Healthcare Business News

White House urges court not to rush health reform lawsuit

By Rich Daly
Posted: March 15, 2011 - 10:15 am ET

The Supreme Court should not grant an “immediate determination” of a case focused on the constitutionality of the individual mandate, according to court documents submitted Monday by the Obama administration. Instead, the court should allow lower courts to first consider through the “normal course of appellate review” the administration's appeal of a district court ruling striking down as unconstitutional the healthcare reform law's requirement that most Americans must obtain insurance.

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The court's rules reserve such expedited rulings for cases “of such imperative public importance as to justify deviation from normal appellate practice and to require immediate determination,” according to the filing. The Obama administration wrote in its filing that the constitutionality of the individual mandate is an issue of great public importance but it still does not justify such an expedited ruling.

The request to avoid a quick ruling comes as critics continue to accuse the administration of trying to slow the appeals process to the greatest extent possible. The reason to slow-walk the appeals process, according to those critics, is because the Supreme Court is less likely to strike down the law if its many complex provisions are almost fully implemented. Three appeals courts are considering the constitutionality of the individual mandate under expedited review, and a fourth court is considering such expedition.

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