Virginia Attorney General Files To Have Supreme Court Hear Obamacare Lawsuit Immediately
February 3, 2011
A couple of days ago Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, in speaking with Scott Hennen about a federal judge in Florida invalidating Obamacare, said that the multi-state lawsuit North Dakota is a part of can and should be pushed immediately to the Supreme Court.
The various state officials involved in that multi-state lawsuit led by the State of Florida haven’t made up their minds on that issue yet, but the Attorney General of Virginia (which is pushing its own lawsuit against Obamacare) has announced that he’ll seek an immediately Supreme Court hearing.
Via emailed press release:
RICHMOND (February 3, 2011) – Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced today that Virginia will file a petition to ask the United States Supreme Court to take Virginia’s health care lawsuit now, as opposed to waiting for the case to first be decided by the court of appeals. The Petition for Certiorari Before Judgment in the United States Supreme Court in the case of Commonwealth v. Sebelius will be filed pursuant to Rule 11 of the Rules of the United States Supreme Court.
“Given the uncertainty caused by the divergent rulings of the various district courts on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, we feel that it is necessary to seek resolution of this issue as quickly as possible,” said Cuccinelli. “Currently, state governments and private businesses are being forced to expend enormous amounts of resources to prepare to implement a law that, in the end, may be declared unconstitutional. Regardless of whether you believe the law is constitutional or not, we should all agree that a prompt resolution of this issue is in everyone’s best interest.”
Normally, appeals of decisions of United States district courts are first heard in the federal courts of appeals. But Rule 11 provides that an immediate review in the U.S. Supreme Court is permissible “upon a showing that the case is of such imperative public importance as to justify deviation from normal appellate practice and to require immediate determination in” the Supreme Court.
Attorney General Stenehjem argued that states are about to expend a lot of time and resources on shaping policies to come into compliance with Obamacare, some having already done so, therefore it’s only fair that the legal challenges to Obamacare not linger.
It will be interesting to see which lawsuit the Supreme Court hears first, however. The Virginia lawsuit also saw a ruling from a federal judge which declared the individual mandate unconstitutional, but the judge severed the mandate from the rest of the Obamacare legislation. Thus while the insurance mandate was invalidated, the rest of the law remained.
In the Florida ruling, the mandate was not severed and the entire law remains.
Frankly, if the Supreme Court is going to hear a challenge to Obamacare I’d rather they hear the challenge coming from Florida.http://sayanythingblog.com/entry/virginia-attorney-general-files-to-have-supreme-court-hear-obamacare-lawsuit-immediately/