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It's a Date: Individual Mandate Oral Arguments March 26-28

By Robyn Hagan Cain on December 19, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Confession: We don't want the individual mandate challenge to end.

Sure, we want to know how the Supreme Court will rule on the most controversial provision of the Affordable Care Act, but we recently realized that there will soon be a void in the legal community: we'll no longer need to daydream about healthcare constitutionality arguments.

Alas, the end is nigh. The Supreme Court announced today that the epic, three-day, five-and-a-half hour arguments will be happening March 26-28, 2012.

The week will kick off with Anti-Injunction Act arguments in Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday, March 26 at 10:00 a.m. The Court will consider whether individual mandate challenges are barred by the federal Anti-Injunction Act, reports SCOTUSblog.

The Court will hear two hours of arguments in Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida on Tuesday, March 27 starting at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday's arguments will be focused on the constitutionality of the individual mandate.

On Wednesday, March 28, the Nine will consider severability of the individual mandate challenge in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius and Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services, stating at 10:00 a.m., followed by arguments about the constitutionality of Medicaid expansion programs under the Affordable Care Act in Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services at 1:00 p.m.

Wednesday's arguments will be politically relevant to the 2012 presidential election.

While the individual mandate is arguably the backbone of the Affordable Care Act, a pro-severability ruling would allow President Obama to champion the surviving changes to the health care system on the campaign trail. If the Court rules that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, and cannot be severed from the rest of the Act, then the Republican nominee will have several months before the campaign to criticize the president for squandering a year of his presidency during a financial downturn on unconstitutional legislation.

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