Court-Watchers Holding Their Breath on Health Care Case

Court-Watchers Holding Their Breath on Health Care Case

The Supreme Court always saves the most controversial for last, like a season of a prime time soap.  Unlike recent years, there have not been too many big employment cases this year (I’ll comment on the pharmaceutical rep case soon).  But the act on the main stage is whether the Court will strike down all or part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  After an unusually lengthy period of time devoted to argument, the Supreme Court is expected to deliver its decision this month.

Many people believe that the individual mandate will be overturned, based on the questioning and the reputation of the Justices, who have been voting in predictable partisan lines this term.  But Jesse Choper, former dean of my old law school and constitutional scholar, cautions against reading too much into the tenor of the arguments.  He and many scholars believe that the law requiring people to secure health insurance for themselves is constitutional; by contrast, most of them believe that the Court will strike it down.

More critically, however, is that the public thinks that the decision will be based on political, not constitutional, grounds.

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