Based on the breathless commentary after the Supreme Court's oral arguments today, it might have seemed as if the court had already decided to rule against health care reform. Sorry to spoil the fun, but it's way too early for either side to think this is a done deal, writes Steve Kornacki at Salon. "All of this alarmism may well amount to nothing." Yes, Anthony Kennedy sounded skeptical about the individual mandate, for example, but Kornacki points to a detailed recap of arguments by Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog suggesting that Kennedy's opposition isn't as solid as thought.
"That is where Tuesday’s argument wound up—with Kennedy, after first displaying a very deep skepticism, leaving the impression that he might yet be the mandate’s savior," writes Denniston. And don't be shocked if John Roberts ends up agreeing with him, he adds. "The court isn’t expected to rule for months, maybe not until late June," adds Kornacki in his post. "It’s entirely possible that the mandate will be thrown out, but it’s all still guesswork until then." Read his full column here. Or check out the audio recordings of the arguments for yourself here. (Read more health care reform stories.)