Listen to Wednesday Afternoon's Supreme Court arguments
The Supreme Court on Wednesday heard the last of three days of oral arguments on the fate of President Obama's health care law. A transcript of Wednesday afternoon's arguments, as prepared by the court, follows.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: We will continue argument this afternoon in case 11-400 Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services.
Mr. Clement. ORAL ARGUMENT OF PAUL D. CLEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE PETITIONER MR. CLEMENT: Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court:
On the final morning of its three-day health care law extravaganza, the U.S. Supreme Court wrestled with the question of whether parts of the 2010 federal statute can survive if the justices strike down its central tenet: the individual insurance requirement.
In other words, if the nine justices find the insurance mandate unconstitutional when they rule by June, would that mean that the entire law also fails the constitutionality test?
There's a Republican presidential primary next Tuesday in Wisconsin. But as the accompanying photo taken by NPR political correspondent Don Gonyea in Delafield, Wisc. suggests, a lot of Wisconsinites have other political matters on their minds.
As Don writes in an e-mail:
"Note that the recall coming up on June is the big political story here. Not Tuesdays presidential primary."
Now to the pilot for JetBlue who had to be subdued by passengers yesterday after he left the cockpit mid-flight and went on a rant, screaming about Iraq and Israel. JetBlue has suspended the pilot, identified as Clayton Osbon, and has called this a medical situation, which raises all kinds of questions about psychological screening of commercial airline pilots.
We're going to put those questions now to commercial pilot Patrick Smith. He writes the column Ask the Pilot for Salon.com. Welcome to the program.
Sometimes, Hollywood and the real world collide in unhappy ways. That's what's happening to Fox Pictures. They're releasing a comedy this summer that stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill. The title, "Neighborhood Watch."
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH")
BEN STILLER: (as Character) Sergeant, he assaulted us with eggs.
JONAH HILL: (as Character) Look at me.
STILLER: Look at me. Look at him and listen to me.
HILL: Listen. Listen to my words and hear his face.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melisa Block.
The case is submitted. With those words from the chief justice, the three-day marathon at the Supreme Court ended. Today, the justices heard two sets of arguments over the federal health care law. There were sessions in the morning and afternoon with two separate questions to consider.
NPR's Ari Shapiro is with me in the studio to describe what happened. And, Ari, let's start with the morning arguments, a key question there hinging on yesterday's arguments.
The last argument on the Affordable Care Act before the Supreme Court could have consequences far beyond health care.
The key issue is whether the health law's expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor unfairly compels the participation of states. Many considered this to be the weakest part of the states' challenge to the health law, and during Wednesday afternoon's arguments, that seemed to be the case.