The constitutionality of the individual mandate, which is the heart of the 2010 federal health care reform law, is currently facing tough scrutiny by the justices of the Supreme Court. On day 2 of oral arguments, the government faced challenging questions about its authority to require all Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014. Commentators report that only the Court’s four liberal justices – Ginsburg, Kagan, Sotomayor and Breyer – seemed supportive of the law, while the other five justices ranged from skeptical to outright opposed to the mandate. Since five votes are required for a majority ruling on the Court, the future of the individual mandate appears to be in jeopardy based on today’s arguments. The final day of arguments is tomorrow, and the Court is expected to produce an opinion on the case by late June.

- Claire Kalia

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