HolyCoast: What's the Hottest Ticket in Washington?

Friday, March 16, 2012

What's the Hottest Ticket in Washington?

It's not for a sporting event, but for the Supreme Court Obamacare hearing:
The hottest ticket of the season isn't for the White House Easter Egg Roll or Opening Day for the Washington Nationals baseball team.

It's for a spot inside the Supreme Court to watch three days of arguments challenging the 2010 health-care law that begin here a week from Monday.

Given the town, people are working every angle.

Ezekiel Emanuel, a former White House adviser who helped craft the health-care law, hit up conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for a ticket even though the two men disagree on almost everything, he said, except "we like sharing good food."

Inside the White House, aides are elbowing for a spot but fear there won't be enough to go around, said one person familiar with the matter. Many of the 26 state attorneys general and governors who are plaintiffs worry they will be left empty-handed. Ilya Shapiro of the conservative Cato Institute said he might even camp in line overnight.

"It's like the most important ticket of the decade," said Dr. Emanuel, an oncologist and brother of former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Justice Scalia, "who I have come to know and find very likable," he said, came through.

With only about 400 seats in the court—and no TV or radio broadcasts, or any commercial photos or recordings, period—the limited chance to witness arguments in one of the highest profile legal battles in memory has triggered an equally historic scramble, even by the local standard of exceptionally big egos and sharp elbows.
That should certainly be an interesting session.

Personally, I think the individual mandate will be struck down, and if the Justices follow the law as the bill was written, the entire Obamacare law should be struck down since there is no severability clause that would allow the law to stand if part of it is ruled unconstitutional. However, it doesn't always work that way. We'll just have to wait and see.

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