(CBS News) One of the most prominent attorneys in the United States said on "CBS This Morning" Friday he does not see the Supreme Court throwing out President Obama's signature health care law enacted two years ago but that key parts of it could be overturned.
"Up for grabs right now is whether the whole health-care plan could be declared unconstitutional. I don't think that's going to happen. But that's a potential that could happen," attorney David Boies said.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments for three days about the constitutionality of the 2010 law starting Monday. Lower courts have mostly upheld the constitutionality of the law but have been split on a key component, the requirement that everyone buy health insurance.
Known as the individual mandate, the requirement has been the most controversial aspect of the law since it was first proposed. Boies said the decision could come down to a 5-to-4 or 6-to-3 decision and the mandate could be declared unconstitutional.
Boies, who argued before the Supreme Court on behalf of Vice President Al Gore in the contested election of 2000, said the decision in the case could be as significant as a landmark decision from 70 years ago, Wickard v. Filburn.
"It could really define the powers of the federal government going forward in a whole variety of areas," said Boies.
Asked about the often-made comparison to the requirement that drivers are forced to purchase car insurance, Boies noted that those requirements are imposed by the states, not the federal government.
A decision in the case is expected later this year.
To see the entire interview, click on the video in the player above.