Jack M. Balkin of Yale Law School believes the court will decide the issue on a secondary argument the government has put forward: the taxing power. "The individual mandate, which amends the Internal Revenue Code, is not actually a mandate at all. It is a tax. It gives people a choice: they can buy health insurance or they can pay a tax roughly equal to the cost of health insurance, which is used to subsidize the government's health care program and families who wish to purchase health insurance," he wrote in the New York Times.
But Severino does not think the court will rule in an unexpected way.
"This case is about the Commerce Clause and the constitutional limits on government. The court knows that, and that is the grounds on which it will rule. "
When the Justices are finished reading all opinions, Pamela Talkin, the marshal of the court, will announce the summer recess, and the debate will pour outside of the hallowed chambers onto the white marble Supreme Court steps. Public interest groups, protesters and lawyers have sent word that they will gather for waiting cameras.
And although the debate will continue, the justices' job will be done. Many of them have immediate plans to travel abroad to teach courses this summer in locations such as Malta, Florence and Austria, far from the clamor caused by their opinion.
ABC's Gal Bruck contributed to this report