Supreme Court Justices Hear First Day of Healthcare Arguments

    Day one of three days of arguments over the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act are over at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington.  Justices will have to decide the Constitutionality of the healthcare law, though the first order of business is whether or not they can decide that now.

    FOX News Radio's Jared Halpern was in the court for the day's proceedings:

    Audio clip:

    The justices, struggling with whether or not the "Individual Mandate," requiring Americans to buy health insurance or pay a fee, is a tax.  A lower court ruled it is, so the Supreme Court appointed an attorney to make that case.  He, arguing federal law prohibits taxes to be challenged before they are imposed.

    Both the Obama Administration and healthcare law opponents argue the healthcare law should be considered now.  The situation, making Justice Alito quip to one attorney, "today you argue it's not a tax, tomorrow you'll argue it is."

    At the U.S. Supreme Court, Jared Halpern, FOX News Radio.

    Before, during and after the arguments inside, crowds gathered outside the court to show their support or their opposition to the law.

    FOX News Radio's Eben Brown has more from outside the Supreme Court in Washington:

    Audio clip:

    The protesting here continues...

    (Mooney) "They think it's free healthcare, and they think it's something that the government's supposed to provide.  People are looking for a safety net from the government."

    ...That's Kevin Mooney from Jacksonville, Florida - he wants the law overturned.  Elise Bryant of Silver Spring, Maryland thinks the rich ought to help the poor, and pay for care.

    (Bryant) "I think it absolutely should be redistributed.  I think that everybody should have the same thing.  I don't think that because you have a million dollars, you should have better healthcare."

    Today, the arguments are whether it's too soon to challenge the law.

    At the Supreme Court, Eben Brown, FOX News Radio.

    LISTEN to some of the proceedings between Attorney Robert Long and Chief Justice John Roberts HERE:

    Audio clip:

    Audio clip:

    CLICK HERE for a full transcript of the day's arguments.