Q: Who will be arguing against the law?
A: Representing Florida on Monday will be Washington appellate lawyer Gregory G. Katsas. Former Solicitor General Paul Clement, now in private practice, will represent Florida on Tuesday and Wednesday. Former Justice Department attorney Michael A. Carvin will represent the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
Q: Can I go watch the arguments, and if I can't make it to Washington, can I watch on television or online?
A: The Supreme Court does not allow live television or radio broadcasts from inside its building, so the only way Americans can actually see or hear the arguments live is to be inside the courtroom while lawyers and justices debate. There are seats reserved inside the courtroom for members of the public on a first-come, first-served basis, with some people allowed to stay for the entire argument while others have to leave the courtroom and give their seats to the next people in line after 3-5 minutes. The Supreme Court will also make the audio recording of the arguments available later the same day on its website: http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_audio.aspx.
Q: What type of health care do the justices get, and will they be affected by their ruling?
A: The justices participate in the same health care plan as members of Congress and other federal workers. As participants in an employee-sponsored health care plan, it is unlikely that whatever decision the Supreme Court makes will substantially affect their personal health care insurance.
Q: I've heard people say that Justices Elena Kagan and Clarence Thomas should take no part in this case? What's that about?
A: Opponents of the law wanted Kagan to disqualify herself because she served as solicitor general under Obama when the health care overhaul law was conceived and passed. She has said she did not participate in crafting a legal defense for the law, but her detractors doubt her statement. Thomas' detractors insist that he should have disqualified himself because his wife, Ginni, worked with groups that opposed the new law.
Decisions to stay out of a case are the responsibility of each individual justice, and neither Kagan nor Thomas justice stepped aside.
Roberts said in his 2011 year-end report that he has "complete confidence in the capability of my colleagues to determine when recusal is warranted. They are jurists of exceptional integrity and experience whose character and fitness have been examined through a rigorous appointment and confirmation process. I know that they each give careful consideration to any recusal questions that arise in the course of their judicial duties."
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