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What the Justices Asked on Day 2 of Health Care Arguments—PICTURES What the Justices Asked on Day 2 of Health Care Arguments—PICTURES

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Health Care / HEALTH CARE

What the Justices Asked on Day 2 of Health Care Arguments—PICTURES

March 27, 2012

On the second day of arguments over the health care law, the government argued in favor of the 2010 measure's mandate that Americans buy insurance. The liberal members—Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan—mostly seemed sympathetic to the government's argument. Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia appeared to side with the law's challengers. Questions from Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy suggested that they might be skeptical of the mandate's constitutionality. Clarence Thomas was, as usual, silent. Here's a look at some of the questions: 

RELATED: What the Justices Asked on Day One

Chief Justice John Roberts: "So can the government require you to buy a cell phone because that would facilitate responding when you need emergency services? You can just dial 911 no matter where you are?"  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Justice Stephen Breyer: "Can't Congress make people drive faster than 45-40 miles an hour on a road? Didn't they make that man growing his own wheat go into the market and buy other wheat for his -- for his cows? Didn't they make Mrs. -- if she married somebody who had marijuana in her basement, wouldn't she have to go and get rid of it? Affirmative action? I mean, where does this distinction come from? It sounds like sometimes you can, and sometimes you can't."  (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Justice Antonin Scalia: "What is left? If the government can do this, what -- what else can it not do?"


Justice Sonia Sotomayor: "They forced me to buy if I need unpasteurized foods, goods that don't have certain pesticides but have others. There is government compulsion in almost every economic decision because the government regulates so much. It's a condition of life."  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Justice Elena Kagan: "So the question is, can Congress respond to those facts, that we have no crystal ball, that we can't tell who is and isn't going to be in the health insurance market, and say most of these people will be and most of these people will thereby impose costs on the rest of us and that's a problem that we can deal with on a class-wide basis?"  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Justice Samuel Alito:" You can get burial insurance. You can get health insurance. Most people are going to need health care. Almost everybody. Everybody is going to be buried or cremated at some point. What's the difference?"  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)


Justice Anthony Kennedy:" Can you create commerce in order to regulate it?"  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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