For the first time, the U.S. House of Representatives has declared a sitting attorney general in contempt of Congress. In a pair of votes cast largely along party lines, the House moved to pursue criminal sanctions against Eric Holder and to take steps to sue him in federal court. They blame Holder for not turning over documents about the Fast and Furious gun scandal.
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.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. Two years ago, a backlash against the Obama administration's health care law helped propel Republicans to a House majority and today's Supreme Court ruling upholding the law prompted more Republican calls for repeal. Here's the speaker of the House, John Boehner.
REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: Today's ruling underscores the urgency of repealing this harmful law in its entirety.
For President Obama, today's high court ruling brought vindication. It would have been a stinging embarrassment for the former constitutional law professor had his signature domestic policy been struck down as unconstitutional. NPR's Scott Horsley reports on the political impact of the ruling.
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."
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan at the Aspen Ideas Festival, but the big news today comes from Washington, where the Supreme Court upheld President Obama's health care law in a series of five-to-four votes. In a surprise, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the four liberal members of the court.