“Over the past two years, the Republican Party has slowly been building
a permission structure for the five Republicans on the Supreme Court to
feel comfortable doing something nobody thought they could do: Violate
understanding of the commerce clause and, in perhaps the most
significant moment of judicial activism since the New Deal, overturn
either all or part of the Affordable Care Act. The first step was
perhaps the hardest: The Republican Party had to take an official and
unanimous stand against the constitutionality of the individual mandate.
Typically, it's not that difficult for the opposition party to oppose
the least popular element in the majority party's signature initiative.
individual mandate was a policy idea Republicans had thought of in the
late 1980s and supported for two decades. They had to, in effect,
persuade every Republican to say that the policy they had been
supporting was an unconstitutional assault on liberty.”