Supreme Court Sets Schedule To Review Health Reform Law
The U.S. Supreme Court has released a timeline for reviewing the constitutionality of the individual mandate and expansion of the Medicaid program included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
Jan. 6: The parties will file their opening briefs on three issues. The Obama administration will argue that the individual mandate is constitutional. The opponents will argue that the whole law should fall if the mandate is invalid. A court-appointed outside lawyer will argue that the Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) should prevent a ruling on the mandate until it goes into effect.
Jan. 10: The states will file their opening paperwork on the Medicaid aspect, making the case that the law's expansion is an illegal commandeering of the states.
Jan. 27: Response petitions will start being filed. The Obama administration will have to respond to the severability argument, likely arguing that only the community rating and guaranteed issue provisions should be struck if the mandate is found to be unconstitutional.
Feb. 6: Additional response petitions will be filed. The states and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) will respond to the government's argument that the mandate is constitutional. And in a rare case in which all the parties agree, the states, NFIB and the federal government will all respond to the argument that the AIA prevents review of the law; they all maintain that it does not.
Feb. 10: The solicitor general will have to respond to the states' argument that the Medicaid provision is unconstitutional.
Feb. 17: An outside attorney appointed by the court will file his argument that if the mandate falls, it can be completely severed from the rest of the law. That was the position that the 11th Circuit took.
Feb. 27: The reply briefs --- the original parties' last chance to make its case --- are going to start to role in. On Feb. 27, replies to the AIA arguments are due.
March 7: Reply briefs on the mandate are due.
March 12: The court-appointed amici arguing for the AIA will have to reply. The states will have their last opportunity to argue that the Medicaid expansion is invalid.
March 13: The Obama administration, NFIB and states will be able to make their final arguments on severability.
March 26: Oral arguments begin with one hour of debate on whether the AIA applies to the litigation.
March 27: Two hours of oral argument on the constitutionality of the mandate.
March 28: Ninety minutes of argument on how much of the law should fall if the mandate is found unconstitutional, followed by one hour of debate on the Medicaid expansion.
Late June or early July: A ruling expected.
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