The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to consider the constitutionality of President Obama's health care law before it plays out in lower courts. The resolution rejects a request by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to leapfrog the U.S. Court of Appeals and weigh the constitutionality of the bill, in particular whether Congress has the authority to impose an individual mandate for everyone to purchase health insurance. Of the several attorneys general fighting the health care bill, Virginia's was the only one requesting that the decision go straight to the Supreme Court and was therefore seen as less likely to succeed. "The move, which came in a short written order, wasn’t a surprise because the court rarely agrees to hear cases before lower appeals courts have a chance to rule first," writes Ashby Jones at the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog.
Lyle Denniston at SCOTUS Blog says that the high court's tight schedule also made this decision a no-brainer. "Another factor that may have figured in Monday’s action was that it is late in the current Term so the case could only be reviewed promptly by setting up an unusually fast briefing and argument schedule, and, if that were not done, the case would go over to the new Term starting in October, anyway. One or more of the cases now under review in the federal appeals courts is expected to reach the Court in the new Term. It is widely assumed that, when that happens, the Court will step in."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.