In the midst of reading SCOTUS blog’s live blog of the delivery of the Supreme Court’s decision in the health care case (haven’t read the opinion itself yet, as it’s just been posted), I spy a legal writing lesson in a comment from the blog:
“Essentially, a majority of the Court has accepted the Administration’s backup argument that, as Roberts put it, “the mandate can be regarded as establishing a condition — not owning health insurance — that triggers a tax — the required payment to IRS.” Actually, this was the Administration’s second backup argument: first argument was Commerce Clause, second was Necessary and Proper Clause, and third was as a tax. The third argument won.”
Legal writing lesson to be gleaned: In a really important case, always have (at least one!) back-up argument!