Bill Maher asked Fareed Zakaria why he thinks Justice Roberts ruled in favor of the health care bill. Listen to his take on this:
Fareed Zakaria: I think he did it because he is a politician in the best sense of the word. The person leading one of the three branches of government has to think about the power of that branch of government. The Supreme Court has no power to tax or to spend. It has no army. All its power comes from legitimacy. In the 1980’s the Supreme Court’s approval rating was something like 66%. It’s down to 36%. A lot of that is Bush v. Gore. Some of it is Citizens United. And I think he realized that another 5-4 decision that would overturn the signature achievement of the first two years would be too much and it would make it impossible for them to have credibility going forward. They’re going to rule on affirmative action in the next session. They’re going to rule on gay marriage. Would any of those rulings have credibility?
Bill Maher: I agree with that and there is some positive in that but it also makes me so cynical because it makes me think when they decide about the law, the law is the last thing in their minds. They make the decision and then they find whatever they need to find to back up the law.
Fareed Zakaria: You haven’t hired lawyers? That’s what they do. You tell them where you want to go and they find a way to get you there. The supreme court is 9 lawyers.