Supreme Court gives health care reform lawsuit more time
By Lauren McNitt
ProWEB Wire (Industry News)
The Supreme Court is adding more time for oral arguments in what was already set to be the longest argument before the court in modern history.
The justices added an additional 30 minutes to hear arguments on whether the federal health care reform law’s insurance mandate is constitutional. The time allotted to arguments is now a total of six hours and will occur over three days in March.
The Supreme Court will spend an hour and a half deciding whether it can make a ruling on the issue before the mandate takes effect. The Anti-Injunction Act forbids lawsuits challenging new taxes until the taxes take effect, and therefore could bar the justices from deciding the issue until 2014 when the mandate goes into effect.
The court will hear from the plaintiffs – the National Federation of Independent Business and 26 states – for 30 minutes, from a third-party attorney for 40 minutes and from the Justice Department for 30 minutes. The court will then hear two hours of arguments on whether the insurance mandate within Congress’s authority under the constitution.
In addition, the court will hear two and a half hours of arguments on whether other provisions of the health care law should remain law if the insurance mandate is found unconstitutional. On the final day of arguments, the court will hear an hour of arguments on the plaintiff’s challenge to the health care law’s Medicaid expansion.