Looks like the rumors have been substantiated. CBS News' Jan Crawford (one of the best Supreme Court reporters out there) reporting this morning:
Chief Justice John Roberts initially sided with the Supreme Court's four conservative justices to strike down the heart of President Obama's health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, but later changed his position and formed an alliance with liberals to uphold the bulk of the law, according to two sources with specific knowledge of the deliberations.
Roberts then withstood a month-long, desperate campaign to bring him back to his original position, the sources said. Ironically, Justice Anthony Kennedy - believed by many conservatives to be the justice most likely to defect and vote for the law - led the effort to try to bring Roberts back to the fold.
"He was relentless," one source said of Kennedy's efforts. "He was very engaged in this."
But this time, Roberts held firm. And so the conservatives handed him their own message which, as one justice put it, essentially translated into, "You're on your own."
I'm angriest about the decision and Chief Justice Roberts' role in it. But you know what's nearly as frustrating? I'll never be able to make a Justice Kennedy joke in good conscience again. Who would've thought? Anthony Kennedy -- there for us, unwaveringly so, when we needed him most.