Virginia Wants SCOTUS Review Soon, Dems Ask Justice Thomas To Step Aside From Case
News outlets reported that Virginia's attorney general has asked the Supreme Court to expedite a review of the health law. Meanwhile, House Democrats sent a letter to Justice Clarence Thomas asking him to recuse himself.
The Wall Street Journal: The Cooch' Goes Large, Asks High Court to Take Health-Care Case
It's been expected for a while but now it's official: The U.S. Supreme Court has in front of it a constitutional challenge to the health-care law. Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli on Tuesday night asked the high court to take up the case in a direct appeal from the federal trial court in Richmond. The U.S. Supreme Court accepts such "direct appeals" extremely rarely (Jones, 2/9).
MSNBC: In Unusual Step, Va. Atty Gen. Asks SCOTUS To Take Up Health Care Now
[Cuccinelli] argues that this is the kind of case the justices should take up, because conflicting district-court decisions about the constitutionality of the health-care law have left states and businesses unsure about which requirements, if any, will survive the legal battle (Williams, 2/9).
CNN: Virginia Seeks Quick Review Of Health Care Reform Challenge
The high court could decide in coming weeks whether it will take on the case at this early stage. The next step would be for the Obama administration to file a legal response to Virginia. The justices had rejected a similar request last fall from a private group that had filed a separate lawsuit against the health care law (Mears, 2/9).
The Washington Post: House Democrats say Justice Thomas Should Recuse Himself In Health-Care Case
Seventy-four House Democrats have signed a letter to Clarence Thomas asking the Supreme Court justice to recuse himself from any deliberations on the constitutionality of the national health care overhaul, arguing that his wife's work as a lobbyist creates "the appearance of a conflict of interest." The move is the latest indication that the court battle over the health-care law's constitutionality -- which is expected to be ultimately decided by the Supreme Court -- has already become a political tit-for-tat (Sonmez, 2/9).
Politico: Dems: Thomas Should Recuse Himself
The members, led by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), ask that he "maintain the integrity of this court." ... They cite Thomas's wife, Virginia, advertising herself as a lobbyist who has "experience and connections" and appeals to clients who want to overturn health reform. They also say Thomas did not disclose his wife's receipt of $686,589 from the Heritage Foundation between 2003 and 2006. ... The move comes after Republicans have floated similar concerns about the impartiality of Justice Elena Kagan, who was solicitor general during the health debate (Haberkorn, 2/9).
The Hill: Democrats: Justice Thomas Should Recuse Himself In Healthcare Reform Case
Two federal district courts have upheld healthcare reform as constitutional, while two courts have struck it down, most recently a federal judge in Florida, who threw out the entire law over concerns about the provision requiring all individuals to have health insurance, the so-called "individual mandate" (O'Brien, 2/9).