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Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site's coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CNN Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin, following Supreme Court arguments on President Obama's health care law, said on CNN that based on what he heard inside the Court, things didn't look good for proponents of the law.
"This was a train wreck for the Obama administration," he said. "This law looks like it's going to be struck down. I'm telling you, all of the predictions including mine that the justices would not have a problem with this law were wrong... if I had to bet today I would bet that this court is going to strike down the individual mandate."
Toobin added that he felt that U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli simply wasn't prepared for the conservative justices.
"I don't know why he had a bad day," he said. "He is a good lawyer, he was a perfectly fine lawyer in the really sort of tangential argument yesterday. He was not ready for the answers for the conservative justices."
Toobin also said he thought Justice Kennedy, the perennial swing vote, was a "lost cause" for supporters of the health care reform law.
U.S. Solicitor General David Verrilli, who is arguing on behalf of the government to defend the health reform law, has finished his prepared remarks to the Supreme Court justices, reports Tom Goldstein of SCOTUSblog.
It is essentially clear that the four more liberal members of the Court will vote in favor of the mandate. But there is no fifth vote yet. The conservatives all express skepticism, some significant.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) flipped the tables on Democrats on Monday, hitting President Obama in a tweet as an "Etch A Sketch leader' after reportedly asking Russian President Dimitri Medvedev for "space" on missle defense, promising he will have "more flexibility" after the election.
"Pres Obama tells Medvedev he'll be more "flexible" on missile defense - that's a real "Etch A Sketch" leader!" McCain tweeted.
The Supreme Court oral arguments are now under way with Robert Long, who is arguing that litigation should be delayed until 2014, making opening remarks that lasted three minutes, reports the Wall Street Journal's Louise Radnofsky.
He described the law as a "pay first, litigate later" law that is essential for government to function--meaning that any challenge to a tax should be litigated only after people start paying the tax. He said there was "no reason to believe" that Congress had intended to exempt from the act the health law's requirement that most Americans carry insurance or pay a fine after 2014.