High Court Denies Expedited Review of Health Care Law

April 25, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to bypass the lower courts and take up a challenge to the constitutionality of the national health care reform law’s mandate for individuals to obtain health care coverage.

According to the L.A. Times, the justices without comment turned down the request by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli asking the Supreme Court to accept the appeal of the state’s health care reform lawsuit before it is heard by a federal appellate court based on a Supreme Court rule of procedure allowing such expedited reviews in cases involving matters of great public importance (see VA to Ask Supreme Court for Immediate HCR Challenge Suit Hearing). The newspaper said the court’s action almost certainty puts off a ruling on the health care law until at least next year.  

U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that federal lawmakers overstepped their constitutional powers under the Commerce Clause to include the coverage mandate in the new law (see Judge Strikes Down HCR Coverage Mandate). U.S. Department of Justice attorney Ian Gershengorn argued the state had no legal standing to file the health reform challenge because only an individual hit with a fine for not having insurance as required by the new law would have the right to sue (see Virginia Health Reform Challenge Hits Courtroom). The U.S. has filed an appeal with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.  

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled oral argument on June 8 for the health care reform challenge filed in Florida by more than 20 states (see Judge Sets Florida HCR Challenge Hearing Date).