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Health Care Law Won't Get Supreme Court Review, Yet

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on April 27, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Without comment, the Supreme Court unanimously voted to deny a request by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli asking the Court to expedite the health care appeal and skip over the 4th Circuit.

While the ruling itself wasn't surprising to those involved in health care litigation, it does provide some insight into what will happen next year when the case is likely to be back in front of the Court.

In December, a U.S. District Court judge in Virginia ruled that the health care law's individual mandate is unconstitutional. The Department of Justice appealed.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli then began a media campaign and filed a request urging the Supreme Court to resolve the health care appeal as soon as possible, reports UPI. He argued that a resolution is a matter of great public importance.

The Supreme Court has the authority to expedite appeals, resolving issues straight from the nation's District Courts. It, however, almost never exercises this ability, only doing so when time is of the essence (read: Bush v. Gore). This decision was expected.

What is interesting about the Court's denial is that all 9 justices voted despite controversy surrounding both Justices Thomas and Kagan.

Although during her confirmation Justice Kagan denied having worked on health care as Solicitor General, The Wall Street Journal reports that Republicans have been calling for her to recuse herself in the event of a health care appeal.

Justice Thomas has been urged to recuse himself as well, with Democrats pointing to his wife's involvement with anti-health care lobbying groups for financial gain.

If the Court's order is any indication, after the appeal makes its way through the 4th Circuit, all 9 justices will be present at oral arguments.

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