Justice Roberts Saves Court and Health Care

With his decision on Obamacare, the conservative judge helped salvage Supreme Court legitimacy.

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By all means we should give credit where credit is due. Without question, President Obama should be pleased and even grateful that Chief Justice Roberts saved the health care law. But we should also remember that in so doing, the chief justice of the United States saved both the legitimacy of the court as well as his own.

Sherrilyn A. Ifill is a professor of law at the University of Maryland School of Law and a civil rights lawyer.

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that the Supreme Court's popularity rating was 28 percent instead of 44 percent. We regret the error. We have also clarified that justices from across an ideological spectrum (not only Justice Sotomayor), who supported the majority decision in the Arizona immigration case, gave the court a legitimacy boost last week.

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