Lower court rulings on the case have also largely fallen along partisan lines, upping the expectations and pressure on the Supreme Court, which purportedly strives to be as apolitical as possible. Although recent Roberts' court decisions, such as the campaign finance ruling in Citizens' United, have been criticized as politically motivated.
Many legal scholars say precedent, typically given much weight in court rulings, is on the side of the law's constitutionality. But while public opinion isn't supposed to be a factor in Supreme Court decisions, many believe the unpopularity of the individual mandate will sway the justices to strike it down.
Questioning by the conservative justices during oral arguments was considered highly critical, a sign some have taken to mean the law will be in some part overturned. Other speculation, based on what has been characterized as recent light-hearted remarks from Kagan and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, both liberals, has concluded the law will be upheld.
The ruling is expected to be handed down shortly after 10 a.m. on Thursday.
Rebekah Metzler is a political writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter.
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