WSJ: Obamacare Challenge Puts Chief Justice Roberts in Spotlight

The challenge to the Affordable Care Act for which the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Wednesday may come down to Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion on the matter, which could potentially help shape his reputation for years to come.

A Wall Street Journal story explains the decision, which is expected to come in June, will most likely be split among the eight other justices. Roberts, therefore, would have the deciding vote.

That was the case three years ago, when the court ruled 5-4 on a challenge to a portion of the law that requires all Americans to either have health insurance or pay a fine. Roberts’ vote sided with the law, which was passed in 2010.

“Most of us assume Roberts is the swing vote because he was the swing vote last time this came around,” University of California law professor Adam Winkler told the Journal.

“And the sense is that the four justices who voted against Obamacare last time are eager to strike it down this time.”

The four other justices, Winkler said, would likely side with the law.