Supreme Court hears health care arguments: Day 1
Landmark batter reaches highest court
- Duration 6:24
- Date Mar 26, 2012
Landmark batter reaches highest court
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First from fox at 3 o'clock in New York City the high stakes battle over president Obama's health care overall.
Has reached the nation's highest court today marking the beginning of six hours scheduled hours of arguments over three days.
The court hasn't given that much time to a single case in decades.
And the outcome could really make or break the president's signature legislative achievement.
Just months before Election Day.
-- new CBS news New York Times newspaper poll shows 47% of Americans currently disapprove of the health care overall.
36% of those polled say they support it.
The controversial laws aimed at extending health insurance to more than thirty million Americans among other things that bars insurance companies from denying coverage to people.
-- pre existing conditions and limits how much they can charge older people but those contentious issue here is the requirement that people.
By health insurance and if they don't they have to pay a penalty.
Critics say it's unconstitutional -- violation of personal freedom the question is can congress force people to buy something.
Shannon -- is on fox up story live outside the Supreme Court this afternoon in the first question today is whether the court should really even be hearing this case -- And covered it's all because of an 1867.
Tax law that says you can't challenge attacks according to you Bari had to pay at.
So some folks say you've got to wait until the mandate kicks in and 4014 somebody refuses to comply asked to pay the penalty.
Is that attacks meaning the justices have to wait until 315 or beyond to consider the case.
While the justices were so considered about that possibility they actually brought in an outside attorney not connected to the case his name is Bob long.
They gave -- forty minutes to argue that position -- the case is not yet right.
But you know with plenty of skeptics including justice Stephen Breyer here's what Justice Breyer had to say.
Congress is -- use the word tax.
What it says he has penalty.
Moreover this is not in the internal revenue code but for purposes of collection.
And so why is this a -- It's.
We heard from eight of the nine justices today and I got a -- have many of them seem skeptical what what's what's the government's position on this Shannon.
It's been back and forth because you may remember that the president was talking about health care bill before it actually was passed in July 2009 tank.
He did not represent attacks small now the government in lower court proceedings did argue that -- was attacks.
It is a tough position at the solicitor general Don -- rally they governments toddler had argued today.
Justices Samuel Alito pointed out the contradiction take a lesson.
Don't really today here arguing that the penalty.
Is not -- tax tomorrow you're going to be back and will be arguing that the penalty is the tax.
And of course that as a reference to tomorrow when he gets the argument over the individual mandate and the government will argue.
That'd say legitimate use of congress' taxing power -- Shannon Bream at the court on a windy day in Washington -- great to see -- it's a big deal to a lot of people for more on it let's go to our senior judicial analyst judge entered a volatile.
Tells about how this thing is breaking down and what exactly went on today again now -- The -- is not supposed to hear a case.
Unless it is timely in other words you just can't ask the court to declare a statute unconstitutional because you think it's unconstitutional.
You have to have been harmed by -- -- -- the harm coming your way.
Has to be fairly clear ordinarily the court decides when the case -- -- the legal phrase is right this is it right.
In the case of paying taxes -- decided when it is timely for the court to hear a challenge to attacks.
And congress has said you wanna challenge you tax you pay at first you give us some money first and then you challenge whether or not we have the right to take it from you.
This is a very small portion of this case -- The big portion that most people are concerned about what you've just articulated which will be argued tomorrow is whether or not that congress can force you to buy health care.
Insurance but one aspect of that is if you don't buy at the congress will extract money from you.
Question is that extraction a penalty -- is that extraction attacks if it is a tax.
Then this 150 year old statute says you gotta pay the tax before you can challenge it -- -- -- But from the sentiment of those in the courtroom today and from listening to the oral argument a portion of which you just played.
It is very clear these justices want to hear -- music as much as we want them to hear it.
They want to rule on it as much as we want an answer to what they're not going to let this 150 year old tax law.
Interfere with whether or not they can rule on this case is they want to rule on it so badly because it's political and because it could.
Help determine the course of human events in this country or for other reasons well that's a very good question sometimes the justices -- -- -- their rulings.
Think about it this way if the court in validates this health care mandate.
Would that help the president who could say look I tried to do what I thought was right and Republican appointees to the court invalidated it or will it hurt the president because that will enable his opponent to say look the court invalidated this and the president should have known all along.
I think the court wants to get.
Heavy cases offered stock it.
So making it back to its normal routine and if they're anxious to resolve this it's a normal human anxiety.
It's not an effort to one influence sleep presidential election what takes this case to the level that they would have.
Longer arguments on this than -- thing in decades.
I think they want to show respect.
To the congress.
Page statute while and they want to show respect to the states which of challenge that because 26 of the states a challenge all with a Republican.
Attorneys general that's probably true these these challenges our executive decisions not legislative decisions.
And I think they want to show deference to the public which seems to have an overriding interest in the outcome of this case.
This length of time is unusual.
But there are many many arguments and many many litigants I think the court wants the fairly say whichever way we go we gave everybody ample time to speak -- -- prediction.
The way you know but he's just well based upon what I know I think they're -- on validate the individual -- and I think they're gonna say that there there is a limit to what congress can order people to do.
Whether that in validation affects the rest of the case.
Is something that can't be predicted.
Are judged to be an instinct what 33 days you'll be a very interesting -- -- gonna happen tomorrow on Wednesday as well right judge thanks pleasure ship well the wife of the.