After a first day of arguments which was more like an exhibition season scrimmage, the U.S. Supreme Court now moves into the meat of the legal fight over the Obama health law, with two hours of arguments on the constitutionality of the individual mandate.
We saw some skirmishing in the court on day one, as several more liberal justices went to great lengths to defend the law in several situations, while more conservative justices were critical.
If you were reading the tea leaves on Justice Kennedy – considered “the” swing justice on this court – there really wasn’t anything to go by on the individual mandate.
None of the justices fully embraced the idea that an obscure 19th century law should preclude the High Court from issuing a ruling on the individual mandate, as the first day was more of a high level legal symposium – a reminder that the people in this arena leave reporters like me gasping for air at times as they run through their legal arguments.
Here’s a little video preview of what to expect on Tuesday:
One thing that was interesting from the first day was how it looked outside of the Supreme Court – frankly, the turnout was not very big.
I’ve seen a lot more people for a variety of cases and causes outside the Supreme Court in years past – anything that involved abortion would bring many more people, so the crowd that was there seemed underwhelming to reporters and police alike.
Maybe it will be different on Tuesday, since the focus is on ‘the’ most controversial part of the Obama health law, the individual mandate.
“We feel very positive,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi of Florida, who has led the 26 states challenging the Obama Administration on this law.
Bondi will be in the courtroom again on Tuesday, a day that has much more at stake for Republican critics of the health reform law.
Judging by how many times multiple Supreme Court Justices tried to enter the debate in arguments on Monday, we could be in for a treat on day two of this high stakes legal – and political – showdown.
The arguments begin at 10 am – I will be out hopefully right at 12 noon EDT and on the air a few minutes later with Neal Boortz to give you the latest.