Would it be possible to let some of President Obama’s infamous 2010 health care reform legislation — or “Obamacare,” if you speak Republican — stand while scrapping other parts and still have a functional law at the end of the process? That was one big question Supreme Court justices grappled with on Wednesday.

The New York Times:

Justice Antonin Scalia said the whole law would have to go.

“My approach would be to say that if you take the heart out of this statute,” he said, “the statute’s gone.”

Other justices considered a variety of possible approaches. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called the court’s task, should the key provision fall, a choice between “a wrecking operation” and “a salvage job.”

The issue before the justices on Wednesday took on practical urgency after some of the questioning on Tuesday suggested that the law’s core provision, often called the individual mandate, may be in peril. It requires most Americans to obtain insurance or pay a penalty.

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