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ObamaCare at the Court: A Guide to the Proceedings

What to expect at the most significant hearing since Brown v. Board of Education.

Hans A. von Spakovsky


March 26, 2012 - 12:00 am
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Wednesday, March 28, 10:00 a.m. – The Court will hear 90 minutes of argument on the issue of severability: can any part of the ObamaCare Act survive if the Court were to strike down the individual insurance mandate or any other part of the law? Paul Clement will speak for the challengers.

Wednesday, March 28, 1:00 p.m. – The Court will hear a final hour of argument examining the constitutionality of ObamaCare’s expansion of the federal Medicaid program. Clement will again be center stage. The essence of the states’ challenge is that Congress exceeded its spending powers and violated basic principles of federalism because the Medicaid expansion coerces states into accepting onerous and costly new conditions that it could not impose directly by threatening to withhold all federal funding under the single largest grant-in-aid program. The amount of money at issue for the states is enormous and a previously voluntary program for the poor is being made mandatory.

As always, the sessions will not be televised. However, the Court has promised to release the audio file of the oral arguments by 2:00 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, and by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday. And no, I don’t know how you can get a ticket to get in to hear the arguments other than by standing in line with everyone else for what will be the most important case decided by the Supreme Court since Brown v. Board of Education.

It will be a momentous week for the interests of liberty, freedom, and the preservation of a constitutional republic.

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Hans A. von Spakovsky is a Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation and a former counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Justice Department. He is the coauthor of the book “Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk”.
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