It’s official – Obamacare will face the Supreme Court in the middle of next year’s election fight. From CNN:
Washington (CNN) — As expected, the Supreme Court has agreed to decide the constitutionality of the sweeping health care reform law championed by President Barack Obama.
The justices made their announcement in a brief order issued Monday.
Oral arguments are likely to be held in late February or March, with a ruling by June, assuring the blockbuster issue will become a hot-button political debate in a presidential election year.
The high court agreed to hear two major questions: whether the law’s key provision is unconstitutional, and if so, whether the entire law, with its 450 sections, must be scrapped.
Five and a half hours of oral arguments have been scheduled. Other related cases are pending and may also be added to the docket.
The largest and broadest legal challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act comes from a joint filing by 26 states, led by Florida. It was that series of appeals the high court accepted for review.
The oral arguments for the case will take an unusually long 5 1/2 hours, highlighting the constitutional importance of this case. Over at the Cato Institute, Ilya Shapiro points out why this decision could be the most important Supreme Court case since Roe:
In any event, the Supreme Court has now set the stage for the most significant case since Roe v. Wade. Indeed, this litigation implicates the future of the Republic as Roe never did. On both the individual-mandate and Medicaid-coercion issues, the Court will decide whether the Constitution’s structure — federalism and enumeration of powers — is judicially enforceable or whether Congress is the sole judge of its own authority. In other words, do we have a government of laws or men?
Yet even as Obamacare’s future is shakier than ever before, the News and Observer editorial page is pushing the North Carolina General Assembly to move forward in implementing the law by creating a flawed, Obamacare-compliant healthcare exchange.