John Roberts is a) the smartest member of the Court, b) way way way smarter than any of the zillion pundits who didn’t see this particular ruling coming, and c) perhaps in John Marshall’s class. I say this even though I was hoping the Court would declare the entire Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. Roberts clearly defended the two biggest principles in the case — that there are limits to the commerce power, and (a pleasant surprise!) that the spending power does not give Congress the right to dragoon the states by threatening federal funding which the states have no realistic choice to forego. And most of all he clearly articulated a principle that many of the elites in our legal and political system have long ignored — that the Constitution matters, it is the bedrock of our system of laws, and you cannot transform a government of enumerated powers into one of plenary powers by majority vote.