The debate was fierce during the Supreme Court’s final day of hearings of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as justices considered whether the law could stand without the controversial individual mandate. It was also long: the final arguments went nearly half an hour longer than planned, a rarity for the high court. Here, five of the most memorable moments.
Chief Justice John Roberts on the severability of the individual mandate:
“[Much of the content of PPACA] is reauthorization of appropriations that have been reauthorized for the previous five or 10 years, and it was just more convenient for Congress to throw it in in the middle of the 2,700 pages than to do it separately. I mean, can you really suggest — I mean, they’ve cited the Black Lung Benefits Act and those have nothing to do with any of the things we are talking about.” (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Justice Anthony Kennedy on the proper exercise of judicial power:
“We would be exercising the judicial power if one act was — one provision was stricken and the others remained to impose a risk on insurance companies that Congress had never intended. By reason of this court, we would have a new regime that Congress did not provide for, did not consider.” (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the idea that the expansion of Medicare is unconstitutionally coercive: