AUDIO: Listen to Day 2 of the Supreme Court Oral ArgumentsMarch 27, 2012
The Supreme Court just released the full two hours of today’s oral arguments (twice as long as what’s usually given in a case.) Here’s the full audio, via Huffington Post and SoundCloud. We’ll be discussing the latest from the Supreme Court today with Ari Melber (@arimelber), NBC Justice Correspondent Pete Williams, and Mike Sacks (@mikesackshp), legal correspondent for The Huffington Post and graduate of Georgetown Law School.
The big story today is “round 2” at the U.S. Supreme Court. Today the court considered whether to strike down the heart of President Obama’s health care law — the insurance mandate. If you look up mandate in the dictionary, you’ll see it is “an authoritative command; especially a formal order from an official.”
For health care, the question is whether the government can *mandate* that you buy health insurance. And just like any other law, the government must identify exactly how the constitution grants it authority to enact this mandate. Congress and the President point to the Commerce Clause in the Constitution — which has long provided authority for regulating interstate commerce.
Today, the justices questioned whether the mandate is justified under the commerce power. And if it is, several justices questioned whether there is any limit on what else congress can do with that power. Here’s what Justice Kennedy asked:
Assume for the moment that this is unprecedented, this is a step beyond what our cases have allowed, the affirmative duty to act to go into commerce. If that is so, do you not have a heavy burden of justification?…. When you are changing the relation of the individual to the government in this, what we can stipulate is, I think, a unique way, do you not have a heavy burden of justification to show authorization under the Constitution?
Take a listen to the full audio above. Huff Post also uploaded the entire transcript, which is here: