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CNN Legal Analyst Downgrades Supreme Court Outlook for Obama Admin: From 'Train Wreck' to 'Plane Wreck


"foregone conclusion today that they were going to strike down the individual mandate."

CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin on Wednesday offered an even more dismal characterization of the Supreme Court hearings on President Barack Obama's health care overhaul: What was a "train wreck" might also be a "plane wreck" for the administration.

"This still looks like a train wreck for the Obama administration, and it may also be a plane wreck. This entire law is now in serious trouble," Toobin said on CNN after Wednesday's hearings. "It also seems that the individual mandate is doomed."

Toobin made his initial "train wreck" comment on Tuesday after the court heard arguments about the constitutionality of the law's mandate for individuals to buy health insurance. Wednesday's arguments focused on whether the entire law could be struck down if the individual mandate is scrapped.

Toobin also tweeted his "plane wreck" analysis to further punctuate his point.

"Anthony Kennedy spent much of this morning talking about if we strike down the individual mandate, how should we handle the rest of the law?" Toobin said.

Justice Anthony Kennedy is traditionally the swing vote on closely divided Supreme Court decisions, and to hear him speak in terms of striking the individual mandate is a boon for those who want the law overturned.

Toobin continued:"Now, it is less clear that they are going to strike down the whole law. There does seem to be some controversy in the court about that. Certainly there are some members of the court -- Antonin Scalia, Justice Alito -- who want to strike down the entire law, but it seemed almost a foregone conclusion today that they were going to strike down the individual mandate, and the only question is does the whole law go out the window with it?"

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