The decision may pivot on the vote of Justice Antonin Scalia, a court conservative. Suffolk University's Landers said that in a previous case that centered on the Commerce Clause, "Scalia wrote a concurrence in which he took a very broad view of Congress' authority. So I think he has a lot of work to do to get himself out from under that concurrence."
She said it's also possible -- though unlikely -- that the court could decide to delay ruling on the case altogether.
That would be a major setback for opponents, said Turner at the Galen Institute. "By 2017, 'Obamacare' would have such deep roots that it would be hard to overturn," she said.
Whatever the court decides, it will provide plenty of fodder for the 2012 elections. And even if the Affordable Care Act survives the legal challenge, Landers said, "with upcoming elections -- a new Congress -- it doesn't mean that everything is set for all time."
The American Bar Association website links to briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court case on the Affordable Care Act.
For legal experts' best guess on how the Supreme Court will rule on the Affordable Care Act, click here.
To learn more about the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, click here.
To learn more about the importance of the individual mandate to the Affordable Care Act, click here.
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