Following the announcement Monday that the Supreme Court would rule on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, justices are ensured an influential role in next year’s presidential campaign, which will be in full swing next March, when the hearing is likely to be held. A ruling that upholds the law would be a critical victory for President Obama — and it’s not out of the question, even with the court’s conservative slant. Two conservative federalist jurists, Laurence Silberman and Jeffrey Sutton, have ruled that the individual mandate is constitutional which, legal experts say, gives the justices a constitutional precedent for upholding the law. In contrast, if the court rules against the mandate it would be a boon for Republicans and may sway the election in favor of conservatives.

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