Battle Lines Emerge As Health Overhaul Legal Skirmishes Heat Up
A group of Republican governors urged quick Supreme Court consideration of the pending legal challenges to the law. Meanwhile, some House Democrats asked Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from cases involving the law. In the background, it is becoming clear that timing is everything, in terms of when the case reaches the high court, because when the challenge is taken up will have political and policy implications.
The Wall Street Journal: Health Care Battle Intensifies As Parties Step Up Legal Attacks
Legal skirmishes over the health care overhaul intensified Wednesday, as Republican officials urged the Supreme Court to intervene quickly and House Democrats called on Justice Clarence Thomas to sit the case out because of his wife's work for groups opposed to the law (Bravin, 2/9).
The Wall Street Journal Capital Journal: Health Care And The Supreme Court: It's All In The Timing
President Barack Obama's health care overhaul is headed for a showdown in the Supreme Court, and the timing still undetermined could be everything. If the high court doesn't rule on the law's constitutionality by the time voters go to the polls in 2012, the law will almost certainly be campaign fodder again, as it was in 2010. Republicans mostly want the Supreme Court to get and decide the case quickly. They like the high court's current composition and want those nine justices to weigh in on the issue before any change to the panel might occur. The Obama administration and most - but not all - Democrats want the case to move slowly on its way to the high court. They believe any change in the court's composition in the meantime won't hurt their chances, and might help them. Moreover, the longer the law remains in effect, the more parts that can be implemented (Brown, 2/9).
CNN: Virginia Seeks Quick Review Of Health Care Reform Challenge
Virginia officials have asked the Supreme Court for an expedited review of the sweeping health care reform law, saying the issue is too important to delay consideration of the legislation's constitutionality. A 23-page appeal was filed with the high court late Tuesday, said a spokesman for the state's Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli. The petition seeks an end-around the normal procedure of having a federal appeals court consider the matter before it would be sent to the Supreme Court. Such requests to the high court rarely succeed. Federal judges in Virginia have issued conflicting rulings on the whether key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act violates the Constitution. One section known as the "individual mandate" would require most Americans to buy health insurance by 2014 (Mears, 2/9).
Politico: Dems: Thomas Should Recuse Himself
Seventy-four House Democrats are asking Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from any health care reform cases, citing reports that his wife financially benefited from efforts to repeal the legislation (Haberkorn, 2/9).
Bloomberg: Republican Governors In 28 States Request Fast Review Of Health Law Suits
Republican governors in 28 states are asking President Obama to support an expedited U.S. Supreme Court ruling to settle the constitutionality of the health-care overhaul passed last year. The governors sent a letter to Obama today asking him to direct the U.S. Justice Department to support a fast-track appeal of lawsuits filed in Virginia and Florida challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Nicquette, 2/9).
Kaiser Health News has the text of two letters, one sent by GOP governors to President Obama asking him to foster faster review of the pending health law legal challenges; another from House Democrats urging Supreme Court Justice Thomas to recuse himself for cases involving the health care overhaul.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.