The Supreme Court left little doubt during last week's marathon arguments over President Barack Obama's health care overhaul that it has scant faith in Congress' ability to get anything done.
The views about Congress underlay questions from justices who appear to be on both sides of the argument over the constitutionality of the law's key provision, the individual insurance requirement, as well as whether the entire law should be thrown out if the mandate is struck down.
The comments were particularly striking from the conservative justices who have called on unelected judges to show deference to the actions of elected officials.
Justice Antonin Scalia, who appeared strongly in favor of striking down the entire law, was the most outspoken in his disdain for the branch of government that several justices can see from their office windows.
"You can't repeal the rest of the act because you're not going to get 60 votes in the Senate to repeal the rest. It's not a matter of enacting a new act. You've got to get 60 votes to repeal it. So the rest of the act is going to be the law," Scalia said, explaining it might be better to throw the whole thing out.