Chief Justice chose to be a hero

To the Editor:

When Chief Justice John Roberts was considering which side to join in the health care decision he certainly recognized that he confronted a choice. He could choose to be vilified in the here and now by his right-wing colleagues or he could choose to be vilified for years to come by American historians.

The American history textbooks that future college students read will be written by eminent academics. Their authors are not members of the far right fringe of the American intellectual elite. There can be little doubt of their reaction, had Roberts joined his Republican fellow justices in a 5-4 decision to destroy the Affordable Care Act. The decision would have gone down in history as an outrageous exercise in political partisanship by the “Roberts Court.” Roberts would have been portrayed as the ringleader of a wrecking crew of reactionary Republicans who sabotaged a noble effort to extend health insurance to millions of Americans,

As it has turned out, when his great-grandchildren read in their history books about this momentous Supreme Court decision of 2012, Chief Justice Roberts will shine forth as a hero, not a villain.

R.E.L. Knight

West Tisbury