The stakes were especially high in last week’s oral argument before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in AARP v. EEOC, a case that could directly impact more than 10 million retired workers by deciding whether a federal agency has the power to tell employers that they are allowed to reduce health care benefits for retirees as soon as they become eligible for Medicare.

And the issues were especially complicated, so much so that the judges at times seemed to be scratching their heads and struggling to find the proper focus.