The unprecedented five and a half hours that the Supreme Court has given to hear arguments concerning Obamacare shows just how much importance the country’s highest court is putting on the case, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi tells Newsmax.
And she said she is confident that the decision the nine justices come to will vindicate the role played by the state in opposing the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act.
“We are incredibly pleased that the Supreme Court has taken it up,” Bondi said in an exclusive interview. “We have always said it is a case of great national importance and this proves it.”
The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would hear the case in which Florida led the way in organizing 25 other states to challenge the law.
Their view was upheld by the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit Court of Appeal.
Instead of the normal one hour the court gives for oral arguments, it has allotted five-and-a-half hours. Bondi said she knows of only one other case, on campaign finances, that has received anything like as much time in modern days – and that case got four hours.
Bondi took office in January. Her predecessor, fellow Republican Bill McCollum, was lead attorney general in the case known as Florida et al vs. United States Department of Health and Human Services.
The main issue to be decided will be whether individuals can be forced to buy insurance – the so called “individual mandate.” Bondi said that she believes that without the mandate the rest of the healthcare law falls. “Even the federal government says they will have to go back to the drawing board,” she said.
Bondi has called the individual mandate “an unprecedented threat to the liberty of Americans.” On Monday in a statement she said, “We are hopeful that by June 2012 we will have a decision that protects Americans' and individuals' liberties and limits the federal government's power.”
But she would not predict the decision the nine justices will reach. “We are optimistic,” she told Newsmax. “We feel confident that the justices will follow the law and we firmly believe this law is unconstitutional .
“If the government can force us to do this, they can force us to do anything
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