By Dave Andrusko
Foregoing steps that would have slowed the process down, the Obama administration yesterday filed a formal request asking the Supreme Court to review a three-judge panel’s decision that declared unconstitutional the ObamaCare requirement that virtually all Americans have health insurance by 2014 ( the “individual mandate”).
On Wednesday the plaintiffs in the U.S. 11th Circuit Court case also asked for a review. Twenty-six states and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) argue the entire law ought to be struck down.
The administration could have chosen to ask the full 11th Circuit to review the case. It announced on Monday it would not.
“The department has consistently and successfully defended this law in several courts of appeals, and only the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled it unconstitutional,” the Justice Department said in a statement. “We believe the question is appropriate for review by the Supreme Court.”
For its part, the NFIB said, “Until this court decides the extent to which the [law] survives, the entire nation will remain mired in doubt, which imposes an enormous drag on the economy.”
There are no certain certainties with the Supreme Court, but the consensus was that the justices would agree to hear the case in its new term which begins Monday. Although the High Court could slow the process to a crawl or choose not to decide until a later date, the likelihood is the justices would rule on President Obama’s “signature” issue next summer, in the midst of the presidential campaign.
There were many interpretations of the political calculus at work, ranging from the Administration’s complete confidence that the High Court would uphold the law to the fear that the law would not be defended vigorously by a Republican Administration—and everything in between.
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