Legal Challenges

Pelosi backs call for Supreme Court to televise healthcare case arguments

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that Supreme Court arguments over President Obama’s healthcare law should be televised.

“When the Affordable Care Act is placed before the highest court in our country, all Americans will have a stake in the debate; therefore, all Americans should have access to it,” Pelosi said in a news release.

Her statement follows C-SPAN’s request to broadcast the arguments, which are expected to begin in late March.

{mosads}The Supreme Court has never opened its proceedings to cameras. But the healthcare lawsuit is also the first time since the invention of video that the court has scheduled nearly six hours of oral arguments.

The lengthy hearing raises the distinct possibility that a sitting president’s signature legislative achievement could be ruled unconstitutional in the midst of his reelection campaign.

The court is expected to divide oral arguments over two days. One day will focus on the individual mandate and the Anti-Injunction Act, which could bar a ruling on the merits. The other would be set aside for the healthcare law’s Medicaid expansion and whether other parts of the law must also be struck down if the mandate is found unconstitutional.

Pelosi said she’s confident the court will uphold the healthcare law.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) also backed C-SPAN’s request for a televised hearing.

“The decision in this case has the potential to reach every American,” Grassley said in a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts. “The law is massive in size and scope. The effect of the law, and the Court’s decision, will reverberate throughout the American economy.”

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