Justice Alito questions whether the ObamaCare mandate penalty is a tax

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito lit up the court room today when he questioned Solicitor General Don Verrilli about whether the penalty for failing to purchase health care under the ObamaCare mandate was a tax.

Here is the exchange:

JUSTICE ALITO: General Verrilli, today you are arguing that the penalty is not a tax. Tomorrow you are going to be back and you will be arguing that the penalty is a tax.

Has the Court ever held that something that is a tax for purposes of the taxing power under the Constitution is not a tax under the Anti-Injunction Act?

SOLICITOR GENERAL VERRILLI: No, Justice Alito, but the Court has held in a license tax cases that something can be a constitutional exercise of the taxing power whether or not it is called a tax. And that’s because the nature of the inquiry that we will conduct tomorrow is different from the nature of the inquiry that we will conduct today. Tomorrow the question is whether Congress has the authority under the taxing power to enact it and the form of words doesn’t have a dispositive effect on that analysis. Today we are construing statutory text where the precise choice of words does have a dispositive effect on the analysis.

So, according to the Obama administration’s argument, it’s a tax when we need it to be and not a tax when we need it to be. That makes perfect, constitutional, sense if you ask me…

See the whole transcript and more on ObamaCare & SCOTUS day 1 here.

  • John B

    The Solicitor General is simply employing the typical logic that is the norm for the government establishment

  • reneeca

    So typical of this administration to give a convoluted answer as it’s a tax when we want it to be and not a tax when we don’t want it to be! EVERTHING  is what THEY consider it to be when they consider it. This whole administration is upside down!

  • http://twitter.com/hidefullofHoney f. lindsay

    ObAma told his LAWYER ”SAY WHATEVER YOU MUST-DOUBLETALK-WE NEED THIS MANDATE TO SAVE MY PRESIDENCY.” #BREAKINGNEWS #OBAMA wants you 2 be TAXED  or WHATEVER the COURT NEEDS 2 HEAR SO You CAN PAY HIM 2 OVERSEE 1/6th of the ECONOMY and YOU WILL BE FORCED TO PAY. HELLO THE FEDS CAN NOT FORCE US TO PURCHASE ANYTHING. SCOTUS MUST SEE THE FACT that if we are FORCED TO A CONTRACT we will NO LONGER FREE. OBAMA HAS GOT TO GO. I’m NOT SURE WHAT DOCUMENT HE STUDIED at HARVARD, but it doens’t APPEAR THAT HE TRULY UNDERSTAND the US CONSTITUTION. IN BOTH CASES BROUGHT BY BO TO the SUPREME COURT 2DATE HE HAS BEEN VOTED AGAINST BY EACH JUSTICE 2X’s- that is 18-0 AGAINST  the STINKING FRAUD BO.

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