|By Jared Allebest|
In the term that ended last week, the Supreme Court reached a liberal outcome in cases involving President Obama’s health care law, Arizona’s draconian immigration statute and mandatory life sentences for juveniles. But the conservative majority also laid down a cache of weapons that future courts can use to attack many of the legislative achievements of the New Deal and the Great Society — including labor, environmental, civil rights and consumer protection laws — and to prevent new progressive legislation. Far from being a source of jubilation, the term may come back to haunt liberals....The Roberts court has intensified the effort to reduce federal power. That the individual mandate was upheld should not overshadow the court’s ruling on Medicaid expansion — the part of the ruling that is most likely to affect other legislation in the near future.For the first time since the New Deal, the court struck down an exercise of Congress’s spending power. It held that Congress lacked the power to deny Medicaid funds to states that refuse to expand their coverage. Chief Justice Roberts — joined by the liberal justices Stephen G. Breyer and Elena Kagan — held that while the government can deny additional Medicaid funds to states that refuse to expand their coverage, it cannot penalize them by rescinding current Medicaid payments.