Thread: SCOTAL Itch
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:05 PM
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Stephen Maturin Stephen Maturin is offline
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

The first oral argument in the health care cases took place today, limited to the issue of whether the federal Anti-Injunction Act bars lawsuits challenging the individual mandate prior to government action to enforce the mandate. A yes answer would mean that all the lawsuits challenging the mandate magically disappear. However, based on an admittedly quick 'n' dirty review of the argument transcript, a yes answer appears about as likely a young, hoodie-wearing African American male being viewed and treated as an actual human being in Florida. AFAICT, none of the justices is interested in dismissing the pending ACA cases on Anti-Injunction Act grounds.

No huge surprises there. Even the Justice Department opposes the AIA argument. The Court had to appoint an amicus curiae to argue in favor of dismissal.

The big issues, which it now looks highly likely the Court will decide, are whether the individual mandate is a valid exercise of Congress' commerce power and/or taxing power and whether the health care law's Medicaid provisions is an unconstitutionally coercive exercise of the spending power. The odds of a Court this conservative upholding the mandate look p. slim.

The transcript and audio files of today's arguments are available here.
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