The U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments Monday on the constitutionality of certain provisions of the health care law officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and derisively called “Obamacare.”
South Carolina has an important stake in the hearings as one of 26 states that have challenged the law. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson says this is a major case that will have constitutional as well as economic ramifications.
“It is so unprecedented that it has been nearly 50 years since the Supreme Court has allotted this much time for oral arguements,” Wilson told WLMA Radio in Greenwood, “Over three days there will be nearly six hours of oral argument heard before the court. So, this is not just a flash pan case. This is a case that will reverberate throughout history.”
Wilson says there is no way to accurately predict how the nine judges will vote, but an analysis of each of the judges’ record of rulings may provide some insight.
“If you look at the judges and their histories of cases and how they’ve ruled on those cases, you look at their judicial philosophy and how they’ve applied that philosophy in previous cases. There are some judges, like Justice Kennedy for instance, who is probably the swing vote on the court. You just never know how this thing is going to break down.”
South Carolina was one of the first states to file suit against the healthcare law two years ago, Wilson says that challenge has now mushroomed into a landmark case.
“Here we are on the precipice of one of the most historic supreme case hearings in our nation’s history,” he said, “On a hearing that is going to have an effect on as large as one-sixth of the economy.”
President Obama signed the health care legislation into law two years ago. Now legal experts say it will become the most significant piece of legislation reviewed by the Court since the Voting Rights Act in the 1960s.
Anne Eller of Greenwood affiliate WLMA contributed to this report.