Supreme Court Mandate

March 28, 2012 by staff 

Supreme Court Mandate, The Supreme Court wrestled Wednesday morning with the stark reality that they may have to kill President Obama’s health care overhaul if they declare its insurance mandate unconstitutional.

Unlike the past two days, the justices appeared deeply conflicted about which course to take. When Washington attorney Paul Clement argued that the whole law should fall, even conservative justices questioned whether that would have been Congress’ intent.

But when Deputy Solicitor General Edwin Kneedler argued that only two key insurance market changes that benefit people with pre-existing conditions and high medical bills should fall with the mandate, many of the same justices implied that would throw the court into the business of legislating.

“You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages?” Justice Antonin Scalia asked Kneedler, calling that prospect “totally unrealistic.”

With the court’s four liberal justices defending the remainder of the law from being thrown out with the insurance mandate, however, it appeared they might have enough support from some conservatives to rescue it.

Chief Justice John Roberts noted that many provisions in the bill “have nothing to do with any of the things we’re talking about” as being tied to the requirement that most Americans buy insurance. But he also noted many of them were needed to get the entire bill passed, thereby tying them to the whole law.

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