Health Care Reform Law: Will States Ask Supreme Court to Expedite Appeal?

In the wake of Judge Roger Vinson’s recent decision invalidating the health reform law, legal wonks from expert to amateur are evaluating both the odds that the states who were victorious in that lawsuit will request the U. S. Supreme Court to expedite appeal of the case and the odds that the Supreme Court would grant such a motion.   For those unfamiliar with legal jargon, and who isn’t to some extent, expediting the appeal would give special permission for the case to bypass further review in the lower federal courts, instead proceeding directly to the Supreme Court for its final word on the matter.  The question is an important one, because expediting the appeal could accelerate the appeals process by a year or more, leading to a quicker resolution of the question of the Constitutionality of federal health insurance reform.

What’s the standard for the Supreme Court granting such requests?  It’s an extremely high one, the reason the Court has 0nly granted a handful of such requests in the last 50 years.

“Under the court’s rules, it will review cases early ‘only upon a showing that the case is of such imperative public importance as to justify deviation from normal appellate practice and to require immediate determination in this court.’”

Another reason not to hold your breath:  “The Supreme Court already has denied one request for early review of the health law, rejecting a bid by a conservative California legal group in November. In that case, a San Diego federal judge ruled the plaintiffs couldn’t bring their lawsuit now.”

The quotes that appear above were taken from a short, but very thorough, article published in the Wall Street Journal’s online edition, February 1, 2011, titled “States May Ask High Court to Review Health Law Early”. While we are linking to the article here, note that this article is for subscribers only.

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