HolyCoast: Obamacare Arrives in the Supreme Court

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Obamacare Arrives in the Supreme Court

Once again the Obama Administration has been beaten to the punch:
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) stole a march on the Obama Administration this morning by filing a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court appealing the 11th Circuit’s Obamacare decision.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) had announced on Monday that it was not going to ask all 11 judges of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to review en banc the August 12 decision of a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit that found the individual mandate unconstitutional. This opened up a path to an appeal by DOJ to the Supremes.

However, with this petition, the NFIB jumped ahead of Eric Holder’s slow-moving DOJ (which until Monday had done everything it could to slow-walk this case filed by 26 states and the NFIB). The NFIB is obviously not appealing the three-judge panel’s opinion about the unconstitutionality of the individual mandate. But the NFIB is appealing the portion of the panel’s decision that held that the unconstitutional individual mandate could be severed from the Obamacare legislation.

The NFIB is asking the Court to overrule this holding, since “Congress itself deemed [the mandate] ‘essential’ to the Act’s new insurance regulations.” Given that the 11th and 6th Circuits have issued “directly conflicting final judgments about the facial constitutionality of [Obamacare’s] mandate,” the case is one that the Court should obviously take up given its interest in eliminating conflicting opinions in the courts of appeal.
If the court affirms the 11th Circuit ruling on the individual mandate, and overturns the ruling regarding severability, Obamacare will be officially dead.

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