“The way to frame a Supreme Court argument meant to persuade Justice Anthony M. Kennedy is to talk about liberty. It is his touchstone and guiding principle, and his conception of liberty is likely to determine the future of President Obama’s health care law,” according to the New York Times.
“If the administration is to prevail in the case, it must capture at least one vote beyond those of the court’s four more liberal justices, who are thought virtually certain to vote to uphold the law. The administration’s best hope is Justice Kennedy.
“The point was not lost on Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr., who concluded his defense of the law at the court this week with remarks aimed squarely at Justice Kennedy. Mr. Verrilli said there was “a profound connection” between health care and liberty.
“’There will be millions of people with chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease,’ he said, ‘and as a result of the health care that they will get, they will be unshackled from the disabilities that those diseases put on them and have the opportunity to enjoy the blessings of liberty.’
“Paul D. Clement, representing 26 states challenging the law, had a comeback. ‘I would respectfully suggest,’ he said, ‘that it’s a very funny conception of liberty that forces somebody to purchase an insurance policy whether they want it or not.’
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