The Mandate Upheld as a Tax

We do not yet have the mandate opinion (or at least I don’t). But apparently it was upheld on a 5-4 vote, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the four liberal justices. Much more surprisingly, it was apparently upheld on the grounds that it is a tax. This was the least likely basis for a win for the federal government, given that this argument was rejected by nearly all the lower court judges who considered it, and that most of the Supreme Court justices showed great skepticism about it at oral argument. I am not surprised that the mandate was upheld (I never thought we had more than a 50-50 chance of winning). But I am extremely surprised it happened this way.

More to come once I have had a chance to read the opinion.