Suffolk University Law Professor Renée Landers appeared as a guest on WGBH's TV news program Greater Boston Thursday, and was also cited by ABC News, MSN, and U.S. News & World Report in the wake of the Supreme Court's historic ruling on the Affordable Care Act.
Professor Landers was in high demand after she correctly predicted that the US Supreme Court would uphold the health care law as constitutional. What she didn't predict – few did – was exactly how the court arrived at its decision.
The court majority ruled that the so-called individual mandate, which penalizes Americans who don't carry health insurance, is essentially a tax collected by the IRS – and therefore constitutional based on Congress's power to levy taxes.
In a surprising twist, it was normally conservative Chief Justice John Roberts – not Justice Anthony Kennedy, thought to be a swing vote – who sided with the four more liberal-leaning justices to form the 5-4 majority. Professor Landers anticipated Roberts' support of the law, though she had expected Kennedy to join him, noting that the two justices pursued a balanced line of questioning during the hearings.