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SCOTUS to Begin Hearings on ACA

This morning, the Supreme Court began 3 days of oral arguments over the 2-year old Affordable Care Act with a 90-minute debate on whether the Court has the authority to hear the case, since the penalties for not having insurance will not come into effect until April 2015.  Under the 1867 Anti-Injunction Act, a tax cannot be challenged until someone actually pays it.

Tomorrow’s hearing will be on the individual mandate, the most controversial part of the ACA, followed by hearings about severability on Wednesday. Lucien Wulsin has prepared a guide to the constitutional challenges that outlines these terms, relevant court cases and possible outcomes.  The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein has also put together a primer for good, relatively quick background reading.

For the wonkiest of wonks, audio and transcripts from the hearings are available online:
Monday: Anti-Injunction Act
Tuesday: Individual Mandate
Wednesday: Severability, Medicaid Expansion

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