Pelosi Has ‘No Idea’ Whether Supreme Court Will Strike Down Individual Mandate

Mar 28, 2012 1:54pm

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi today said she has “no idea” whether the Supreme Court will strike down a key provision of the health care law that she guided through Congress during her reign as speaker of the House two years ago.

“I have no idea. None of us does,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said. “We are all now talking about something of which we have no knowledge because we’re not members of the Supreme Court. We have knowledge of the legislation [and] we knowledge of the arguments, but we have no idea what the outcome will be.”

With some Supreme Court watchers predicting the justices will rule 5 to 4 down ideological lines against the individual mandate, the top Democrat on the Judiciary committee, Rep. John Conyers, says he attended the oral arguments Tuesday and came away with a different impression of how the court could rule.

“My feeling is that, and I’m predicting this, is that we will have a 5-4 decision supporting the mandatory provision,” Conyers, D-Mich., said. “I’ll be checking with you in June to see which one of us were correct.”

Pelosi said congressional Democrats “have long believed in judicial review” as part of the country’s constitutional process, but said that as Democrats wrote the Affordable Care Act, “We were careful to honor our Constitution.”

“I hope it’s better than [Conyers' 5-4 prediction], because we have one thing going: the merits,” she said.

While the Supreme Court hears arguments today for the third day this week, a decision is not expected from the court until late June.

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