The trouble started early for CNN. Congressional correspondent Kate Boulduan read out part of the Court’s ruling, which said that the individual mandate could not be upheld using the Commerce Clause. Disastrously, though, it failed to pick up the other part of the ruling, which said that it could be upheld as a tax.
“Wow, that’s a dramatic moment,” Wolf Blitzer said, as a chyron saying “SUPREME CT. KILLS INDIVIDUAL MANDATE” flashed on the screen.
“The Justices have just gutted, Wolf, the centerpiece provision of the health care law,” John King said, adding that it was a “direct blow to President Obama.”
Later, Boulduan returned to correct the initial report. She said that the Court had released a “very confusing large opinion” and that on the second read, it was apparent that the network had gotten it wrong. “The entire law has been upheld, Wolf,” she said.
She said that the decision was “thick” and “legally dense,” scanning the papers on-air.
“It’s a huge, huge victory for President Obama,” Blitzer said.
Later, the network’s chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin explained the snafu, saying that the intricacies of the ruling had tripped people up.