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Today, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the police can collect a DNA swab from people who have been arrested but not convicted of a crime. The justices were unusually divided—conservative Justice Antonin Scalia joined liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan on the dissenting opinion.
For some deeper context, read Harry Jaffe’s story, "Truth and Consequences," in the Washingtonian, which was featured on Longreads last month.

Today, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the police can collect a DNA swab from people who have been arrested but not convicted of a crime. The justices were unusually divided—conservative Justice Antonin Scalia joined liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan on the dissenting opinion.

For some deeper context, read Harry Jaffe’s story, "Truth and Consequences," in the Washingtonian, which was featured on Longreads last month.

A minute-by-minute account of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the American Care Act, and how some news organizations initially got it wrong:

Into his conference call, the CNN producer says (correctly) that the Court has held that the individual mandate cannot be sustained under the Commerce Clause, and (incorrectly) that it therefore ‘looks like’ the mandate has been struck down.  The control room asks whether they can ‘go with’ it, and after a pause, he says yes.
The Fox producer reads the syllabus exactly the same way, and reports that the mandate has been invalidated.  Asked to confirm that the mandate has been struck down, he responds: ‘100%.’
The Bloomberg team finishes its review, having read the Commerce Clause holding and then turned the page to see that the Court accepted the government’s alternative argument that the individual mandate is constitutional under Congress’s tax power.  At 10:07:32 – 52 seconds after the Chief Justice began speaking – Bloomberg issues an alert:  ’OBAMA’S HEALTH-CARE OVERHAUL UPHELD BY U.S.SUPREME COURT.’  Bloomberg is first, and it is right.

"We’re Getting Wildly Differing Assessments." — Tom Goldstein, SCOTUSblog
More #longreads on health care

A minute-by-minute account of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the American Care Act, and how some news organizations initially got it wrong:

Into his conference call, the CNN producer says (correctly) that the Court has held that the individual mandate cannot be sustained under the Commerce Clause, and (incorrectly) that it therefore ‘looks like’ the mandate has been struck down.  The control room asks whether they can ‘go with’ it, and after a pause, he says yes.

The Fox producer reads the syllabus exactly the same way, and reports that the mandate has been invalidated.  Asked to confirm that the mandate has been struck down, he responds: ‘100%.’

The Bloomberg team finishes its review, having read the Commerce Clause holding and then turned the page to see that the Court accepted the government’s alternative argument that the individual mandate is constitutional under Congress’s tax power.  At 10:07:32 – 52 seconds after the Chief Justice began speaking – Bloomberg issues an alert:  ’OBAMA’S HEALTH-CARE OVERHAUL UPHELD BY U.S.SUPREME COURT.’  Bloomberg is first, and it is right.

"We’re Getting Wildly Differing Assessments." — Tom Goldstein, SCOTUSblog

More #longreads on health care

How the Supreme Court dismantled campaign-finance reform—and how government missteps in the Citizens United case inadvertently aided in its undoing:

Alito wanted to push Stewart down a slippery slope. Since McCain-Feingold forbade the broadcast of ‘electronic communications’ shortly before elections, this was a case about movies and television commercials. What else might the law regulate? ‘Do you think the Constitution required Congress to draw the line where it did, limiting this to broadcast and cable and so forth?’ Alito said. Could the law limit a corporation from ‘providing the same thing in a book? Would the Constitution permit the restriction of all those as well?’
Yes, Stewart said: ‘Those could have been applied to additional media as well.’
The Justices leaned forward.

"Money Unlimited." — Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker
More #longreads from Toobin

How the Supreme Court dismantled campaign-finance reform—and how government missteps in the Citizens United case inadvertently aided in its undoing:

Alito wanted to push Stewart down a slippery slope. Since McCain-Feingold forbade the broadcast of ‘electronic communications’ shortly before elections, this was a case about movies and television commercials. What else might the law regulate? ‘Do you think the Constitution required Congress to draw the line where it did, limiting this to broadcast and cable and so forth?’ Alito said. Could the law limit a corporation from ‘providing the same thing in a book? Would the Constitution permit the restriction of all those as well?’

Yes, Stewart said: ‘Those could have been applied to additional media as well.’

The Justices leaned forward.

"Money Unlimited." — Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker

More #longreads from Toobin

Paul Clement, a former solicitor general under George W. Bush, is representing state attorneys general in the Supreme Court fight against Obama’s health care law—and it’s just one of seven cases he’ll be arguing before the court:

There are two ways to assess a Supreme Court argument. One is to view it as an act of persuasion. You can read Clement’s brief primarily as a letter to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who’ll likely be the deciding vote if the Court overturns Obama­care. Clement quotes Kennedy’s previous opinions throughout his brief, and he leans on broad themes rather than legalistic detail, which is a style that has worked to good effect on the justice in past cases. The other, more cynical way to view a Supreme Court argument is as an act of manipulation—to provide the justices with a plausible rationale for reaching a decision they’re already predisposed to make. If you believe that the Court’s conservative majority is itching to strike down Obamacare, then the task is to launder this decision of partisan motivation. And so Clement argues that there are, in fact, other ways to fix America’s health-care system without an individual mandate; it’s just that Congress chose not to avail itself of those means because they were politically unpopular.

"The GOP’s Great Hope for Supreme Court Season." — Jason Zengerle, New York magazine
See more #longreads about health care

Paul Clement, a former solicitor general under George W. Bush, is representing state attorneys general in the Supreme Court fight against Obama’s health care law—and it’s just one of seven cases he’ll be arguing before the court:

There are two ways to assess a Supreme Court argument. One is to view it as an act of persuasion. You can read Clement’s brief primarily as a letter to Justice Anthony Kennedy, who’ll likely be the deciding vote if the Court overturns Obama­care. Clement quotes Kennedy’s previous opinions throughout his brief, and he leans on broad themes rather than legalistic detail, which is a style that has worked to good effect on the justice in past cases. The other, more cynical way to view a Supreme Court argument is as an act of manipulation—to provide the justices with a plausible rationale for reaching a decision they’re already predisposed to make. If you believe that the Court’s conservative majority is itching to strike down Obamacare, then the task is to launder this decision of partisan motivation. And so Clement argues that there are, in fact, other ways to fix America’s health-care system without an individual mandate; it’s just that Congress chose not to avail itself of those means because they were politically unpopular.

"The GOP’s Great Hope for Supreme Court Season." — Jason Zengerle, New York magazine

See more #longreads about health care