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Roberts sought ‘a way out’ of controversial health care ruling, says new book

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Chief Justice John Roberts, wary of the potential repercussions should he have cast the deciding vote to nullify the entire Affordable Care Act, backed away from his initial desire to overturn the law for fear that doing so would strip the Supreme Court of its nonpartisan authority.

That revelation is one of a few new insights into the Supreme Court’s deliberations on the ACA revealed in excerpts, previewed Saturday by Politico, from a forthcoming book by New Yorker writer and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. According to Toobin, Roberts initially wanted to declare the law unconstitutional, but his position grew “wobbly” as he worried that making such a seemingly political move at a crucial point in the presidential race could have undermined the court’s future credibility.

From the book:

A complete nullification of the health care law on the eve of a presidential election would put the Court at the center of the campaign … Democrats, and perhaps Obama himself, would crusade against the Court, eroding its moral if not its legal authority. … Gradually, then with more urgency, Roberts began looking for a way out.

What’s more, Toobin reports that Roberts’ switch was in part prompted by the Court’s conservative members’ insistence that he join them in striking down the entire law.

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“The four conservatives had overplayed their hand with the chief justice,” Toobin writes. “By demanding that Roberts kill off the entire health care law, they prompted him to look for some kind of middle ground.”

Roberts’ reversal on the case was widely publicized immediately after the ruling when, in a rare move, outraged law clerks and other staffers leaked details of the court’s deliberations. CBS News’ Jan Crawford, in a detailed report following the ruling, revealed that Roberts had switched his vote despite pleas from the court’s conservative wing that he remain on their side. According to that report, it was Justice Anthony Kennedy—who is often viewed as a moderate on the court—who most fervently implored Roberts to stick with his original opinion.

Toobin’s book, “The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court,” will be released on Tuesday.

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Alabama GOP Senate candidate bitterly complains TV has been ruined by showing too many ‘homosexual activities’

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Alabama Republican Senate candidate John Merrill this week complained that he doesn't enjoy watching television anymore due to the excess amount of "homosexual activities" that appear on his screen.

In an interview with AL.com, Merrill said that the lack of positive moral content on television these days has led to a decline in the nation's morality.

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Former aide to Israeli prime minister smacks Trump upside the head for dragging Israel into his racism mess

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In a column for Bloomberg, a former senior aide to Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin said his country has no interest in being associated with Donald Trump's racist meltdown over four Democratic lawmakers and advised the president to leave them out it.

Responding to Trump's tweets that accused the four Democrats, all women of color, of not only hating America but also Israel, Zev Chafets -- who was the founding managing editor of the Jerusalem Report Magazine -- claimed Trump can rest at ease because they don't need his help.

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Trump flings racist trash because Fox News has warped his perception of reality: Ex-White House official

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President Donald Trump lobbed racist abuse at four Democratic congresswomen over the weekend -- and his advisers say his addiction to Fox News is at least partially to blame.

The president's advisers have been trying to convince him that outrageous tweets and comments do way more harm than good -- his lowest poll numbers came after his remarks about Charlottesville and after slandering "sh*thole" countries -- but they said Trump has a skewed perception about his popularity with minority voters, reported Politico.

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