• Justice Kennedy Seems About Ready to Kill the Individual Mandate

    Supreme Court

    Health Care Reform's controversial individual mandate does appear to be on its last legs as the second day of the Supreme Court's historic hearing of Barack Obama's health care reform draws to a close.

    And, once again, the four right-leaningest justices are all leaning one way and the four left-leaningest justices are all leaning the other way. So, it's looking like the final decision will , for the eleventy billionth time, fall upon Justice Kennedy

    If Justice Anthony M. Kennedy can locate a limiting principle in the federal government’s defense of the new individual health insurance mandate, or can think of one on his own, the mandate may well survive.

    If he does, he may take Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and a majority along with him. But if he does not, the mandate is gone. That is where Tuesday’s argument wound up — with Kennedy, after first displaying a very deep skepticism, leaving the impression that he might yet be the mandate’s savior.

    Sometimes I wonder why we even bother with the other eight justices. Why not just assume that we know how they're going to rule — because we can — and let them stay home and watch TV. Justice Kennedy will do the heavy lifting.

    He always does.

    Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Anthony Kennedy, Health Care, Judiciary, Supreme Court


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