This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 26, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is one of the 26 attorneys general challenging President Obama's health care law. She was sitting at counsel's desk today in the United States Supreme Court. Attorney General Pam Bondi joins us. Nice to see you.
PAM BONDI, FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Nice to see you, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK, so let's get the inside scoop since they won't let us have cameras in the courtroom. Tell me -- tell me what it looked like. What was it like inside the courtroom?
BONDI: Well, it was a packed courtroom. There was a lot of excitement in the courtroom. Shannon was in the courtroom, as well, and it was great to see her.
And I think the Justices -- they were all very well versed, and they seemed excited to be there. They seemed very interested in the case, which is always very important to us. And I think they asked some very intelligent questions.
The one Shannon just discussed, that Justice Alito asked about, you know, Today you're saying it's a penalty, but tomorrow you're going to say it's a tax -- that helps us definitely tomorrow with the mandate argument.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, what's sort of interesting, though, is that, you know, we've all been in court and we hear judges or justices ask questions, and you're so convinced they're going to go your way. And then all of a sudden, you read the argument and you feel like you got hit by a 2-by-4 right between the eyes.
BONDI: That's right.
VAN SUSTEREN: And you think, What in the world was I thinking when I thought those questions indicated a particular view?
BONDI: That's exactly right. And that's -- even in murder trials. And you never try to predict. I never do a head count. I never guess.
You know, remember when we were in the 11th circuit, everyone kept saying, Oh, they lost because you have two Democrats and a Republican, and we had the best bipartisan decision in the country right now out of the 11th circuit court of appeal.
So you can't -- you can't really do a numbers game. And you're right. You can't predict based on the questions the Justices ask. But they were very engaged today. That was very encouraging.
And again, like you said, they gave us an unprecedented amount of time, and tomorrow we have two full hours to argue the mandate and why it's unconstitutional.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK. That's the -- that's the big deal. At least, I think it's the most important argument is tomorrow. Now, we do expect a decision on all the stuff by the end of June, right?
BONDI: End of June, yes.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK, not a guarantee, but 99 percent sure we're going to get it by the end of June either way.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, tomorrow, the mandate. Tell me, why is it that you believe that the federal government did not have the authority to write a statute with that mandate?
BONDI: OK, under the commerce clause, which is what they're trying to say how they can regulate this -- that under the commerce clause, they can force us to purchase a product simply by sitting here. They can force us all! Every single American will be told to purchase insurance. If you don't purchase that insurance, you're going to be penalized.
They cannot do that. There is no case on point. There is no case even close.
VAN SUSTEREN: If -- I mean, but if -- if it were just the state of Florida, they definitely couldn't do it because there wouldn't be anything interstate.
VAN SUSTEREN: It wouldn't cross state lines. They couldn't force everybody in Florida to do it alone. It has to have some effect on interstate commerce, right?
VAN SUSTEREN: Is their argument that because there's a high likelihood, not a -- not all of us, but a high likelihood that we're all going to need medical care, that that somehow affects interstate commerce? Is that the argument on the government's side?
BONDI: I think that is going to be one of their arguments, certainly. But that's no different than saying, Well, at some point, we're all going to need food. But they can't tell us what food to purchase.
You know, at some point, we're all going to want to drive a car, but they can't tell us what kind of car to purchase. Right now, there is no activity. Someone is just sitting in their living room.
And if they're able to do this -- you know, we have a federal government with limited powers, and if they are able to exercise this unlimited power, it truly goes so much farther than health care. And if they're able to do this, they are able to do anything. And we firmly believe it's unconstitutional.
Now, that's one way. Their second argument is going to be that they can regulate this by their taxing ability, so that's where I think...
VAN SUSTEREN: They said it wasn't a tax!
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, that -- I mean, that -- I don't -- I don't understand how they can sell that one because that was the way they sold...
BONDI: I don't, either.
VAN SUSTEREN: ... it to pass. They said this isn't a tax when they...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... when they persuaded everybody.
BONDI: Right. It's like -- you know, Greta, when you argue a criminal case and you try to argue in the alternative. It just doesn't work.
VAN SUSTEREN: Not -- not -- it's not persuasive.