Supreme Court To Hear Arguments On Healthcare Reform Law Beginning Today.
On the eve of the first day of arguments before the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the healthcare reform law, print and television coverage continued to be heavy, with nearly three minutes of coverage on network newscasts. ABC World News (3/25, story 4, 0:20, Muir, 8.2M) reported, “Lines have been growing all weekend long with people hoping to get actual tickets to get inside the Supreme Court to hear arguments over President Obama’s healthcare reform law.”
NBC Nightly News (3/25, story 4, 2:30, Holt, 8.37M) reported, “Tomorrow’s arguments begin with this question, can the challengers bring the case now, or do they have to wait until 2014 when the insurance mandate kicks in?” Tom Goldstein, Supreme Court expert: “I doubt the justices are going to say they can’t decide this case. There’s too much at stake, billions and billions of dollars. And I think they realize the nation really needs an answer to this question.”
USA Today (3/26, Wolf) reports, “Not since the court confirmed George W. Bush’s election in December 2000 – before 9/11, Afghanistan and Iraq, Wall Street’s dive and Obama’s rise – has one case carried such sweeping implications for nearly every American.” USA notes, “A poll this month by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation found 42% were either unsure of the law’s status or believed the Supreme Court had already overturned it.” USA adds, “This year’s presidential election and the agenda of the next Congress will be affected by the justices’ ruling, expected in late June.”
In a story carried by more than 335 news sources, the AP (3/26, Subscription Publication) reports, “Polls have consistently shown the public is at best ambivalent about the benefits of the health care law, and that a majority of Americans believe the mandatory insurance requirement is unconstitutional.” Meanwhile, “The administration’s public education campaign has come under strong criticism from its allies who say the White House has been timid in the face of relentless Republican attacks.”
On its front page, the Wall Street Journal (3/26, A1, Bravin, Subscription Publication) quotes Georgetown University law professor Randy Barnett, who said, “This case will be a tremendous opportunity to reaffirm that Congress is a legislature of limited powers.” He added that challengers want the court to admit that “Congress has never gone here before, and it can’t go here again.”
In a front-page story, the New York Times (3/26, Liptak, A1, Subscription Publication) reports, “The three days of Supreme Court arguments that start Monday on the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care law will be a legal marathon, and the lawyers involved have been training. Last week, there were so many of the mock arguments that lawyers call moot courts that they threatened to exhaust something that had never been thought in short supply: Washington lawyers willing to pretend to be Supreme Court justices.” Former Solicitor General Paul D. Clement, who is representing the 26 states that are challenging the law, told the Times that problem “was not just the length of the arguments the court will hear, but the variety of topics to be addressed.”