The U.S. Supreme Court term opened today with expectations that the Justices will rule on the numerous legal questions surrounding the federal health care reform. Although not formally on the docket, most experts believe that the constitutional challenge to President Obama’s health care overhaul almost certainly will be decided this term.
Since the Affordable Care Act was passed, dozens of federal lawsuits seeking to overturn it have been filed. Appeals courts have ruled on five such challenges and two more currently await appeals courts rulings. The Act remains a political lightning rod with GOP presidential contenders using virtually every debate and speech to criticize it.
The nine justices of the Supreme Court, who serve without seeking election, will have to decide whether to insert themselves into the center of this political maelstrom. But, the Obama administration’s request last week that the justices resolve whether the health care law is constitutional makes it more likely than not that the Court will deliver a verdict by June 2012, just as the Presidential race charges toward the fall campaign.
If as now expected the justices agree to review the law’s constitutionality, those deliberations would certainly define the court’s coming term. Their decision could rank as the court’s most significant since the December 2000 ruling that effectively sealed George W. Bush’s election as president.
Christine Salimbene, Vice President & General Counsel
Ms. Salimbene joined MTBC in 2009 as General Counsel, Vice President and Company Secretary. She and her team focus on mitigating business risk and ensuring compliance with all legal requirements.