The SCOTUSblog has published a 7,000 word piece detailing the minute-by-minute timeline of the CNN and Fox News actions that lead them to incorrect reporting on the most important Supreme Court decision in decades. It is a fascinating piece.
The CNN and Fox producers are scanning the syllabus. Eight lines from the bottom of page 2, they see the following language: “Chief Justice Roberts concluded in Part III-A that the individual mandate is not a valid exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause.” They immediately and correctly recognize that sentence as fantastically important. The individual mandate is the heart of the statute, and it is clear that the Court has rejected the Administration’s principal theory – indeed the only theory that was discussed at great length in the oral arguments and debated by commentators.
Into his conference call, the CNN producer says (correctly) that the Court has held that the individual mandate cannot be sustained under the Commerce Clause, and (incorrectly) that it therefore “looks like” the mandate has been struck down. The control room asks whether they can “go with” it, and after a pause, he says yes.
The Fox producer reads the syllabus exactly the same way, and reports that the mandate has been invalidated. Asked to confirm that the mandate has been struck down, he responds: “100%.”
- How CNN and Fox News got the health care ruling wrong (jimromenesko.com)