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Obama agenda: Tough day in court

It was a tough day in court for the mandate and the administration. “The justices’ probing questions during the second day of hearings over the constitutionality of Obama’s signature health care overhaul served to jolt the law’s supporters from any certitude that the court would find the requirement to have health insurance does not trample on individual rights,” the Boston Globe writes.

If the health law’s struck down, it’s because, in part, of the 2004 election, the Boston Globe’s Johnson writes. “In 2004, Senator John Kerry was among those presidential candidates who made the Supreme Court’s balance a part of his closing campaign argument. Then-incumbent President George W. Bush did, too. … Bush ended up making his only two court nominations after his reelection victory.”

The New York Daily News: “Obamacare takes Supreme Court beating as justices ask hard questions about requirement to buy insurance.”

Roll Call: “Skeptical questioning of the individual mandate at the heart of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul by the Supreme Court’s conservative bloc, and swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy in particular, raised the hopes of top Republicans on Tuesday that the court will overturn the law.”

On this third day of Supreme Court arguments, today could be key, The Hill notes, as the court will focus on whether the health law and the individual mandate can be separated. “Severability could be key to the court’s ultimate decision. The debate might see a higher profile after Tuesday’s session, when the court’s potential swing votes indicated that they’re skeptical the insurance mandate is constitutional,” The Hill notes.

“A new Quinnipiac poll finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney in three crucial swing states,” Political Wire writes. “Florida: Obama 49%, Romney 42%; Ohio: Obama 47%, Romney 41%; Pennsylvania: Obama 45%, Romney 42%.”