At The Volokh Conspiracy and the post Mr. Herbert Spencer, call your office Which involves some very tough oral oral arguments in front of the 11th Circuit on "Obama care" we learn:
Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal said today, in oral arguments before the Eleventh Circuit, that the individual mandate provisions of the health-care law “may violate the constitution of Ayn Rand, but they do not violate the Constitution of the United States.
Ummmm not sure I would have said that. It sounds a tad to cute and too much for "public consumption" which might annoy the Judges who are annoyed they are viewed as partisan hacks by some.
Now to be fair even for an acting Solicitor General of the United States, I am sure at big cases there is some nervous moments and big breaths. It's quite an experience to get peppered with question and go from Judge to Judge and topic to topic so rapidly. When you represent the United of America well its vomit in the trash can time minutes before you go on
So he could have drawn a blank on what to say and this just came out. Let's face it Ayn Rand and anyone it appears liked any of her books as been political fodder lately often unfairly. So perhaps it was in the back of his mind.
He thought this might be a well thought out zinger he could lay out there at the right place. IF that the was the case I think not great move. Too much snark and as some person in the comment said Leave the humor for the JUDGES.
One person commented:
It’s a glib line that briefly but clearly signals the true nature of the challenges to the mandate.
But see that’s exactly Ohio’s point, you say it signals the true nature of the challenges, but it doesn’t. It clearly signals what N. Katyal thinks of the nature of the challenges to the mandate. That has a relevance factor of 0 because the only thing that matters is what the judges think of the true nature of the challenges.
If they believe the claim to be erroneous but nevertheless within the realm of reasonable argument then all N. Katyal has done is probably created some sense of negativity towards him, much as when an attorney over promises and under delivers to a jury, and may in fact creating an opening for the judges to find the argument not as persuasive.It’s all risk, no reward...so why say it.
Katyal was being pressed hard around this point and I expect it was more out of frustration than something planned as a ZINGER.