With next week's historic three days of arguments at the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the president's signature health care reform law, hovering over the court proceedings will be the enormous political implications of the case.
With a ruling expected in June, just weeks before the political conventions and the election next Fall, the case has the potential to significantly change the course of the political season, say ABC's Rick Klein and Yahoo! News' David Chalian.
The health care law has never been particularly popular — even when President Obama signed it into law two years ago this month. A poll earlier this week from ABCNews/Washington Post found that 67 percent of Americans believe the high court should either ditch the law or at least the portion that requires nearly all Americans to have coverage.
But Democrats don't seem particularly nervous. While the Court striking down the law, or any part of it, would be a black eye for the White House, it would also remove a political albatross from Democrats' necks as they seek to defend the unpopular law in a campaign year.
Republicans are already making political hay of the health care challenge and as the campaign heats up, will surely be dong that even more. A new ad out this week from the Republican National Committee attacks the health care law that the GOP likes to call Obamacare, and airs in six key battleground states.
While all eyes have been on the state by state march toward the GOP nomination of late, the 2012 campaign trail veers decidedly up those famed white marble steps next week where the nine men and women in black robes may eventual cast the most consequential votes of the year.