Heritage was at the Supreme Court for the past three days to observe the oral arguments over the constitutionality of Obamacare. Heritage’s Todd Gaziano and Hans von Spakovsky sat in for each day’s arguments and provided immediate reaction after each session. For your convenience, we have corralled these videos and blog posts below.

Monday, March 26: Anti-Injunction Act

The biggest news from the Supreme Court’s first day of oral arguments on Obamacare was that no justice indicated he or she would be troubled reaching the merits of the larger constitutional challenges to the law. At issue was whether the Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) would bar the Court from considering the challenge to the individual mandate in the President’s health care law, and all eight justices who asked questions seemed satisfied that one of several exceptions to the AIA applied, thereby allowing them to hear the other legal issues. Read more »

Tuesday, March 27: Individual mandate

Tuesday’s arguments focused on the constitutionality of the individual mandate, which requires all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty. The Solicitor General’s chief problem throughout the arguments was that he was unable to give a clear, simple, and easily understood answer to this question: If Congress has the power to compel the purchase of an insurance policy from a private company, what limiting factor is there on congressional power under the Commerce Clause? He was asked that same question more than once by different justices and never came up with a reasonable or principled constitutional distinction. Justice Scalia admitted that he came up with distinctions, but denied they were based on constitutional principles. Read more »

Wednesday, March 28: Severability

The Court’s morning session concentrated on whether, if the individual mandate is held unconstitutional, it can be cleanly severed from the rest of Obamacare, and if not, what other portions of the act must the Court strike down with it. Read more »

Wednesday, March 28: Medicaid

The Court’s afternoon session focused on whether Congress’s conditions on the states to continue to participate in the Medicaid program were constitutionally coercive. The two sessions were largely distinct but had some overlapping aspects. Read more »