Sep 27, 2011

Administration Will Not Appeal Healthcare Ruling To Full 11th Circuit.

Posted by: Neal Stehly

Several print media sources picked up an announcement by the Obama Administration that it would not appeal a decision in one of the cases challenging the healthcare law. The announcement fueled expectations that the Supreme Court would ultimately decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act. For the most part, news outlets suggested that this was a good strategy on the part of the Administration. The AP (9/27) reports that the Obama Administration "has decided not to ask a federal appeals court in Atlanta for further review of a ruling striking down the centerpiece of" President Obama's "sweeping health care overhaul." The decision increases the likelihood that the Supreme Court "would hear a case on the health care overhaul in the court's term starting next month, and render its verdict on the law in the midst of the 2012 presidential election campaign."

        The Washington Post (9/27, Barnes) notes that in June, "a divided panel of the Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati upheld the health-care law in a separate case," but the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, VA "turned down a challenge to the law."

        The Los Angeles Times (9/27, Savage) reports, "Now, the administration can appeal directly to the Supreme Court and ask the justices to schedule the case to be heard and decided during the term that begins next week and ends in June. If the court follows that schedule, the justices will hand down a ruling on President Obama's signature legislation just as the election campaign moves into high gear." The Times notes, "At issue for the court is whether Congress can use its power to 'regulate commerce' to require that all Americans who have taxable income certify by 2014 that they have health insurance."

        In Politico (9/27, Haberkorn), former acting Solicitor General Walter Dellinger said that "the move should be read as a sign of confidence from the administration." He goes on to say, "This confirms what I had already concluded: That the government is confident that it's going to prevail in the Supreme Court and would like to have a decision sooner rather than later."

        The Wall Street Journal (9/27, Kendall, Subscription Publication) reports that Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler confirmed that the department will not appeal for further reconsideration.

        The New York Times (9/27, A14, Sack, Subscription Publication) reports, "The Supreme Court has already received one of the multitude of federal cases challenging the constitutionality of the law's individual insurance mandate. It arrived in July from the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, which upheld that provision on a 2-to-1 ruling."

        Also covering the story are the Washington Post (9/27, Stromberg) "Post Partisan" blog, Reuters (9/27, Vicini), National Journal (9/27, McCarthy, Subscription Publication), and The Hill (9/27, Baker) "Healthwatch" blog.

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