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In June 2012, in a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court upheld one of the most important acts of Congress in the last half century, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). The decision, in which Chief Justice John Roberts joined four more liberal colleagues in invoking Congress’s taxing authority to uphold a contested provision of the Obamacare legislation, was significant not only in allowing a major change in the organization of American health care to go ahead but also in its potential impact on future legal rulings and on the status of the Supreme Court itself.

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