Health Reform Lawsuit Stakeholders File Early Briefs With SCOTUS
The plaintiffs and defendants in the multistate lawsuit against the federal health reform law have filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court ahead of the Oct. 28 deadline, which could influence the high court to consider the case earlier than expected, the AP/Washington Post reports (AP/Washington Post, 10/20).
Attorneys general from the 26 states that are challenging the constitutionality of the law's individual mandate filed a brief this week, asking the Supreme Court to review their case first (Norman, CQ HealthBeat, 10/19). The states filed the brief one day after the National Federation of Independent Business and two individuals -- also plaintiffs in the multistate lawsuit -- filed a similar brief with the Supreme Court.
The AG's filing was a response to the Obama administration's formal request asking the Supreme Court to review the case (Norman, CQ HealthBeat, 10/14).
According to the AP/Post, the administration, the states and the association of small businesses all submitted their briefs more than a week before they were due. The move is unusual as parties in high court cases rarely submit briefs before the deadline, and many ask for extensions. The early submissions could allow the court to hear arguments as early as March 2012, rather than April, and would give the justices an extra month to write their opinions before court's term ends in June.
Legal scholars have said the court does not do its best work when trying to resolve complex cases between final arguments in April and the term's end in June. The justices have acknowledged the problem and said they want to hear more arguments earlier in the term.
The court likely will decide whether it will hear the case by the middle of November, at the earliest, according to the AP/Post (AP/Washington Post, 10/20).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.