke of Roberts, from inside the Court, and amounts to a direct challenge to his ability to lead the Court and to take steps — if that was what his position on the health care law was intended to do — to insulate the Court from the partisan polarization that so dominates the rest of Washington.