The consensus from reporters and legal experts scampering out of the Supreme Court as today’s oral arguments wrapped up a few minutes ago is that the mandate is, in the words of Jeffrey Toobin, in “grave trouble.”
Toobin also observed that Solicitor General David Verrilli had a “bad day” arguing in favor of the mandate. “He was not ready for the answers from the conservative justices,” Toobin said on CNN.
More soon from TPM’s Sahil Kapur, who was in the courtroom.
Late Update: Reactions from others whom I trust:
New update posted.Paul Clement gave the best argument I’ve ever heard.No real hard questions from the right. Mandate is in trouble.— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) March 27, 2012
Well, folks, I wasn’t worried after oral arguments yesterday. I am today.— Jonathan Cohn (@CitizenCohn) March 27, 2012
Its all down to kennedy and roberts. Kennedy not easy to read— Dahlia Lithwick (@Dahlialithwick) March 27, 2012
I just instant messaged briefly with Sahil Kapur, our reporter on the scene, and he was more circumspect than Toobin, agreeing that the administration was subject to tough questioning, but noting that a clear majority bloc has not emerged yet to strike down the law.
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.