Justice Dept. Action Could Impact Timing Of High Court Ruling
The Obama administration must decide today whether to ask the full U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a 2-1 August decision declaring unconstitutional the health law's individual mandate. If it does seek the full court's review, which could take weeks or months, it will likely push back a Supreme Court ruling until 2013.
Los Angeles Times: Obama Administration Must Make Risky Health Care Decision
Obama administration lawyers face a decision by Monday that carries a high political risk and will probably determine whether the Supreme Court decides on the constitutionality of the health care law before next year's presidential election (Savage, 9/25).
Meanwhile, late last week, the D.C. Circuit Court heard oral arguments in another challenge to the health law, this one brought by the American Center for Law and Justice.
Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill: Religious Freedom, Individual Mandate And Anti-Injunction Act At Issue In D.C. Circuit Court
Kaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey and ABC News' Ariane de Vogue discuss Friday's oral arguments in the American Center for Law and Justice challenge to the health law (9/23). Both a transcript and audio of the discussion are available.
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Conservative-Dominated Appeals Court Panel In D.C. Hears Challenge To Health Care Overhaul
A conservative-leaning panel of federal appellate judges raised concerns about President Barack Obama's health care overhaul Friday, but suggested the challenge to it may be premature. The arguments at the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington over a lawsuit against Obama's signature domestic legislative achievement focused on whether Congress overstepped its authority in requiring people to buy health insurance or pay a penalty on their taxes, beginning in 2014 (9/23).
The Wall Street Journal: Judges Air Doubts On Challenge To Health Overhaul
Judges on a federal appellate court suggested Friday that last year's health care overhaul was an unprecedented assertion of power by the government, but they didn't clearly signal a readiness to strike down the law. The court at times questioned whether it even had jurisdiction to consider the case, an issue that could delay an ultimate resolution on the law's constitutionality (Kendall, 9/24).
CQ Health Beat: Judges Ponder 'Privatized Social Safety Net' In Health Care Law Arguments
Just down the street from the U.S. Capitol where the health care overhaul was written, three appeals court judges on Friday probed whether the landmark measure signals a new direction in social policy and if it's up to courts to "get in the middle" of that movement, as Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a Republican appointee, put it. "This could be the blueprint for a privatized social safety net," mused Kavanaugh, whose comments were somewhat surprising given that he is a former aide in the President George W. Bush administration and a member of the conservative Federalist Society. He placed the health care law in the context of a historical policy progression beginning with the New Deal era of the 1930s and continuing with the Great Society of the 1960s (Norman, 9/23).
National Journal: D.C. Circuit Hears Fourth Big Health Care Case
A conservative panel of appellate judges gave the Obama administration's signature health care reform law a mixed reception during oral arguments on the latest legal challenge to the law on Friday — and signaled that overturning the 2010 law could have repercussions beyond health care. The case before the D.C. Circuit Court is the fourth challenge to the 2010 law to be considered by a federal appellate court, and while the issue is considered likely to reach the Supreme Court, legal experts say the other cases are probably going to get there first. But the three-judge panel randomly selected to hear the D.C. case included two influential conservative judges with close ties to justices on the Supreme Court. If they vote to uphold the law, it could predict how the high court resolves the cases, court watchers said (Sanger-Katz, 9/23).
Bloomberg: Obama Health Care Law Gets Mixed Reaction From Appeals Court
President Barack Obama's health care law got a mixed reception in its fourth review by a federal appeals court as three judges grappled with questions about the law's constitutionality and their own authority to rule on it. In a two-hour argument yesterday in Washington, two judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said a ruling upholding the law, which requires that most Americans buy insurance or face a tax penalty, could leave the government with unprecedented power over its citizens. "In 220 years there has been a whole lot of laws and a lot of crises, yet Congress has never once mandated a purchase," said Judge Brett Kavanaugh, adding that the "lurking next step" might be a law requiring investment in private retirement accounts (Schoenberg, 9/24).