Appeals Court To Speed Up Review of Health Reform Law Ruling
On Friday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta said it will grant a request by the Obama administration to expedite the appeal of a federal judge's ruling against the federal health reform law, the AP/USA Today reports.
The 11th Circuit laid out a quicker timetable than the administration expected, with deadlines for filings beginning April 4 (AP/USA Today, 3/12).
On Jan. 31, U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson ruled in the multistate lawsuit against the reform law that the overhaul's individual mandate is unconstitutional, agreeing with the plaintiffs that it exceeds Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce. He added that the entire law is invalid because he concluded that the mandate is "inextricably bound" to other provisions in the law.
On March 3, Vinson issued a stay of his ruling against the federal health reform law, permitting implementation of the overhaul to continue in the 26 states involved in the lawsuit while the Obama administration pursues an appeal. Vinson instructed the administration to file its appeal within seven days and request an expedited review from either the Supreme Court or the 11th Circuit.
The administration originally thought that the judges likely would hear oral arguments in the case starting in late summer or early fall of this year. According to legal experts, a three-judge panel at the court would hear the case, and the losing party could petition to have an appeal heard by the entire appellate court (California Healthline, 3/9).
Florida AG Requests Case Be Heard by Full Appeals Court
Meanwhile, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R) requested that all 11th Circuit judges hear the case, rather than the expected three-judge panel. She argued that the strategy would avoid unnecessary delays in having the initial panel hear the case and then refer it to the full court (Norman, CQ HealthBeat, 3/11).
The court said it has not decided yet whether it will allow all 10 federal judges from the 11th Circuit to participate in the initial review (AP/USA Today, 3/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.