SCOTUS announced today that it will hear the case against Obamacare this term. Lyle Denniston reviews what will be debated during oral arguments:
The Court will hold two hours of argument on the constitutionality of the requirement that virtually every American obtain health insurance by 2014, 90 minutes on whether some or all of the overall law must fail if the mandate is struck down, one hour on whether the Anti-Injunction Act bars some or all of the challenges to the insurance mandate, and one hour on the constitutionality of the expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor and disabled.
Sarah Kliff answers various questions about the case. Among the Supreme Court's choices:
The Court could rule that the health reform law is constitutional and allow it to move forward. It could also rule, as the 11th Circuit did, that the individual mandate falls while the rest of the law stands. The justices do, however, have another option: The Court could decide that the individual mandate is so key to health reform law that, if it falls, the whole law comes down with it.
Peter Suderman explains why the Obama Administration wants to hear the case this term:
This is what the Obama administration had asked for, in part to ensure that they're the ones to get to argue the case (if a Republican wins in 2012, a GOP controller White House might be less enthusiastic about defending the merits of the mandate).
Ed Morrissey expects the ruling will impact the 2012 race:
If they end up supporting ObamaCare, Barack Obama will claim vindication for the next few months of the campaign for his re-election bid. If they strike it down, Obama loses his signature achievement and has to explain that for the next few months leading up to the election — and explaining is not winning.
Jonathan Bernstein disagrees:
[I]n political terms, I’d be very cautious about assertions that the Supreme Court decision will have any effect in November 2012 at all. Supposing the Court acts at the very end of June: that still leaves four months before the election. That’s a very long time in politics, especially for something that won’t have any immediate, tangible effect on people’s lives.
(Photo: Obama's signature on the ACA from Wikipedia)