On March 28, 2012, the marathon 6 hour Supreme Court debate on the constitutionality of ObamaCare concluded with oral argument on federal coercion and the severability of the individual mandate from the Affordable Care Act. The debate focuses on whether the Act is coercive upon the states, and whether the Act’s 450 provisions must be scrapped if the individual mandate is found unconstitutional. The liberal wing of Justices Ginsburg, Kagan, and Sotomayor, perhaps sensing that the individual mandate might be constitutionally doomed, seem to support severability, with Justice Kagan commenting that half a loaf is better than none. The conservative wing, spearheaded by Justice Scalia, seem to reject severability, asserting that the task of wading through the Act’s 2,700 pages to find provisions that survive is not the Court’s task, but a legislative function. Here is the Transcript of Wednesday’s Supreme Court oral argument on federal coercion. Here is the Transcript of the debate on whether the Act can survive without the individual mandate.
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