I don’t think Roberts is “liberal”, but I also don’t buy into the idea that Roberts was purposely killing their power grab. This ruling that it was a tax is not a “poison pill” in the ruling. Why? Because he was the deciding vote. If he wanted to kill their power grab on the commerce clause, a better, much more expedient way to do it is just to vote with the other conservative justices and call it what is was...an abuse and extensive overreach of the commerce clause. Calling it a tax just so that it could later be shot down on a technicality makes no sense. It’s purely wishful thinking.
I go for more basic reasons for Roberts decision. I have to ask the questions that others have as:
-What did the Democrats have on Roberts?
-How did they get to him?
-what were they going to expose?
“Because he was the deciding vote.”
No, he wasn’t. There were other votes that could also have been called “deciding” votes, but that’s a nitpick. He had no interest in just killing it as a distortion of the commerce clause and nothing else. That would have been a checker players move. He effectively killed the commerce clause action and opened it to assault on MANY levels; it could not be used in a tax exempt environment (Catholic Hospitals, for instance) or could not be activated as a tax in its’s current form. And he knew that it would take another session and approvals and reconciliation to pass. And that ain’t gonna happen. Checkmate.