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Day two

"Day two" Continued...

Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., came by the Supreme Court at one point and commented on the protestors, "The proponents of the law are trying to make this not about religious freedom or the mandate." Harris, a doctor, won his seat in 2010 after he made the healthcare law a centerpiece of his campaign.

If the court overturned the individual mandate, the contraceptive controversy would become moot. But the court is notoriously unpredictable, even when observers think the justices have tipped their hands in arguments.

"I don't make predictions," demurred Carvin, who was nonetheless pleased with the challengers' performance in court.

"I don't want to describe any justice as predictable," said Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who attended the arguments. Lee clerked for Alito before serving in Congress.

Lyle Denniston, one of the most trusted analysts of the Supreme Court, wrote that "expecting the demise of the mandate seemed decidedly premature."

The country will know the justices' thoughts in June or July, when they will issue their decision. The court will hear the last of the arguments Wednesday, first on the "severability" of the healthcare law, or whether the rest of the law can stand without the individual mandate, and then on whether the law's new Medicaid requirements unfairly burden states.

Read Emily Belz's Web Extra reports on the first and third day of arguments.

Listen to a report on the Supreme Court hearings on WORLD's radio news magazine The World and Everything in It.

Emily Belz
Emily Belz

Emily, who has covered everything from political infighting to pet salons for The Indianapolis Star, The Hill, and the New York Daily News, reports for WORLD from New York City. Follow Emily on Twitter @emzleb.

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