Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr., is under intense fire from the left for botching the mandate argument yesterday.
Adam Serwer at Mother Jones is being quoted far and wide:
Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. should be grateful to the Supreme Court for refusing to allow cameras in the courtroom, because his defense of Obamacare on Tuesday may go down as one of the most spectacular flameouts in the history of the court….
“What is left?” Justice Antonin Scalia demanded of Verrilli, “if the government can do this, what can it not do?” ….
Justice Samuel Alito asked the same question later. “Could you just—before you move on, could you express your limiting principle as succinctly as you possibly can?” …. Where the lawyers challenging the mandate invoked the Federalist Papers and the framers of the Constitution, Verrilli offered jargon and political talking points. If the law is upheld, it will be in spite of Verrilli’s performance, not because of it.
Don’t blame the Solicitor General. He worked with what he had. The day after his argument, there still is no good answer to the questions asked by Scalia and Alito.
There is a brutal ad released by the RNC. It is brutal not because Verrilli stammered.
In the audio clip, Verrilli acknowledges the political truth that this entire takeover of the health care system was in the face of an insurance system that worked well for the overwhelming majority of Americans.
Rather than finding a way to help the 15%, the Democrats decided on a mountain of legislative language and regulations, with the mandate sitting high on top of the mountain, the Democratic Party equivalent of planting the flag.
The Obamacare oral argument messenger had no message, that was the problem yesterday.