Nightly News | June 28, 2012
WILLIAMS: And with us here in the studio tonight, our chief legal correspondent Savannah Guthrie , in Washington , the moderator of " Meet The Press " David Gregory . Welcome to you both. And, Savannah , let's talk about Chief Justice John Roberts . Today Laurence Tribe , the Harvard professor who can say he taught Barack Obama and John Roberts at Harvard Law School , said that with this decision, crossing over to join the liberals, Roberts might have saved the institution. He has to be hyperaware that the court these days is viewed as politically as anything else in Washington .
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE reporting: This is something that Justice Roberts has talked about repeatedly. It's something that almost consumes him. He cares very much about the institution of the court, the credibility of the court. He has expressed a distaste for decisions that come down 5-to-4 against those predictable party lines. Well, today we got a 5-to-4 decision all right, but it was not along those ideological lines. But look, he's still a conservative jurist. There's plenty of conservative ideology shot through the opinion that he wrote today, and he really comes down hard on the government's theory of this broad federal power . He put some new limits on Congress ' spending power. He's a conservative jurist, no question, but he's thinking about not only his own legacy but the legacy of the court itself.
WILLIAMS: And, David , you and I spoke earlier today, and if I'm correct you seem to think this thing will get ridden all the way. We got what, 131 days until Election Day . This thing goes till November as issues go.
DAVID GREGORY reporting: You know, it's interesting. I spoke to somebody close to Governor Romney today who said the brighter the line, the bigger the issue, the better for Mitt Romney . This is a bright red line between the president and Mitt Romney over the future of health care reform in this country. I'm reading from the chief justice's opinion when he says, "The court does not express any opinion on the wisdom of the Affordable Care Act . Under the Constitution the judgment is reserved to the people." Well, that's what politics is about. And the Romney campaign wants to make this a central issue. And the president, too, Brian , is going to have an opportunity that he started with today to resell to a skeptical public this law, what it means now, and there are things already in effect, and what it'll mean down the line, even though some key elements haven't taken effect yet.
WILLIAMS: David Gregory in Washington , Savannah Guthrie here with us in our New York studios, rounding out the very best team of coverage on this story today. Thank you both.