Liberals seem to be shocked that the Supreme Court justices are unabashedly taking potshots at Obama-care and taking delight in showing the administration and especially the Solicitor General how embarrassing and difficult it is to defend the indefensible!
Supreme court justices may lack the incredible narcissistic egos of liberal politicians, but they do have egos, and after the disrespectful comments from the administration after the Citizens United decision, they should have known somebody was going to get publicly bitch slapped at oral arguments. McCain Feingold also sought to radically alter the relationship between the government and the governed, in complete defiance of the Constitution, because it was 'reasonably necessary'!
I got the impression, however, that some of the justices still think that if the legislation is 'reasonably necessary' then it should be enacted even if it is completely at odds with the Constitution. This may be the safe harbor that the three liberals who have already decided (and perhaps brokered) their vote will seek to shelter them.
What if a law was Constitutionally sound but so expensive that it clearly would not work in practice. Would the Court simply rule on legal arguments and wash its hands of implementation issues? Or would it tie itself in knots to find a way to declare it was not constitutional?
When the converse is true, and a law is clearly at odds with the Constitution, but may solve some economic issue, is it okay to tie those knots to try to find a way declare it Constitutionally sound?