This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
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And I'm Linda Wertheimer.
The Supreme Court surprised almost everyone yesterday when it upheld the heart of President Obama's health care law: a requirement that everyone either have insurance or pay a fine or tax. It's a big victory for president. It also gives his challenger, Mitt Romney, some important opportunities.
Here's NPR's national political correspondent, Mara Liasson.
The Supreme Court's decision on health care yesterday was just one of several handed down this week. The justices also struck down mandatory life sentences for juveniles, citing cruel and unusual punishment.
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There are more than 2,000 inmates serving mandatory life sentences for crimes they committed as minors. The high court said judges should be allowed to consider mitigating factors such as a young defendant's immaturity or the circumstances of his or her upbringing.
Yesterday's ruling on health care took the financial markets by surprise. Stocks were mixed with some shares finishing the day sharply higher. By the end of the day, stock traders seemed to shrug off the ruling.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
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And I'm Renee Montagne. The Supreme Court's decision to uphold President Obama's health care law defied many predictions: the outcome, the legal grounds, and the makeup of the court majority. For Chief Justice John Roberts, his definitive court opinion was either a triumph of judicial restraint, or a sellout, depending on who you talk to.
Just last week, Republican leaders were warning their rank and file not to gloat if the health care law were overturned. Well, after the decision came yesterday, GOP leaders regrouped and vowed to keep fighting. NPR's Andrea Seabrook reports.
ANDREA SEABROOK, BYLINE: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor stepped up to the microphone.
REPRESENTATIVE ERIC CANTOR: If for nothing else, today's health care decision underscores the importance of this election.
To Florida now, where yesterday's Supreme Court decision came as a complete shock to some elected officials. Florida's Republican Governor Rick Scott and his administration have done as little as possible to comply with the law. But now that the Supreme Court has acted, NPR's Greg Allen reports from Miami that Florida officials have some tough decisions ahead.
It's 9:45 a.m. Thursday at the headquarters of Health Plan One, a health insurance agency that sells private policies. It's the morning of what is the biggest court decision ever regarding health insurance. Will the court uphold the health-care bill? Will it strike it down?
"Either way is fine with me," says Bill Stapleton, the company's CEO.
Bishop Ricardo Ramirez's grandmother lived a long and full life. But it was the way Francisca Espitia approached her final years that may have impressed her grandson the most.
Ramirez, 75, recently visited StoryCorps to remember his grandmother, whom he called Panchita, in a family story that begins in 1981. That's when he was elevated to bishop in the church. The occasion called for a reception — so Ramirez called his grandmother.
In the crowded heart of the Mexican capital, a fictional one-eyed private investigator shares a dingy flat with a flock of ducks and a rotating cast of lovers.
The central character in Paco Ignacio Taibo II's crime novels is Hector Belascoaran Shayne, a former engineer who got a "certificate in detection" through a correspondence course. Belascoaran is a cynical, bumbling private eye who marvels at the chaotic street life unfolding around him in Mexico City.
Depending on whom you ask, the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the federal health care law will either help businesses grow or it will make them more hesitant to hire.
Thursday's decision to uphold the law, including the provision requiring individuals to buy insurance, has some far-reaching implications in the business world.
Dan Danner, CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business, a business lobby that helped bankroll the suit seeking to strike down the law, said the 5-4 decision was unambiguously bad for business.
With just two days left before Mexicans elect a new president, polls show that the candidate of the former ruling party is poised to win the race by a wide margin. But there are those who don't want to see a return of the PRI, which ruled Mexico for more than 70 years until 2000 with a mix of corruption and cronyism. They say their best hope is leftist PRD party candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
The Supreme Court's decision to uphold nearly all of the Affordable Care Act may move the debate to the presidential campaign trail. But it shifts much of the burden of implementing the law to the states.
States are actually responsible for the lion's share of getting people without insurance covered under the health law.
The White House has released a picture of President Obama on the phone with Solicitor General Donald Verrilli in the Oval Office after hearing the health care news. Verrilli was the one who argued the case in front of the Supreme Court.
Here's the picture:
Obama looks rather relaxed. But both The New York Times and NBC News report that Obama, who received the news like most Americans, first thought his signature legislation had been declared unconstitutional.
The text notifications will be sent to those people within the location of the severe weather. The Weather Emergency Alerts could also be used for local emergencies that require evacuation, AMBER alerts and presidential alerts "during a national emergency," the Weather Service said.
Shock, dismay, relief, confusion — all those emotions played out Thursday when the U.S. Supreme Court announced its 5-to-4 decision to uphold almost all of President Obama's health care overhaul.
The ruling, with shifting majorities on different provisions and multiple dissents, covered close to 200 pages and provoked initial confusion. Both Fox News and CNN got it wrong, reporting at first that the individual mandate had been struck down. But when the dust cleared, the law labeled derisively by Republicans as "Obamacare" was largely intact.
The parents of director Benh Zeitlin are folklorists, which is as good a way as any to account for the ambitions of his first feature, Beasts of the Southern Wild. The film is a mythic odyssey laced with modern ecological anxieties, captured in a free-form, image-driven narrative that recalls Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life. It's clear from the outset that Zeitlin aims to take the family folklore business to the next level.
After Chief Justice John Roberts read the Supreme Court's majority opinion Thursday that upheld the Affordable Care Act, the reaction from conservatives was predictable and strong. But Roberts is far from the first justice to act in unexpected ways.
Justices don't always turn out the way presidents (and commentators) might hope. President Dwight D. Eisenhower famously said his appointment of Chief Justice Earl Warren "was the biggest damn fool thing I ever did."
Across the street at the Capitol, lawmakers lined up to issue their reactions to the court's ruling upholding the health care law. Democrats celebrated what for many of them was an unexpected victory. Republicans denounced the decision and vowed to repeal the law.
For more now on the political impact of the Supreme Court ruling, we're joined by NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Mara, hi.
MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, Melissa.
BLOCK: We heard jubilation from Democrats, some shock from Republicans there. This is clearly a very important legal win for the president and for his policy on health care. But until this point, health care has not always been a winning issue for the president. Let's listen to some of what he said today addressing that question.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block. The Supreme Court decision today to uphold the president's health care overhaul law drew strong reaction around the country, including right outside the court where a small sea of supporters and opponents had gathered.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. In Colorado today, some optimism, despite the hundreds of homes that have been destroyed by a wildfire. Since Saturday, the Waldo Canyon fire has scorched an area about four miles wide by seven miles long. Wind and hot, dry weather helped fan the flames and helped them spread quickly.
Now, as NPR's Jeff Brady reports from Colorado Springs, the weather has improved for fire crews.
The Supreme Court's ruling effectively ends the state of limbo the health law has been in for months now. The court upheld almost the entire health law. It decided the most controversial feature, the so-called individual mandate that requires most people to either have insurance or pay a penalty, is constitutional. Chief Justice Roberts, who wrote the opinion for the five justice majority, said the mandate is okay because the penalty is a tax.