Supreme Court takes up individual mandate part of health care law, plus more to watch for Tuesday in politics

Phil Pruitt

It's day two — the big day — of the Supreme Court's three-day hearing on the health care reform law.

Tuesday's issue: The individual mandate, which is the part of the law that requires most people to buy health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty. The government will argue that Congress has the authority to pass such a mandate. Opponents will say no, Congress does not have the power to force people to buy health insurance.

The mandate is the most politically sensitive part of the law, with Democrats supporting it and Republicans saying it's an example of government overstepping its bounds. There's also a question of whether the rest of the health care reform law can hold up if the court votes to surgically remove the individual mandate.

A decision is expected in late June, just in time to stir up the 2012 presidential election.

While the health care drama is playing out in Washington, the GOP hopefuls continue campaigning. Mitt Romney will be in California, Newt Gingrich in Maryland and Rick Santorum in Wisconsin. Although, Monday showed you never know where Santorum will be. He turned up in front of the Supreme Court building.

While the court is considering the challenge to President Obama's key domestic legislation, he will be thousands of miles away attending day two of the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit.

And then there is this: Mitt Romney will be on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." It will be Romney's fourth appearance on the show and his first since December 2010.

Sources: Yahoo! News, Yahoo! News Reporter Liz Goodwin, ABC News, Associated Press.

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