Supreme Court Obamacare Arguments: Day One

Day One Argument Summary

by Andrew Schlafly JD

During oral argument Monday morning, not one Supreme Court Justice suggested that the Court could not rule immediately on the constitutionality of the individual mandate!

The argument this morning concerned an effort to re-characterize the penalty for not purchasing health insurance as a “tax”. If the penalty is a tax, then the Tax Anti-Injunction Act might apply to prevent court review until after the tax is collected in 2014 or 2015.

Even two Democrat-appointed Justices seemed to reject the argument of ObamaCare supporters that the penalty is a “tax” that would preclude Court review at this time:

“Here, they did not use that word tax,” Justice Stephen Breyer observed in reference to what lawmakers said and intended.

“This is not a revenue-raising measure,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also said.

Some concern had been expressed that Justice Antonin Scalia might prefer to limit Court jurisdiction over ObamaCare at this time, but he also suggested by his questioning that there was no obstacle presented by the Tax Anti-Injunction Act to deciding at this time whether ObamaCare is constitutional.

Day One Transcripts: http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/11-398-Monday.pdf

Day One Podcast (90 mins): http://ohpcenter.org/writings/reference/REFERENCE-florida-v-hhs-scotus-arguments-day1.mp3

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