Policy Areas

Toobin: Obama healthcare reform law ‘in grave, grave trouble’

A top legal analyst predicted Tuesday that the Obama administration’s healthcare reform legislation seemed likely to be struck down by the Supreme Court. 

Jeffrey Toobin, a lawyer and legal analyst, who writes about legal topics for The New Yorker said the law looked to be in “trouble.” He called it a “trainwreck for the Obama administration.”

{mosads}”This law looks like it’s going to be struck down. I’m telling you, all of the predictions, including mine, that the justices would not have a problem with this law were wrong,” Toobin said Tuesday on CNN. “I think this law is in grave, grave trouble.”

Toobin’s observation came on the second day of oral arguments at the Supreme Court over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

Earlier that day, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who could be the deciding vote on whether to uphold the law, told Solicitor General Donald Verrilli that there appeared to be a “very heavy burden of justification” on aspects of the law, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Toobin described Kennedy as “enormously skeptical” during the arguments Tuesday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said tough questions from the justices did not indicate how the court would rule and took to task a legal analyst who said otherwise.

“I’ve been in court a lot more than Jeffrey Toobin and I had arguments, federal, circuit, Supreme Court and hundreds of times before trial courts,” Reid said. “And the questions you get from the judges doesn’t mean that’s what’s going to wind up with the opinion.”

The Hill’s Supreme Court coverage:
• Reid: ‘I’ve been in court a lot more than Jeffrey Toobin’
• Kennedy among mandate skeptics
• AUDIO & TRANSCRIPT: Day 2 arguments
• GOP up, Dems down after mandate talk
• GOP leaders not predicting SCOTUS healthcare decision
• Bachmann: We haven’t raised ‘white flag of surrender on socialized medicine’
• GOP doctors decry health law’s ‘very bad medicine’
• AUDIO: Alito questions mandate as a tax

—This story was updated at 1:04 p.m.


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