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At The Supreme Court: Hints That Justices Will Rule On Health Care's Merits

With the question on Day 1 being whether the Supreme Court can even take up the issue of whether President Obama's health care law is constitutional, NPR's Nina Totenberg says she saw "a bunch of justices groping for a way to get to the merits of this case" as they began three days of oral arguments about the law.

She reported moments ago, in a conversation with NPR's Ari Shapiro, that it seems "pretty clear that the justices are going to rule" on the major issues involved — meaning they will decide that an 1867 law called the anti-injunction act does not bar bringing the issue before the court. That law was the subject of today's hearing.

At one point, Nina reported, Justice Sonya Sotomayor seemed to basically question why the court was even discussing the 1867 law and whether they should take up the substantive issues. Other justices seemed to agree, Nina said.

As we reported earlier, the Shots blog is following the news closely as the court spends today, Tuesday and Wednesday considering a number of issues related to the controversial law. To see all of NPR's coverage, go here. And Nina, NPR's Julie Rovner and others will be on All Things Considered later to discuss today's developments. Click here to find an NPR station that broadcasts or streams the show.

Update at 3:15 p.m. ET. The Audio.

Our apologies if you're on a device that doesn't show our player, but for those who are — here is the audio of today's session:

Supreme Court session; March 26, 2012

Update at 1:52 p.m. ET: Shots' post about today's action is now here. It writes that "the administration and the challengers to the overhaul law don't agree on much. But both sides agreed that the Anti-Injunction Act, which says people can't challenge a tax in court before they pay it, should not prevent the Supreme Court from deciding the constitutionality of the law."

Update at 1 p.m. ET. Audio Is Now Online:

The court has just posted a recording of today's session here. Nina spoke to us Friday about why the court doesn't want "live" coverage of its hearings.

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