Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court rejected a request made by the Commonwealth of Virginia to fast track a challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) passed last year.
When a case is fast-tracked, it bypasses the regular federal appeals process, and the case goes directly to the Supreme Court Justices for review. This type of review is very rarely granted, although the Court’s rules do provide for it.
Virginia, in its challenge to PPACA, claims that the individual mandate requiring almost all Americans to buy health insurance is unconstitutional. Several similar cases are pending in other jurisdictions. So far, two federal district judges–in Virginia and Florida–have determined that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. Three other district judges–in Virginia, Michigan, and the District of Columbia–have decided that the mandate is constitutional.
The Court’s decision yesterday means that this issue will continue to progress through the federal appeals courts in the usual manner. The Fourth, Sixth, and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeal will hear the pending appeals regarding PPACA in May and June. The issue is expected to reach the Supreme Court in the fall, when the next term begins.
As always, we will provide you with new information as we receive it.