The justices on the individual mandate

Here are excerpts from eight of the nine Supreme Court justices during arguments on Tuesday on the constitutionality of the individual mandate requirement of the health-care law passed in 2010. Justice Clarence Thomas asked no questions. Read the full transcript from day two of the Supreme Court's arguments. Click here for complete coverage of the hearings.

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Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.
"Once we say there is a market and Congress can require people to participate in it, as some would say -- or as you would say, that people are already participating in it . . . all bets are off, and you could regulate that market in any rational way."

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Justice Antonin Scalia
"The federal government is not supposed to be a government that has all powers; it’s supposed to be a government of limited powers . . . What -- what is left? If the government can do this, what, what else can it not do?"

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Justice Anthony M. Kennedy
"When you are changing the relation of the individual to the government in this, what we can stipulate is, I think, a unique way, do you not have a heavy burden of justification to show authorization under the Constitution?"

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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
"There’s something very odd about that, that the government can take over the whole thing and we all say, oh, yes, that’s fine, but if the government wants to get -- to preserve private insurers, it can't do that."

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Justice Stephen G. Breyer
"I look back into history, and I see it seems pretty clear that if there are substantial effects on interstate commerce, Congress can act."

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Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.
"Isn't it the case that what this mandate is really doing is not requiring the people who are subject to it to pay for the services that they are going to consume? It is requiring them to subsidize services that will be received by somebody else."

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Justice Sonia Sotomayor
"The given is that virtually everyone, absent some intervention from above, meaning that someone’s life will be cut short in a fatal way, virtually everyone will use health care."

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Justice Elena Kagan
"The aggregate of all these uninsured people are increasing the normal family premium, Congress says, by a thousand dollars a year. Those people are in commerce. They are making decisions that are affecting the price that everybody pays for this service."

SOURCE: Supreme Court transcripts. GRAPHIC: Kenneth W. Smith Jr., Jayne Orenstein and Robert Barnes - The Washington Post. Published March 27, 2012.