After two days of hearings on President Obama’s chief accomplishment: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, the Supreme Court’s questioning has shown few surprises, but the greatest might be those from the swing-vote Justice Anthony Kennedy.


Both the left and right have four secure votes.  No one anticipates Scalia, Alito, Thomas or Roberts to vote to uphold the key clause of Obamacare:requiring all persons to purchase health insurance.  Nor does anyone expect that Ginsberg, Breyer, Sotomayor or Kagen will oppose the patient mandate.  The key vote has always been Kennedy, who at times votes on either side of the political spectrum.

Today the questioning was especially intense with some of the most telling questions being asked by Justice Kennedy.

Kennedy at one point said that allowing the government mandate would “change the relationship” between the government and U.S. citizens.

“Do you not have a heavy burden of justification to show authorization under the Constitution” for the individual mandate? asked Kennedy.

Questions asked by justices don’t always foretell how they will decide, but they often suggest doubts or concerns.  Kennedy’s questions in today’s hearing indicates that he is bothered by the concept of the government forcing it’s citizens to purchase any good or service and that’s the 26 Attorney’s Generals key argument against the law.

If the opposition to Obamacare can take anything away from today’s hearing it’s that the vote they need to prevail at least shares some of their concerns over an overreaching federal government and that bodes well for them in the end.