At his confirmation hearing in 2005, John G. Roberts Jr. vowed to uphold the Supreme Court’s role as a neutral arbiter — “to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat,” as he put it. Many Democratic senators were skeptical of those promises — including then-senator Barack Obama, who voted against Roberts’ confirmation as chief justice, fearing he was another right-wing ideologue in the mold of Antonin Scalia. But in Roberts’ landmark opinion on Thursday upholding President Obama’s health care legislation, the chief justice made good on his promise.
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