This artist's rendering shows Chief Justice John Roberts (center) speaking at the Supreme Court on Thursday. From left are Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito and Elena Kagan. The court voted 5-4 to uphold President Obama's health care law.
Shock, dismay, relief, confusion — all those emotions played out Thursday when the U.S. Supreme Court announced its 5-to-4 decision to uphold almost all of President Obama's health care overhaul.
The ruling, with shifting majorities on different provisions and multiple dissents, covered close to 200 pages and provoked initial confusion. Both Fox News and CNN got it wrong, reporting at first that the individual mandate had been struck down. But when the dust cleared, the law labeled derisively by Republicans as "Obamacare" was largely intact.
For President Obama, today's high court ruling brought vindication. It would have been a stinging embarrassment for the former constitutional law professor had his signature domestic policy been struck down as unconstitutional. NPR's Scott Horsley reports on the political impact of the ruling.
Now to the attorney general of Ohio, Republican Mike DeWine. Ohio was among the plaintiffs seeking to strike down the Affordable Care Act. And again, they ended up on the losing side today as the court upheld the law, including the individual mandate. Mike DeWine, welcome to the program.
MIKE DEWINE: Good to be back. Thank you very much.
The Supreme Court's ruling effectively ends the state of limbo the health law has been in for months now. The court upheld almost the entire health law. It decided the most controversial feature, the so-called individual mandate that requires most people to either have insurance or pay a penalty, is constitutional. Chief Justice Roberts, who wrote the opinion for the five justice majority, said the mandate is okay because the penalty is a tax.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. In Colorado today, some optimism, despite the hundreds of homes that have been destroyed by a wildfire. Since Saturday, the Waldo Canyon fire has scorched an area about four miles wide by seven miles long. Wind and hot, dry weather helped fan the flames and helped them spread quickly.
Now, as NPR's Jeff Brady reports from Colorado Springs, the weather has improved for fire crews.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block. The Supreme Court decision today to uphold the president's health care overhaul law drew strong reaction around the country, including right outside the court where a small sea of supporters and opponents had gathered.
So in the end, it was the chief justice, John Roberts, providing the key fifth swing vote to uphold the health-care law. Roberts, the conservative appointee of George W. Bush, ended up siding with the liberal wing of the court.
To talk about that turn, I'm joined by Jeffrey Rosen, law professor at George Washington University. Welcome back, Jeffrey.
For more now on the political impact of the Supreme Court ruling, we're joined by NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Mara, hi.
MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, Melissa.
BLOCK: We heard jubilation from Democrats, some shock from Republicans there. This is clearly a very important legal win for the president and for his policy on health care. But until this point, health care has not always been a winning issue for the president. Let's listen to some of what he said today addressing that question.