With oral arguments in the challenge to the Affordable Care Act just one week away, the weekend’s coverage continues its focus on the upcoming case.

Citing “the extraordinary public interest in these cases,” the Court announced Friday that it will release the audiotape recordings of the health care arguments the same day that the hearings are held. This blog’s Lyle Denniston, Bloomberg’s Greg Stohr, Adam Liptak of the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal’s Jess Bravin, Tony Mauro of the Blog of Legal TimesReuters’s Joan Biskupic, NPR’s Nina Totenberg, Mark Sherman of the Associated Press, and USA Today’s Richard Wolf all have coverage. At the Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin and Janet Adamy observe that tickets to the arguments have quickly become the “hottest ticket of the season” for Washington’s elite.

Robert Barnes of the Washington Post, Mark Sherman of the Associated Press, and James Simon for CNN discuss the pivotal role of the Court’s conservative members – and in particular, Chief Justice John Roberts – in this case. In a second article for the Washington Post, Barnes looks at how the case has thrust “low-key” Solicitor General Donald Verrilli “into an almost unprecedented pressure situation.” At Reuters, Terry Baynes covers the “some 136 amicus briefs” that have been filed, while the Washington Post’s N.C. Aizenman reports on efforts by activists on both sides to call the public’s attention to the issues. Finally, Connie Cass of the Associated Press and David Savage of the Los Angeles Times preview the case and the arguments on each side.

Commentators continued to weigh in on the case’s merits and speculate as to its outcome. The Philadelphia Inquirer features two op-eds on the case: one by Akhil Amar and Todd Brewster, who argue that a “court decision overturning the Affordable Care Act would be an egregious misreading of the Constitution,” and the other by Ilya Shapiro, who argues that, because “[t]he government has failed to articulate a meaningful, judicially administrable limit to its power . . . it must lose.” At Balkinization, Andrew Koppelman responds to several arguments made in the brief filed by Florida and twenty-five other states, which he calls “astoundingly thin and weak.” Writing for the New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin explores the argument that even if the Court upholds the law this spring, a Republican President could refuse to enforce the law because he considers it unconstitutional. The Huffington Post’s Mike Sacks predicts the Court will not overturn health care reform.

In addition, on Tuesday, the Court will hear oral arguments in Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs, involving the constitutionality of life-without-parole sentences for teenagers who commit murder. UPI’s Michael Kirkland and the Chicago Tribune’s Steve Mills preview the arguments, while the editorial board of the Christian Science Monitor urges the Court to give “teens . . . a chance for redemption” by holding such sentences unconstitutional.


  • At New York magazine, Jason Zengerle profiles Paul Clement.
  • David Savage of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Obama Administration has filed a cert. petition asking the Court to reverse a Ninth Circuit decision holding unconstitutional the display of a forty-three-foot-tall cross on public land.
  • In her column for the Chicago Tribune, Mary Schmich tells the story of Charles Wiwa, one of the Nigerian refugees suing Shell Oil for human rights violations in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum.
  • According to a new poll from Rasmussen Reports, only twenty-eight percent of likely voters give the Court a positive rating—a new low in the Court’s history.
  • Bloomberg’s Francis Wilkinson observes that, with exception of the challenge to the Affordable Care Act, the controversial cases before the Court this term “all have a common denominator: Hispanics.” According to Wilkinson, the Court’s rulings in these cases may be a decisive factor in how Hispanics vote in the coming presidential election.


Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Marissa Miller, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 19, 2012, 8:41 AM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2012/03/monday-round-up-114/