Obamacare Set for Oral Argument

COMMENTARY Health Care Reform

Obamacare Set for Oral Argument

Dec 19th, 2011 1 min read
Elizabeth Slattery

Legal Fellow and Appellate Advocacy Program Manager, Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies

Elizabeth Slattery researches and writes on the rule of law, separation of powers, civil rights, and other constitutional issues.

Today, the Supreme Court released the oral argument schedule for the consolidated Obamacare challenges.  The Court will hear oral argument on March 26, 27 and 28, 2012, with a nearly unprecedented amount of time allotted for argument.

First up on March 26, the Court will hear argument on the Anti-Injunction Act, which bars suits to stop a tax before it has been imposed.  The second day, the Court will hear two hours of argument on the minimum coverage provision, also known as the individual mandate.  On the third and final day, the Court will hear 90 minutes of argument on severability (whether and how much of the law will remain in force if other provisions, like the individual mandate, are struck down by the Court) and then one hour on whether Congress exceeds its powers by coercing the States through its massive expansion of the state Medicaid program.

The three days of argument will be a marathon session, with an all-star team of advocates for the National Federation of Independent Business and the states in addition to the attorneys representing the federal government, a Court-appointed amicus arguing that the Anti-Injunction Act bars review before the individual mandate goes into effect and another Court-appointed amicus defending the Eleventh Circuit’s judgment on the severability of the individual mandate.  Scheduling argument for late March leaves the Court with plenty of time to issue its decision by the end of the term in late June or early July, and long before the people have their say in November.

This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal

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