Most Americans and even many supporters of the law had seemed to accept that the law would not survive the Court's scrutiny. But a bare majority of the Court, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, refused to stand in the way of the law's implementation.
Critics of the law, and particularly its controversial requirement that most Americans purchase health insurance or face the wrath of the IRS, sought to parse the opinion for a silver lining.
"The health care law will have a profound, negative effect on our economy and system of government for decades to come," noted Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, which filed suit in California against the individual mandate. "At the same time, we are undeterred in our resolve to defend Americans' liberties. We have been protecting rights of conscience for years, and we will be doing so with the new health care law as well." Dacus noted that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes a religious opt-out provision that has not yet been tested or interpreted, so PJI will be pushing for expansive application of that provision. PJI also plans to challenge the "contraceptive mandate" that infringes on the freedoms of religious institutions.