Obama Declines To Appeal Atlanta Healthcare Ruling
Instead, they would like to put this case in front of the Supreme Court during the health care overhaul in the court’s term next month. Coincidentally, the decision would then be rendered during the 2012 Presidential election campaign.
Justice Department Spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler disclosed the administration’s decision and declined to elaborate on next moves.
In a ruling in August, a divided three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta concluded Congress overstepped its authority when lawmakers passed the individual mandate provision that requires people to buy health insurance.
Chief Judge Joel Dubina and Circuit Judge Frank Hull said that lawmakers cannot require residents to “enter into contracts with private insurance companies for the purchase of an expensive product from the time they are born until the time they die.”
In his dissent, Circuit Judge Stanley Marcus accused the majority of ignoring the “undeniable fact that Congress’ commerce power has grown exponentially over the past two centuries.” He wrote that Congress generally has the constitutional authority to create rules regulating large areas of the national economy.
The Supreme Court is widely expected to have the final say on the law, especially now that the appeals courts that have considered the law disagreed and one of them had struck down a key provision.
Although the issue has political as well as legal ramifications, the real issue has been over timing. In order to hear and decide the case by late June, when the court wraps up its work until resuming in October, the justices would have to act by January to accept and schedule an appeal.