Opinion Announcements

With the momentous opinions this week in the Affordable Care Act cases and the Arizona immigration case, we’ve already received requests to post the bench statements by the justices. Unfortunately, the Court does not release recordings of these sessions to the National Archives until the beginning of the following term, usually sometime in October. We will transcribe and post the announcement recordings when we receive them later this year.

The Winning Argument


The Affordable Care Act Cases

The blockbuster decision by the Court to uphold the controversial Individual Mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act relied on an argument that, until today, most of the media had entirely overlooked.

During the last 10 minutes of Solicitor General Donald Verrilli’s argument in March on the Individual Mandate, the government argued that the provision was a valid exercise of Congressional power under the Taxing Clause. The justices, including the author of today’s opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts, focused on the key concern with the argument: Why did Congress not simply call the penalty a tax?

Court Finds Most of the Affordable Care Act Constitutional


The Affordable Care Act Cases

The Court today issued a long, complex decision in the closely watched cases dealing with President Obama’s signature healthcare reform legislation. Oyez is working to assemble a simplified summary of the conclusion, but most provisions, including the controversial Individual Mandate, were upheld.

Court Strikes Down Most of Controversial Immigration Law

The Supreme Court today rejected most of the state of Arizona’s controversial immigration enforcement law as unconstitutionally infringing on the Federal government’s powers. While most of the law was struck down, one provision, which allows state law enforcement personell to inquire about immigration status where there is reasonable suspicion that an individual might be in the country illegally, was upheld, at least for now.

Oyez’s summary of the decision spells out exactly which provisions of the law the Court concluded were invalid.