The Supreme Court began three days of oral arguments Monday on President Obama's sweeping health care law that requires Americans to buy health insurance. First item on the agenda: whether the court even has the right to make a decision now.
An obscure 19th century law, the Anti-Injunction Act, says no federal tax can be challenged before it goes into effect. So that means, if they find it to be a tax, the justices may decide they can't make any call now (ie. talk to us in 2015).
Basically, is it really a tax if it's only enforced with a tax penalty on individual tax returns?
After hearing Monday's proceedings, NBC's Pete Williams reported "there didn’t seem to be a single member of the Supreme Court that bought that argument" that it's a tax. He said, "we're obviously going to go on to the main event which is the individual mandate which will be argued tomorrow."