I haven't paid much attention to all the stories being tossed around - it's over so what's the sense?
That said James Taranto in yesterday's WSJ offers a pretty good summary of what may have happened.
On Monday we noted that CBS's Jan Crawford, citing "two sources with specific knowledge" of the Supreme Court's deliberations in NFIB v. Sebelius, the ObamaCare case, had reported that Chief Justice John Roberts initially voted to hold the individual mandate unconstitutional, then changed his mind. But Crawford's sources denied speculation that the dissent was originally drafted by Roberts as a majority opinion.
Now a competing story has emerged. Lefty law prof Paul Campos writes at Salon.com that "a source within the court with direct knowledge of the drafting process" tells him that, to quote the unnamed source, "most of the material in the first three quarters of the joint dissent was drafted in Chief Justice Roberts' chambers in April and May." (The Campos story does not dispute that Roberts switched his vote, and indeed makes sense only if he did.)
National Review's John Fund adds:
I've learned from my own sources that after voting to invalidate the mandate, the chief did express some skepticism about joining the four conservatives in throwing out the whole law. At the justices' conference, there was discussion about accepting the Obama administration's argument, which was that, if the individual mandate was removed, the provisions governing community rating and guaranteed issue of insurance would have to go too but that the rest of the law might stand. The chief justice was equivocal, though, in his views on that point.
Fund's account is consistent with either Crawford's or Campos's. Unlike them, he does not say if his sources were court insiders. What's most striking about these accounts, though, is not the particular details but that we are reading them at all. Politics and law aside, it suggests the Roberts Court has a managerial debacle on its hands.
"Unlike the Congress and the executive branch, which seem to leak information willy-nilly, the Supreme Court, from the chief justice down to the lowliest clerk, appears to truly value silence when it comes to upcoming court opinions, big and small," according to an Associated Press dispatch filed June 25, three days before the ruling. Now the court looks like a dysfunctional executive agency or political campaign, with aggrieved individuals pleading their cases anonymously to the press.
We don't fault our fellow journalists, or even Campos, for pursuing and reporting the story. We simply wish to take note of how unusual such leaks are.
And the article goes on from there - hit the link above for the whole thing.