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Paul Clement For Supreme Court

Written By: Attorney Jonathan Emord  |  Posted: Thursday, May 31st, 2012

            The Supreme Court is likely to issue its decision on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) by the end of June. Although predicting the Court's decisions is a prognostication fraught with danger (rarely better than predicting the weather), most Supreme Court watchers agree that PPACA will be decided on the merits and that the PPACA Individual Mandate and all provisions of the law that are intertwined with it will likely be struck down. If that occurs, the majority will likely include five members: Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas, Justice Kennedy, and Justice Alito. The minority will likely include four: Justice Ginsburg, Justice Breyer, Justice Sotomayor, and Justice Kagan.

            The oral argument in the PPACA case, available on the Supreme Court's web site, is enormously edifying and is proof of the capacity of human intellect. Indeed, for anyone interested in the issues surrounding this historic event, for students (and prospective students) of the law, and for any who practice constitutional and administrative law, the oral argument is must listening. In addition to its historical and its constitutional and administrative law value, the argument provides a great education in legal polemics. There are many fine examples of intellectual contest between the attorney for the twenty-six states, Paul D. Clement, and the Solicitor General of the United States, Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., and among Clement, Verrilli and the Justices. Although argument was heated at times, never once did counsel or the bench lose decorum, indicative of the great intellect operating.

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