DOJ To Decide Whether To Seek High Court’s Opinion on Reform Law
The Obama administration must decide by Monday whether to request that the Supreme Court review the constitutionality of the federal health reform law, Politico reports.
The Department of Justice must decide how to respond to an appeals court decision on the multistate lawsuit against the overhaul (Haberkorn, Politico, 9/22).
In August, a three-judge panel for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta reviewing the multistate suit issued a rulingÂ that the individual mandate in the federal health reform law is unconstitutional. It was the first time an appellate court has ruled against any part of the law.
The suit involves 26 states, the National Federation of Independent Business and two individuals, who have argued that the individual coverage mandate exceeds Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce. In addition, the plaintiffs argue that a provision of the law requiring states to expand Medicaid coverage to adults with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level is unconstitutional and "coercive."
The three judges, in a 2-1 ruling, struck down the individual mandate, but they left the Medicaid expansion intact (California Healthline, 8/15).
The Department of Justice has two choices to appeal the decision: it can ask the full 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to review the three-judge panel's decision, or it can ask the Supreme Court to overturn the decision. The paperwork for the 11th Circuit Court to review the decision is due by Monday.
According to Politico, if the administration asks the Supreme Court to review the case, it is much more likely that the high court would do so before the 2012 presidential election (Politico, 9/22).