The opinion Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in connection with NFIB vs. Sebelius (Case Number 11-393) is well-written, but Roberts’ opinion and his colleagues’ concurring and dissenting opinions take up a total of 193 PDF pages.
We’ve tried to speed up the process of going through the ruling by creating this version with some of the more interesting portions highlighted in yellow.
The highlighted portions cover matters such as why the individual health insurance ownership penalty included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) is a tax for purposes of deciding whether Congress can require taxpayers to make the payment but not for the purpose of applying the Anti-Injunction Act.
Here’s a list of what we think are portions of special interest.
Page 1 — The Supreme Court itself provides a header putting how it sees the case in a nutshell.
Pages 2-6 — The court explains who decided what and wrote what.
Page 8 — A statement that the court is looking at constitutionality, not the merits of the law.
Pages 10-12 — Roberts discusses the constitutional powers that are involved in the case.
Page 16 — An explanation of the PPACA Medicaid expansion provisions.
Page 17 — The Anti-Injunction Act.
Page 18 — Congress’s decision to label the PPACA individual mandate payment a “penalty” rather than a “tax.”
Page 19 — Why the PPACA individual mandate penalty is not a tax for purposes of applying the Anti-Injunction Act.
Page 21 — The Anti-Injunction Act does not apply.
Page 22-23 — How Roberts sees the PPACA guaranteed-issue, community rating and individual mandate provisions.
Page 24 — Roberts thinks Ginsburg’s examples of the government requiring people to buy products such as firearms are irrelevant because they don’t involve the Commerce Clause.
Page 28 — The government’s Commerce Clause logic would let it make us buy any product.
Page 29 — Why Congress imposed the mandate.