Wednesday, March 21, 2012

High Court and the ACA: Three days, four issues

In an extraordinary three-day event beginning Monday March 26, the Supreme Court will work its way through arguments on four contentious issues arising from court challenges to the ACA.

Here's the schedule for the arguments (the appeals all stem from the Eleventh Circuit's ruling in August 2011).

Monday, March 26: The Court will hear 90 minutes of argument as to whether the suit brought by those challenging the individual mandate is barred by the Anti-Injunction Act. We'll talk more about this on Friday, but briefly: if the court were to hold the Anti-Injunction Act applies in this situation, that would essentially table challenges to the individual mandate until the provision becomes effective in 2014 (Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida, No. 11-398).

Tuesday, March 27: The High Court will hear two hours of argument as to whether Congress had the power under Article I of the Constitution to enact the individual mandate (Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida, No. 11-398).

Wednesday, March 28: The Court will hear arguments on two different issues today. First, the parties will debate what happens to the balance of the ACA if the High Court does strike down the individual mandate. Is the mandate severable from the rest of the law, or must the Court strike down the entire health reform law (National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, No. 11-393; Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services, No. 11-400)?

In the final issued to be argued, the Court will hear one hour of argument on whether the expansion of Medicaid authorized by the ACA amounts to an unconstitutional "coercion" of the States (Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services, No. 11-400)?

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