The Obama administration has shifted its legal arguments as it prepares to defend the president’s healthcare law before the Supreme Court.
Written briefs in the landmark case increasingly have focused on a part of the Constitution that didn’t get much attention in lower courts.
Some legal experts say the shift could steer the case in a direction that would make Justice Antonin Scalia more likely to uphold the healthcare law’s mandate requiring individuals to purchase health insurance.
Oral arguments in the landmark case are set to begin March 26, and the justices are expected to give a ruling in June, just months before the presidential election.
A ruling that the mandate is unconstitutional could make it nearly impossible to implement other parts of the healthcare law—which is exactly the point the Department of Justice is highlighting in its most recent briefs.