Supreme Court Sets Week Aside to Hear PPACA Arguments

December 20, 2011 ( – The U.S. Supreme Court scheduled March 26-28 to hear arguments in regards to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). 

The legal challenge to the PPACA comes from a joint filing by 26 states, and is being led by Florida. The issue to be reviewed is whether the “individual mandate” section of the act to require all Americans to obtain health insurance by 2014 or face financial penalties is constitutional. States joining Florida are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

According to news reports, March 26 the court will consider whether the states challenging the law be barred from making any legal or constitutional claims until the mandate actually goes into effect in 2014. On March 27 the court will hear two hours of arguments on the individual mandate. The court will review whether or no the federal government, under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, can regulate economic inactivity. (See Florida HCR Challengers Win on Commerce Clause Argument and 11th Circuit Finds Health Care Mandate Unconstitutional).

Finally, on March 28 arguments will be split into two parts, with justices hearing 90 minutes of debate over whether the rest of the law can go into effect if the health insurance mandate is unconstitutional, as well as an extra hour of arguments over whether the laws goes too far into forcing states to participate in the healthcare overhaul by threatening to cutoff federal money.

Also see Law Center Takes Health Care Challenge to Supreme Court, Obama Administration Asks for High Court Review of Health Care Law and Supreme Court Agrees to Review Health Care Law.