U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson is already drafting his final opinion in the case, having taken full oral and written arguments on Dec. 16. But the litigants say adding new parties would not change the arguments.
Critics say Congress does not have the power to force consumers to buy health insurance, or to force states to expand their Medicaid programs. Supporters of the law counter that the individual insurance mandate and the expansion of Medicaid are necessary to expand insurance coverage for 32 million more people.
Observers from both sides say the case appears destined for a final decision from the U.S. Supreme Court, though that process could take years.
Dozens of lawsuits challenging the ACA have been filed across the country, and so far only three judges have ruled on the central question of constitutionality. Federal judges in Detroit and Lynchburg, Va., upheld the law, while a judge in Richmond, Va., struck it down. Appeals to the U.S. Circuit courts have been filed in all three cases.
Supporters of the law have acknowledged that Vinson appears likely to rule it unconstitutional, based on statements he made in court and opinions already filed in the case.
Observers also note that the three decisions so far have broken along party lines, and Vinson was appointed by President Ronald Reagan.