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The Boston Globe

Nation

Roberts’s role in vote sparks questions on legacy

The decision of usually conservative Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. to join the court’s moderate to liberal bloc to uphold the politically explosive health care law of 2010 could define a court he may lead for years, even decades, to come.

The high court has been viewed increasingly as merely another partisan-riven institution of government, causing it to suffer diminished public esteem, according to polling data. That despite Roberts’s declaration during his 2005 Senate confirmation hearing that he would be the ­equivalent of an umpire, applying the law, not making it.

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