Day 1: Department of Health and Human Services, et al. vs. Florida
WASHINGTON — Outside the Supreme Court, a cacophony of shouts, chants and jeers Monday brought home the raw emotion over the health care law, but inside, it was a day of relative calm and agreement.
The justices appeared to reject the argument that the case had to be put aside because of a 145-year-old law that says tax issues cannot be challenged until the tax goes into effect — 2015 in this case.
"What is the parade of horribles?" Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked a lawyer who argued the case was premature under the Anti-Injunction Act of 1867 and would lead to a flood of cases sidestepping normal procedure under law.
But lawyers for the two main parties in the case — the Obama administration and the collection of states in opposition, including Florida — were on the same page, contending the matter was too important not to take up and that the tax wasn't a tax but a "penalty."
"This case presents issues of great moment, and the Anti-Injunction Act does not bar the court's consideration of those issues," Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said. (story here)