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One example of judicial restraint in recent times was the case of NFIB v Sebelius. This case is better known as the “Obamacare” case. It was decided in the summer of 2012.
In this case, the majority of the Supreme Court would clearly have liked to overturn the “Obamacare” program. The majority felt that the program’s individual mandate went beyond what Congress is allowed to do under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The Court did in fact rule that the law was unconstitutional on those grounds. However, in what appears to be a case of judicial restraint, Chief Justice Roberts found that the law was constitutional by saying that it was legal under Congress’s power to tax.
In this case, the Supreme Court decided not to overturn a law that they clearly would have liked to overturn.
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