A Treasury of Liberal Supreme Court Justices Trying to Bail Out the Solicitor General

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 27 2012 2:45 PM

A Treasury of Liberal Supreme Court Justices Trying to Bail Out the Solicitor General

Buzzfeed has clipped Donald Verrilli's stumbling start from today's oral arguments. It doesn't sound great. The actual argument sounds much worse. I literally cringed every time a liberal justice dove in to help Verrilli make the case he was supposed to be making already.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

Mr. Verrilli, I thought that your main point is that, unlike food or any other market, when you made the choice not to buy insurance, even though you have every intent in the world to self-insure, to save for it, when disaster strikes, you may not have the money.
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Stephen Breyer:

Justice Kennedy asked, can you, under the Commerce Clause, Congress create commerce where previously none existed. Well, yes, I thought the answer to that was, since McCulloch versus Maryland, when the Court said Congress could create the Bank of the United States which did not previously exist, which job was to create commerce that did not previously exist, since that time the answer has been, yes.

Breyer, again.

Your question is whether or not there are any limits on the Commerce Clause. Can you identify for us some limits on the Commerce Clause?

Find your own! It's whatever the opposite of fun is.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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