February 7, 2012

Still more oral argument for Obamacare?

By Still more oral argument for Obamacare?

That’s what the U.S. Solicitor General is requesting, in a pleading filed today. The Supreme Court has already set three days for oral argument—which as far as I can tell hasn’t happened in at least a century—but now the parties are requesting that the justices hear an hour and a half of argument on the question of whether the Tax Anti-Injunction Act bars the lawsuits. (That issue was primarily the basis of the Fourth Circuit’s decision.) If the Court grants the request, then the arguments would be: 90 minutes on the Tax Anti-Injunction Act question, to be argued on March 26, then two hours on the Individual Mandate’s constitutionality on March 27, then an hour on the constitutionality of the Medicaid expansion on March 28, and also on March 28, 90 minutes on “severability”—that is, whether the Individual Mandate can be struck down while allowing other provisions of Obamacare to remain in place.

What to read next