Here’s a breakdown of the U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments schedule for challenges to the constitutionality of President Obama’s national health care law.
* Obamacare oral arguments schedule
The arguments will pit the U.S. government against 26 states led by Florida and the National Federation of Independent Business. On some issues, the Supreme Court has actually appointed attorneys to represent certain arguments that none of the litigants support. The Court has allotted a total of six hours to hear the case.
Monday, March 26
10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Justices will consider whether a ruling on the health care law’s individual mandate can be made at this time, or whether the Tax Anti-Injunction Act restricts the court from weighing in on the matter until the mandate goes into effect and individuals actually start paying penalties. This would delay a decision on the underlying Constitutionality of the individual mandate until at least 2015. Both the states challenging the mandate and the Obama administration have argued against such a delay, given the uncertainty it would cause to states and the federal government over the next few years over whether to implement the law. But an opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit did argue that the Anti-Injunction Act did apply in this case, so the Supreme Court appointed an attorney to represent the position.
Arguments will last a total of 90 minutes, with 40 minutes for court-appointed attorney Bob Long, 30 minutes for U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli and 20 minutes for Gregory Katsas on behalf of the NFIB and the states.
Tuesday, March 27
10 a.m. to noon
Justices will consider the core of the challenge – whether Congress exceeded its authority by enacting the individual mandate that forces individuals to purchase health insurance under the threat of a penalty.
Arguments will total two hours, with one hour for Solicitor General Verrilli, 30 minutes for Paul Clement on behalf of the 26 states led by Florida and 30 minutes for Mike Carvin on behalf of the NFIB.
Wednesday, March 28
10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Justices will consider the issue of “severability.” This will determine whether, if the mandate is found unconstitutional, the rest of the law stands or is struck down as inseparably linked.
Arguments will total 90 minutes. Clement will argue for the NFIB and the states that the whole law should fall if the mandate is unconstitutional. Deputy Solicitor General Edwin Kneedler will argue that the court should only throw out the ban on pre-existing conditions and the related provision limiting insurance prices for sicker patients. Court-appointed attorney H. Bartow Farr will be arguing that the rest of the law can stand even if the mandate doesn’t pass constitutional muster.
1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Justices will consider whether the health care law’s expansion of the Medicaid program violates the Constitution by coercing states into taking on a massive financial burden.
Arguments will last 60 minutes, with 30 minutes for Clement on behalf of the states and 30 minutes for Solicitor General Verrilli.