The Supreme Court issued a one-sentence denial Monday morning saying it was declining to grant Cuccinelli's “writ of certiorari before judgment” without elaborating on its reasoning.
In defending the law, the Justice Department opposed bypassing the normal appeals procedure, noting that three appeals courts have already agreed to fast-track oral arguments in the circuit courts.
“Expediting our case would have been the exception and so, although disappointing, this is not surprising,” Cuccinelli said in a written statement. “This case's logical end point is the Supreme Court. It will simply have to make its way through the 4th Circuit first.”
At least one judge in a similar case—U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson of Pensacola, Fla.—has accused the Obama administration of dragging its feet in court while charging ahead to implement the law in the states. Justice Department lawyers face a 5-4 conservative majority on the Supreme Court, though legal experts say the partisan balance might not necessarily hold in an unusual case like the one presented by the ACA.
In the Virginia case, U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson of Richmond ruled in December that Congress overstepped its Constitutional authority by requiring nearly all private citizens to purchase health insurance or face tax penalties. The Justice Department appealed the ruling to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, which agreed to scheduled arguments in the case for May 10.