The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday opened three days of oral arguments over the constitutionality of the insurance requirement embedded in President Obama's landmark health care law with a simple question and an obscure 1867 law.
The question: Does the court even have the right to hear the health care challenge, given that the Anti-Injunction Act prevents federal courts from taking cases where taxpayers are trying to prevent the government from "assessing or collecting" taxes?
No circus would be complete without a few animals.
So wouldn't you know the big crowd outside the U.S. Supreme Court today included a cat on a leash and an adorable chihuahua mix with health insurance.
Kaiser Health News' Jessica Marcy snapped the shot of the cat, stretched out on the steps leading to the courthouse, as she was rushing to cover the arrival of Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum.
With the question on Day 1 being whether the Supreme Court can even take up the issue of whether President Obama's health care law is constitutional, NPR's Nina Totenberg says she saw "a bunch of justices groping for a way to get to the merits of this case" as they began three days of oral arguments about the law.