Folks widely expect the Supreme Court to strike the mandate provisions of the so-called Obamacare bill despite widespread belief among nonpartisan Constitutional scholars that the mandate falls within the norms established by Wickard and referenced by this same court, and by Scalia specifically in the Court’s prior opinion that Federal law trumped state efforts to legalize the personal cultivation of marijuana for personal use.
The ugly and obvious fact is this: Scalia and his right-wing cronies rule based on politics, not the law. (N.B. that as apparent cover for his no-doubt predetermined vote on ACA, Scalia has published a book in which he disavows Wickard!) They work backwards from the desired outcome, not forwards from established precedent and legal principle. Moreover, they’re willing to blow established precedent when it suits them, as in Citizens United and, most likely, this ACA case w/r/t Wickard.
James Fallows has more over at the Atlantic. You should read it.
Bonus hilarity: Who wants to bet the same 5 conservative justices would uphold ACA if it had been a continuation of Romneycare under a Republican president?