The media reported that the government’s attorney, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr., had a tough day yesterday arguing in front of the Supreme Court that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate was constitutional. His opening remarks were apparently not as coherent as they should have been and he consequently sustained some very negative questions from the Justices.
Former Solicitor General Paul Clement, arguing for the 26 plaintiff states against the mandate, is reported to have done quite well in his arguments. However, predicting the outcome based on questions from the Justices is apparently not a science experts caution.
But there was another attorney presenting to the Court yesterday who news reports have barely mentioned if at all—Michael Carvin who is representing the National Federation of Independent Business. How did he do?
Here is how Elizabeth Wydra, Chief Counsel for the Constitutional Accountability Center, who was in the Chamber described Mr. Carvin’s performance in a radio interview with me yesterday afternoon.
“He was very bombastic almost to the point where I think it was not really your typical Supreme Court behavior. There is a sense of decorum there. This isn’t Bill O’Reilly. This is the Supreme Court of the United States. I think that might have actually have turned off some of the Justices like Justice Kennedy and Chief Justice Roberts.”
We can only hope.