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.
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.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
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.
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.