Poll: Former Supreme Court clerks think the mandate is done for

June 20, 2012

A new poll of 56 former Supreme Court clerks finds that 57 percent think the individual mandate will be overturned. That's a 22-point jump from the last time the same group of clerks was surveyed, right before oral arguments. Back then, 35 percent thought the court would toss out the required purchase of health insurance.


The Supreme Court.

Most of the clerks found the Supreme Court's questioning to be more skeptical than they had expected. As one clerk put it to Purple Strategies' Doug Usher, who conducted the research, "I feel like a dope, because I was one of those who predicted that the Court would uphold the statute by a lopsided majority…it now appears pretty likely that this prediction was way off.”

That seems to capture the mood of the rest of the country, too. Over on InTrade, the estimated likelihood of the Supreme Court overturning the mandate has marched upward ever since oral arguments, hitting 79.9 percent Wednesday morning.

Ezra has more about how, exactly, the Supreme Court overturning the health reform law's individual mandate went from an outside shot to the conventional wisdom. We have more on why the individual mandate matters here, and also a rundown of the alternatives to the mandate, to increase insurance enrollment, should the provision fall.

Read more:

Everything you need to know about Obamacare and SCOTUS in one post. 

Legal scholars think the mandate is valid.

11 Facts about the Affordable Care Act.

Healthcare ruling to cap consequential week for Obama.

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Suzy Khimm | June 20, 2012