Today’s Supreme Court arguments over the individual mandate in ObamaCare were absolutely horrendous for the Obama administration.
“This law looks like it’s going to be struck down. I’m telling you, all of the predictions including mine that the justices would not have a problem with this law were wrong,” Liberal legal CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin just said following the arguments.
“This law looks like it’s going to be struck down. This law is in grave, grave trouble.”
Toobin doesn’t believe that Justice Alito will uphold the law. However, what’s most interesting to me is that most believe – including Toobin – that Chief Justice John Roberts could sway toward the administration and uphold ObamaCare.
Swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy even grilled the law today, saying, “…the government is saying that the Federal Government has a duty to tell the individual citizen that it must act, and that is different from what we have in previous cases and that changes the relationship of the Federal Government to the individual in the very fundamental way.”
Lyle Denniston, who was live at the arguments today and also writes for the ScotusBlog, believes that Kennedy will be the deciding factor.
If Justice Anthony M. Kennedy can locate a limiting principle in the federal government’s defense of the new individual health insurance mandate, or can think of one on his own, the mandate may well survive. If he does, he may take Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., along with him. But if he does not, the mandate is gone. That is where Tuesday’s argument wound up — with Kennedy, after first displaying a very deep skepticism, leaving the impression that he might yet be the mandate’s savior.
The Hill is also pointing out Justice Kennedy’s skepticism.
The main author of the ScotusBlog, Tom Goldstein, believes that at this point, the four liberal justices seemed ready to support the mandate and the four Conservatives are ready to strike it down. Basically saying it will very likely be a 5-4 vote.
Here’s to praying that Kennedy strikes it down and that U.S. Solicitor General David Verrilli continues to do a terrible job defending it.
Another thought…. is Elena Kagan more valuable to Obama on the court or standing before the court as U.S. Solicitor General? It would have been a whole different ball game had Obama appointed Diane Wood to the Supreme Court instead of former U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan.