Althouse picks up on this bit while reviewing the arguments:
The SG says no! The states have a choice, he says, to which Alito responds: "But if that's the case, then there's nothing left of federalism."
That's a dramatic statement, and the SG only natters away about how there are political constraints on Congress. That is, there's nothing left of judicially enforceable federalism, but we've still got the supposed political safeguards of federalism (i.e., the way Congress will, on its own, restrain itself from too much imposition on the states). This is the SG's theme throughout the arguments this week: It is sufficient to let Congress do whatever it wants.Hmmm...the Mandate if not repealed will kill Federalism. Oh, and President Obama wants to be even friendlier with the Russians.
Not the change we were looking for.