Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court’s traditional swing vote, appeared skeptical Tuesday that President Obama’s healthcare mandate is constitutional.
Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. faced aggressive questions from Kennedy, as well as the court’s other conservative justices, in the second of three days of oral arguments in the landmark case.
Tuesday’s arguments on the mandate are the pivotal point in this week’s debate, and the questions focused on the government’s argument that requiring consumers to purchase health insurance or face a fine is constitutional.
If the court’s liberal wing is united in support of the mandate, it would only need to peel off one more justice to secure a majority. Kennedy is the court’s traditional swing vote, and supporters of the healthcare law have also said they might win over Justice Antonin Scalia or Chief Justice John Roberts.
But all three were skeptical of Verrilli’s arguments.