Brief of Adam Liptak as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioners, U.S. Dep’t of Health & Human Services v. Florida

March 11th, 2012

Adam Liptak’s amicus is available here.

After the justices hear arguments, they will gather for a private conference and cast tentative votes. Then Chief Justice Roberts will, if he is in the majority, exercise one of the prerogatives of his position: he will choose who will write the majority opinion.

In major cases, chief justices have not hesitated to choose themselves. Whichever way the health care case comes out, the task of explaining the ruling to the American public is likely to fall to Chief Justice Roberts.

And I’m curious what the source of this “consensus” is:

The consensus among scholars and Supreme Court practitioners is that Chief Justice Roberts is unlikely to add the fifth vote to those of the four justices in the court’s liberal wing to uphold the law. But he is said to be quite likely to provide a sixth vote should one of the other more conservative justices decide to join the court’s four more liberal members.