This week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the 2010 health law, in what court watchers are calling the biggest case at the high court in decades. Here’s a rundown from the social media-sphere of what happened in those three days.
Day 1: Can We Even Argue About The Health Care Law?
Mon., March 26
The first day began with an examination of whether the Anti-Injunction Act, which bars lawsuits seeking to prevent a tax, would prevent a review of the health law’s individual mandate at this time. This would push the consideration of the health law challenges to 2015, when the first penalties would be imposed.
A Tax or a Penalty, or Both? nyti.ms/Hc1NXL
— NYTimes Lede Blog (@thelede) March 26, 2012
RT @philgalewitz: Justice Ginsburg has best argument shooting down anti injunction act. Saying law was meant to impact gov’t revenue.
— Kaiser Health News (@KHNews) March 26, 2012
— Brian Ahier (@ahier) March 26, 2012
Court watchers say Supreme Court justices will blow past the Anti-Injunction Act and decide the merits of the case: politi.co/GUKKLw
— POLITICO (@politico) March 26, 2012
Bottom line today: Supremes not kicking the can down the road. Will give thumbs up or down on Obamacare.
— Jeffrey Toobin (@JeffreyToobin) March 26, 2012
Day 2: The Individual Mandate And Broccoli
Tues., March 27
The second day homed in on the health law’s individual mandate, the requirement that nearly everyone get health insurance coverage or pay a fine. Justice Antonin Scalia referenced the “broccoli argument,” concerning the government’s role in the marketplace.
The individual mandate– which is at the heart of the health care debate– was once a conservative idea thebea.st/HdLF8Z
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) March 27, 2012
Supreme Court debates: Can the government make you buy broccoli? politi.co/GY37iP
— Politico 44 (@politico44) March 27, 2012
— Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) March 27, 2012
Justice Anthony Kennedy, considered a crucial swing vote, told Solicitor General Donald Verrilli that the government telling an individual to purchase health insurance “changes the relationship of the federal government to the individual in a very fundamental way.”
“Very heavy burden of justification,” says Justice Kennedy as conservative justices sharply challenge health-care law. on.wsj.com/GUhp19
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) March 27, 2012
Lyle Denniston @SCOTUSblog: “If Justice Anthony M. Kennedy can locate a limiting principle … the mandate may well survive.”
— Lawrence Hurley (@lawrencehurley) March 27, 2012
KHN contributor Stuart Taylor noted that Justice Kennedy and Chief Justice John Roberts were particularly tough on Solicitor General Verrilli.
At least in public perception, this is a SCOTUS case where the quality of the oral arguments mattered hugely. And Obama’s SG lost big.
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) March 27, 2012
— Jeffrey Toobin (@JeffreyToobin) March 27, 2012
In a two-hour session, Court majority appears skeptical of individual mandate. Troubled there would be no limits on Congressional power.
— Jan Crawford (@cbsjancrawford) March 27, 2012
Day 3: Severability And Medicaid Expansion
Weds., March 28
Day 3 of the Supreme Court health law hearings — Medicaid and “severability” summed up in a 2-minute cartoon video: wbur.fm/GWzmjf
— CommonHealth (@commonhealth) March 28, 2012
Are Five Justices Ready to Ditch the Whole Health Care Law? Clues Sought in Severability Debate ow.ly/1iowAA
— ABA Journal (@ABAJournal) March 28, 2012
— Tracy Jan (@GlobeTracyJan) March 28, 2012
Chief justice roberts on medicaid expansion:”this seems like a significant intrusion on the sovereign authority of states;”
— Phil Galewitz (@philgalewitz) March 28, 2012
— POLITICO Pro(@POLITICOPro) March 28, 2012
— NCLR (@NCLR) March 28, 2012
Believe it or not, WH still cautiously optimistic that today’s severability arguments mean they still think Kennedy and Roberts are in play
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) March 28, 2012
Has Obama admin made a tactical mistake by arguing that mandate should not be thrown out on its own?
— David Leonhardt (@DLeonhardt) March 28, 2012
.@NinaTotenberg “It looked today that if there are 5 votes to strike down the mandate, there might be 5 votes to strike down the whole law.”
— NPR Health News (@NPRHealth) March 28, 2012
Day 4: The Aftermath
Thurs., March 29
A decision by the Supreme Court is expected in June. In the meantime, law and policy experts look at how the court’s decision could impact the upcoming presidential election, the budget deficit and health care for those who currently lack insurance coverage.
Obamacare decisions could be theoretically spread out over days, according to SC public info office bit.ly/GWHBgd
— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) March 28, 2012
— Ariane de Vogue (@Arianedevogue) March 28, 2012
Conservatives on the SCOTUS want 2 overturn health care 2 kill Obama’s re-election chances. It’s Bush v Gore, again.#mostpartisancourtever
— AB (@alecbaldwin) March 29, 2012
Feel like it hasn’t been communicate just how much of a radical departure from precedent it would be if SCOTUS struck down ACA.
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) March 29, 2012
It kind of stresses me out that SCOTUS will know the outcome on Obamacare a full three months before they tell us! wapo.st/HrtmN1
— Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) March 29, 2012
Rovner: WH insists it doesn’t have Plan B for law because they don’t need one because law will be held up, but some are around. #SCOTUSchat
— Kaiser Health News (@KHNews) March 29, 2012