(WASHINGTON) — A key attorney general challenging the Affordable Care Act at the Supreme Court walked out of the building Monday morning predicting that the justices would rule the health care law unconstitutional.
Pam Bondi, the Republican Attorney General of Florida, told reporters on the steps in front of the Supreme Court that all nine justices “expressed concern” about the so-called mandate in the law that requires Americans to buy health insurance or pay a fee.
Supporters of the health care law say the fee is merely a tax, while its critics say the mandate unfairly makes people do something they otherwise might not want to.
“They do not believe this is a tax,” Bondi said of the justices.
The mandate will be debated more on Tuesday.
“I felt very confident,” Bondi said as she was surrounded by other attorneys general challenging the law.
Outside the Supreme Court on Monday, hundreds of protesters rallied to show their support for the Affordable Care Act, vastly outnumbering those who showed up opposed to the health care law.
“Freedom is a human right,” some Tea Party supports shouted, while the supporters of the Affordable Care Act marched by chanting “Health Care is a human right.”
Many of the protesters appeared to be organized with the help of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, otherwise known as AFSCME.
“We love Obama Care. We love ObamaCare,” supporters chanted in unison as they marched in front of the Court. “Care for you, care for me, care for every family.”
Other tourists waited in line for a number of seats reserved for the public. One family from Colorado at the end of the line told ABC News that they had just shown up to take in the spectacle. About 30 minutes later that family had made its way to the front of the line and was escorted into the Court by security officers.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ali Larkin, CNN
Madeline Holcombe, CNN
Z. Byron Wolf, CNN
Steve Almasy and Nick Valencia, CNN