Solicitor General Donald Verrilli's swallowtail morning coat will get heavy use the week of March 26. The Justice Department has just confirmed that Verrilli will rise to argue in three of the four separate and historic arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act later this month. Those will be: the jurisdictional issue under the Anti-Injunction Act, set for argument first, on March 26; the minimum coverage -- or individual mandate -- provision on March 27; and the Medicaid expansion question on March 28.
Veteran Deputy SG Edwin Kneedler, with more than 100 arguments under his belt, will take on the fourth issue, the severability question, also set for March 28. Verrilli's heavy personal involvement in the arguments is just one more sign of the importance the Obama administration has attached to defending the embattled law.
Verrilli's adversary, Paul Clement of D.C.'s Bancroft firm, will rise to challenge the law in three of the four arguments -- all but the jurisdictional question, which will be handled by Greg Katsas, a Jones Day partner. Katsas's colleague Michael Carvin will join Clement on the minimum coverage issue. Clement represents states challenging the law, while Carvin is the point man for private entities. Two other lawyers -- Robert Long of Covington & Burling and H. Bartow Farr III of Farr & Taranto -- have been appointed by the Court to represent orphaned arguments on the jurisdictional and severability issues, respectively.
All seven lawyers arguing in the cases are white males. By tradition, male lawyers -- and some female lawyers -- in the SG's office wear traditional morning coats for Supreme Court arguments. We will be profiling the lawyers in advance of the arguments in our Supreme Court Insider newsletter.