Supreme Court Won't Expedite Health Care Challenge The Supreme Court won't fast-track a challenge to the constitutionality of the 2010 health care law. The challenge was filed by the state of Virginia and its attorney general. The case will be heard in the appeals courts instead — though it still could reach the high court before the 2012 elections.
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Supreme Court Won't Expedite Health Care Challenge

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Supreme Court Won't Expedite Health Care Challenge

Law

Supreme Court Won't Expedite Health Care Challenge

Supreme Court Won't Expedite Health Care Challenge

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The Supreme Court won't fast-track a challenge to the constitutionality of the 2010 health care law. The challenge was filed by the state of Virginia and its attorney general. The case will be heard in the appeals courts instead — though it still could reach the high court before the 2012 elections.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

As NPR's Julie Rovner reports, the decision does not indicate what the Court might eventually do.

JULIE ROVNER: It's pretty rare for the high court to agree to take a case directly from a trial court.

TIMOTHY JOST: The case has to be of, quote, "such imperative public importance," unquote, that it requires immediate determination in this court.

ROVNER: Timothy Jost is a law professor at Washington and Lee University Law School in Lexington, Virginia. He says the Court usually limits such expedited cases to those involving foreign relations, national security or national crises.

JOST: And this doesn't rise to that level.

ROVNER: That's not how Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli sees it. He told Fox News in February that states and businesses shouldn't have to spend money to implement a law that could be struck down, since separate federal district court judges have ruled that the law is both constitutional and unconstitutional.

KEN CUCCINELLI: And so, we clearly have a split and a great deal of uncertainty across the country, about whether or not this law is going to be enforced in a year and a half or so, and massive costs to prepare for the law.

ROVNER: And one of the interesting aspects to yesterday's order, says law Professor Jost, is that it was apparently decided by all the justices, including Clarence Thomas and Elena Kagan.

JOST: Which may suggest that both of them believe they are capable of deciding this case.

ROVNER: Julie Rovner, NPR News, Washington.

INSKEEP: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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