Are the liberal justices arguing the case for the United States instead of the Solicitor General?

As they say “Now I’m  no lawyer”,  but it just sounded like Breyer in his questioning was actually providing some of the reasoned argument one would expect from the SG.

UPDATE: Sotomayor is trying – very hard – to get the SG to articulate his actual argument. The man seems to be arguing the need for health insurance, instead of presenting the US’s legal argument for the mandate. He’s doing an awful job on the mandate.

UPDATE 2: I also wish he’d stop saying “In my opinion” and “I don’t think it’s fair to say blah blah”.

4 responses to “Are the liberal justices arguing the case for the United States instead of the Solicitor General?

  1. The SG has a big problem. There is NO argument legal argument for the mandate that will stand up to Constitutional scrutiny. All he can do is to try to say in as many ways as possible that ObamaCare is worth more than the Constitution.

    He’s also stuck because of arguing both sides of the tax / not a tax issue in lower courts previously.

    He’s got nothing, no matter how much Sotomayer tries to coach him.


  2. Oh man, this doesn’t sound good. I wonder how this does differ from the requirement for people to buy car insurance… I’m thinking if the health care law goes down in the Supreme Court, it might be possible to set up some local health care systems in individual states? I live in a pretty liberal state, so there’d be a good chance of it here.


    • It differs in three ways:

      1 – Having to carry auto insurance is only necessary if you choose to own and drive a car – and, in most states, you could put a lump sum in escrow to avoid even that, which is what collectors do. ObamaCare requires the purchase of health insurance for just living in America.

      2 – Failure to purchase auto insurance will keep you from registering your vehicle. Failure to purchase ObamaCare will get you fined, your property taken, your wages garnished, or imprisoned (very unlikely) because it’s to be enforced through the IRS codes.

      3 – Auto insurance is a state-by-state mandate whereas ObamaCare is federal even though the federal government has no jurisdiction over intrastate commerce and health insurance is not allowed to be sold across state lines.


  3. Right, and number 1 is the main problem for me–that unlike a motor vehicle, everyone will need to use health care at some point. I understand some of the objections to Obamacare, but there has to be a better way to take care of this problem. I work in the private health insurance industry, and don’t really think the system as it was before health care reform was working.

    Number 3 is what makes me hopeful. Even if Obamacare is struck down, maybe we can set up some kind of universal health care system in my state. That would be great.


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