The U.S. Supreme Court will review the constitutionality of a key part of President Obama’s health care law, and will likely issue a decision by July 2012, in the middle of next year’s election.
Monday’s announcement comes just days after the latest appeals court ruling on the law’s mandate that people purchase health insurance. The three judge panel in the District of Columbia upheld the constitutionality of the provision, as have several other appeals courts. One has ruled that the provision should be stricken.
However, it’s that particular case the Supreme Court has chosen to review — one joined by over two dozen states and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. It has journeyed through conservative district and circuit courts, both of which ruled with plaintiffs, so it may not be the ideal bellwether. But as conservative reporter Philip Klein notes, very bright conservative litigators are arguing this one.In late September, the Obama administration sought expedited review by the top Court. It was a major roll of the political dice, suggesting confidence that the law will be upheld, and that a positive decision would energize a lethargic Democratic base ahead of the election.
They’ll get to test their theory.