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Posted at 4:42 p.m. on March 26, 2012
Today’s proceedings were more procedural than anything, with both sides in agreement that the case should be heard now and not in three years’ time.
Justices on both the liberal and conservative wings of the court pressed attorneys for ways around an 1867 law that prohibits people from filing a lawsuit against tax provisions until after they have already paid the tax in question. Both sides of the lawsuit agree that an exemption should be granted, but for different reasons, although the court appointed an attorney to defend the notion — held by a lower court — that the case won’t be ripe until 2015.
Tuesday’s arguments over the constitutionality of the individual mandate are expected to be much more heated. Indeed, on this first day there was more drama outside the court than inside the chamber.