Opponents of Obamacare who lost their legal case over federal subsidies last week are now appealing directly to the Supreme Court, CNBC reported, but it is not clear whether the Supreme Court will take the case.
The plaintiffs in King v. Burwell, who lost when a three-judge panel of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the subsidies on the federal Obamacare exchange, petitioned the Supreme Court on Thursday to hear their case, rather than seeking a review from the entire 4th Circuit Court. The 4th Circuit, once the most conservative federal appellate court, now has a majority of judges appointed by Democratic presidents.
The lawyers noted that after last week’s ruling on the case, which came the same day that another federal appeals court ruled that the subsidies were not legal, millions of people “have no idea if they may rely on the IRS’s promise to subsidize their health coverage.”
“Only this Court can definitively resolve the matter,” they wrote. “It is imperative that the Court do so as soon as possible.”
University of Michigan law professor Nicholas Bagley tweeted that the Court could decide whether to take the case in the fall and, if it accepted it, could hear oral arguments in the winter and announce a decision in spring 2015.
The other case in the D.C. Circuit Court is still ongoing. The White House said last week that it would appeal the three-judge panel’s ruling invalidating the law’s subsidies to the full appeals court.