Anti-Obamacare lawyer makes Romney's argument

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

If the Supreme Court overturns the individual mandate based on the theory argued by Paul Clement, the attorney representing the 26 states that filed lawsuits against Obamacare, Mitt Romney's presidential campaign could get a big boost from the ruling.

Clement told the court, just as Romney has told Republican primary voters, that states have the power to enact individual mandates wheras the federal government has no such authority.

"I do think the States could pass this mandate," Clement said today in response to a question from Justice Sonia Sotomayor. "[T]he States can do it because they have a police power, and that is a fundamental difference between the States on the one hand and the limited, enumerated Federal Government on the other."

Romney has argued throughout the presidential primary that Massachusetts has the ability, under the 10th Amendment, to enact an individual mandate for health insurance.

Democrats prepping for the general election have attacked Romney for supporting the individual mandate in his state while opposing President Obama's mandate.

If the Supreme Court agrees that states can enact mandates, but rules that Obama's mandate is an unconstitutional infringement on individual liberty, then Romney will have a solid rebuttal.


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