Court Schedules Record 5 1/2 Hours to Hear Healthcare Arguments

November 14th, 2011
in econ_news

Supreme-Court-Building Econintersect:  The Supreme Court will hold hearings on the 2010 Healthcare Act (aka Obamacare) over a two-day session in March 2012.  They will hear arguments on three issues of the five that have been appealed.  The new law had been vigorously challenged by several states and other parties and the lower courts had given contradicting decisions, some finding parts of the law unconstitutional and others upholding the law.  According to Massimo Calabresi of Time, the 5 ½ hour scheduled for arguments is a modern record for the court.

Follow up:

Here is a summary from SCOTUSblog:

* Granted, the issue of “severability” of the insurance mandate from the other provisions of the law, if the mandate is nullified (the only question in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius [docket 11-393] and question 3 in Florida, et al., v. Department of Health & Human Services [11-400]), cases consolidated for 90 minutes of oral argument.

* Granted, the constitutionality of the insurance mandate (question 1 in the government case, Department of Health & Human Services v. Florida, et al.), two hours of oral argument.

* Parties directed to brief and argue whether the lawsuit brought by the states challenging the insurance mandate is barred by the Anti-Injunction Act (an added question in the government case, 11-398), one hour of oral argument. (That order appeared to be limited to reviewing whether that Act only bars states from challenging the mandate; the question of whether that Act bars private entities from challenging the mandate was raised in the Liberty University case, and the Court did not grant that petition.) (UPDATE: It appears, on a closer reading of the grants, that the Anti-Injunction Act will be explored as a limitation on challenges to the mandate by either private individuals or states.)

* Granted, the constitutionality of the Medicaid expansion (question 1 in the Florida, et al., v. Department of Health and Human Services case, 11-400); one hour of oral argument.

More details will be available at SCOTUSblog.

Sources:  Time and  SCOTUSblog

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