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What Everyone Is Predicting for the Supreme Court’s Obamacare Ruling

An exterior view of the U.S. Supreme Court is seen on June 21, 2012 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court is expected to hand down its ruling on the Healthcare Reform Law before the end of its 2011-2012 term. This is the Supreme Court.

How fun is the Supreme Court? With only about nineteen hours now until it rules on Obamacare, potentially altering the lives of millions upon millions of people, nobody has any idea what its going to say. Okay, that's not totally accurate. It's pretty safe to assume that any decision will be 5-4 or, at most, 6-3. But as for whether the Court will strike down the mandate, the entire law, or nothing, even the experts are just making educated guesses at best. Precedent doesn't necessarily matter. Oral arguments weren't totally convincing either way. It goes without saying (but we're saying it?) that there haven't been any leaks from the few humans who actually know about the ruling. 

There have been a few interesting tea leaves. Chief Justice John Roberts is likely to pen the majority decision — probably not a good sign for Obamacare. But did liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg kind of sound suspiciously sunny when discussing the case earlier this month? It's likely nothing ... but ... ?

Anyway, nobody knows. But some people have been bold enough to make a prediction anyway. Here's what they're saying:

  • Ed Whelan (Bench Memos/National Review): "[T]he Court will invalidate the individual mandate by a 5-4 vote."
  • Tom Goldstein (SCOTUSblog): "I believe the mandate will not be invalidated tomorrow."
  • Scott Lemieux (Lawyers, Guns, and Money): "If forced to choose, I'd say the court will vote 5-4 to strike the mandate, and they will rule that it cannot be severed from at least some of the other provisions in the act."
  • Michael Tomasky (Daily Beast): "That means overturning the mandate 5-4. But it means doing so narrowly, carefully, almost regretfully."
  • Peter Suderman (Reason): "I’m on record as predicting that the mandate will go down."
  • Jeffrey Toobin: "I would bet that this court is going to strike down the individual mandate."
  • InTrade: 74.3 percent chance that the mandate is ruled unconstitutional. 
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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images