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Where next for John Roberts and the Supreme Court?

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The upholding of the individual mandate is not just a defeat for movement conservatives, the fact that it was Chief Justice Roberts and not Jusice Kennedy who defied them may be a rather bigger "tell."

The Supreme Court has been handing down 5-4 decisions for quite a while. When O'Connor retired, the right thought that they would finally have the reliable partisan vote in their favor that would allow them to overturn Roe vs Wade, gut the civil rights act and a dozen other projects they could never achieve through Congress. Instead the court shifted to the right, but not nearly as much as the GOP wanted, and Kennedy became the swing vote in a series of 5-4 decisions.

Roberts did vote for Citizens United, but he isn't a Scalia or a Renquist. Faced with the choice of delivering for the extreme right, Roberts decided to keep his reputation intact.

That vote is going to have consequences. There are no shades of agreement for movement conservatives, you are either with them 100% or a vile traitor and enemy. Expect the right to denounce Robert's vote as craven, giving in to pressure from the left, then give him the Fox News treatment till they have safely driven him out of their fold.

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