Today Was 'Train Wreck' for Health Reform Law

(Very) early analysis suggests bad news for White House
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2012 1:10 PM CDT
Supporters of health care reform rally in front of the Supreme Court in Washington Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – The insta-analysis from today's oral arguments at the Supreme Court doesn't bode well for the health care law, mostly because of Anthony Kennedy's apparent skepticism about the individual mandate. Samples:

  • Jeffrey Toobin, CNN: Today was a "train wreck" for the White House, said the network's legal analyst, according to Business Insider. "This law looks like it's going to be struck down. I'm telling you, all of the predictions including mine that the justices would not have a problem with this law were wrong."
  • Tom Goldstein, SCOTUSblog: “Based on the questions posed to Paul Clement, the lead attorney for the state challengers to the individual mandate, it appears that the mandate is in trouble. It is not clear whether it will be struck down, but the questions that the conservative justices posed to Clement were not nearly as pressing as the ones they asked to Solicitor General Verrilli," he writes. "It will be close. Very close."

  • Editor's blog, Talking Points Memo: "A reminder that this sort of tea-leaf reading can be overdone and misleading. But it isn’t necessarily. The current court is a lot more direct in its questioning with fewer rhetorical feints than courts past."
  • Politico: "All of the conservative justices asked such tough questions about the individual mandate during Tuesday’s arguments that it’s no longer clear that the Obama administration can get a fifth vote to uphold it," writes Jennifer Haberkorn and David Nather.

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