Happening Now: SCOTUS Hears Oral Arguments in King v. Burwell

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Keep up-to-date with the latest news from the oral arguments in the King v. Burwell case.

King v. Burwell

Keep up-to-date with the latest news from the oral arguments in the case. We will be updating this page as new information comes in.

The Supreme Court will hear 1 hour of oral arguments, but the chief justice could decide to go longer.

11:38 am: Arguments have just ended. Full transcript should be released later today, but the audio won't be released until Friday, according to reports.

11:30 am: Plaintiffs' lawyer Michael Carvin argues there is no evidence that removing subsidies from the federal marketplace would cause a death spiral, but Justice Ginsberg demanded to know who would buy on the federal exchange without subsidies and what insurance companies would sell on it.


11:20 am: Justice Kennedy remains concerned about coercion, according to The Wall Street Journal's reports. He seems to think that if the court previously did not think Congress could force states to accept Medicaid expansion, then it could not force them to set up exchanges or forfeit access to federal subsidies.

11:15 am: Oral arguments running longer than the 1 hour planned. More liberal justices vocal during the plaintiffs' lawyers time talking and more conservative justices led the questioning when Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. approached the podium.

11:12 am: SCOTUSblog seems to think that Chief Justice John Roberts could be the swing vote again. However, he asked no questions to petitioners and seemed skeptical of efforts to question the plaintiffs' standing.

10:56 am: Justice Sonia Sotomayor asks the plaintiffs' lawyer how it is not coercive "in an unconstitutional way" to force states to decide between setting up an insurance exchange or letting the markets go into a "death spiral" if they sided with the plaintiffs. Justice Kennedy felt that same way, but seems to be on the fence in regard to which way his vote will swing, according to SCOTUSblog.

10:50 am: Midway through the oral arguments, Justice Elena Kagan was able to get the plaintiffs to admit "context, rather than just the literal text of the statute" is important to understanding the legislation of the Affordable Care Act, reported SCOTUSblog.

10:49 am: Justice Stephen Breyer seems to think its clear from the section of the legistlation that the federal government could step in and run the exchanges if necessary. "So what's the problem?" he asked, according to The Wall Street Journal.

10:45 am: Justices are back to the question of standing. The issue being that the plaintiffs' case could be moot if they are not subject to the requirement to buy coverage. Two plaintiffs are covered by the Department of Vererans Affairs and another about to become eligible for Medicare.

10:38 am: Reportedly Justice Anthony Kennedy sees "serious constitutional problems" in forcing states to set up health insurance exchanges.

10:35 am: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has been asking about the 4 plaintiffs and their standing. Two of the plaintiffs are veterans of the Vietnam War and as such they likely qualify for care through the Department of Veterans Affairs. As such, their legal standing to sue has been called into question, as previously reported by The Wall Street Journal.