Countdown to Santorum's Supreme Court Cameo

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The crowd outside the Supreme Court as it takes up the 2010 Affordable Care Act has been mostly quiet on Monday, but Sen. Rick Santorum hopes he can stir a few people up there with a noontime appearance to press his attack on Mitt Romney over healthcare. It's actually not a bad idea for an appearance, as Santorum's already been on the offensive over Romneycare, grabbing some headlines for calling Romney the "worst Republican" to go up against President Barack Obama and then swearing at reporters who asked him about it. Santorum's point is that so-called Romneycare (the former governor's Massachusetts healthcare plan) is too similar to Obama's healthcare plan for Romney to be considered a viable alternative. Santorum is expected to repeat that point on the Supreme Court steps as the court debates the constitutionality of Obamacare inside.

Of course, this plan might backfire if the court decides there's nothing unconstitutional about the Affordable Care Act, but the timing favors Santorum. If the court decides on Monday that the law constitutes a tax and can't be challenged at this point, then Santorum's appearance will coincide with that, and will get mentions in the news Monday. If the deliberations stretch on for all three days and the court winds up supporting the law, that news will probably overshadow Santorum's appearance. And if the court decides, at the end of three days, that the law's unconstitutional, then Santorum will be able to point to his prescience in appearing Monday. That's all assuming he keeps his act together on the SCOTUS steps and avoids another "tantorum."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.