CNN is getting it wrong, if SCOTUSblog is right. They're headlining "Individual Mandate Struck Down."
CNN is running on the Commerce Clause ground, apparently, and not seeing the tax power part.
At SCOTUSblog: "So the mandate is constitutional. Chief Justice Roberts joins the left of the Court."
UPDATE: John King on CNN is starting to walk back. Wolf Blitzer notes "conflicting reports from in there."
UPDATE 2: From SCOTUSblog. "The bottom line: the entire ACA is upheld, with the exception that the federal government's power to terminate states' Medicaid funds is narrowly read." From CNN: Blitzer says "let's take a deep breath... if you're watching this on Twitter... momentous... more information...."
UPDATE 3: CNN reporter showing what a big, long opinion it is — holding it up, flipping through the pages. Finally, at 9:15, she says the entire law has been upheld.
UPDATE 4: Note the important political effect of saying it's a tax (and not an exercise of the power to regulate under the Commerce Clause): People don't like taxes. Obama and the Democrats imposed a huge new tax, affecting middle class people. Wolf Blitzer calls this "a huge huge victory for President Obama," but it will be used against him, and the tax ground means a lot.
The money quote from the section on the mandate: Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax. This is sufficient to sustain it.UPDATE 5: Based on CNN, which I don't trust, it's a 5 to 4 decision, and Chief Justice Roberts, not Justice Kennedy, was the deciding vote.
UPDATE 6: From SCOTUSblog: "The court reinforces that individuals can simply refuse to pay the tax and not comply with the mandate." Hmmm. I think that might be misstated. I'm guessing SCOTUSblog meant to say that individuals can simply refuse to comply with the mandate — i.e., buy insurance — and pay the penalty — which is accepted as a "tax" within the meaning of the taxing power. [ADDED: My guess there is correct, as SCOTUSblog has now noted.]
UPDATE 7: I still don't have the opinion, but the Commerce Clause discussion comes out on the conservative side, and that will be important doctrine. Now, possibly they simply talk about the difficulty of the Commerce Clause question and then refuse to resolve it, switching to the taxing power issue.
UPDATE 8: The spending power material about the states and Medicare is also important. Per SCOTUSblog: "The Constitution requires that states have a choice about whether to participate in the expansion of eligibility; if they decide not to, they can continue to receive funds for the rest of the program." This probably is an important new contribution to the doctrine about conditional spending, that Congress can't attach a new condition to old spending as it entices the states to agree to something they can't otherwise be required to do. That makes it much harder to lure the states into accepting conditions.
UPDATE 8: In Update 7, I said I couldn't assume that there was a resolution of the Commerce Clause issue, but I see now that there are 5 votes saying the Commerce Clause does not support the individual mandate, and: "The power to regulate commerce presupposes the existence of commercial activity to be regulated."