Cuccinelli Files Petition Seeking Expedited Review
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has announced he will file a petition today requesting that the U.S. Supreme Court review the Commonwealth v. Sebelius lawsuit immediately, bypassing the court of appeals.
According to Cuccinelli's office, the Petition for Certiorari Before Judgment will be filed pursuant to Rule 11, which allows for expedited review in extreme circumstances, "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."
“Given the uncertainty caused by the divergent rulings of the various district courts on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, we feel that it is necessary to seek resolution of this issue as quickly as possible,” said Cuccinelli in the release. “Currently, state governments and private businesses are being forced to expend enormous amounts of resources to prepare to implement a law that, in the end, may be declared unconstitutional. Regardless of whether you believe the law is constitutional or not, we should all agree that a prompt resolution of this issue is in everyone’s best interest.”
Cuccinelli's request for a ruling sooner rather than later is unlikely to be heeded, but he's not alone in making the request. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), a supporter of fixing the law rather than repealing it, has also publicly called for the Supreme Court to expedite its ruling on the matter.
"We ought to do the right thing and ask the high court to rule quickly so we don’t keep arguing over this for the next several years," Nelson said on the Senate floor yesterday.
At this juncture, 28 different states have filed suits against President Obama's health care law. In a podcast yesterday with Smart Girl Nation, I described the path these cases would have to take to the Supreme Court. A normal timeframe would place the case before the highest court in early 2012, but if Cuccinelli's petition is successful, his case could proceed much earlier.
Benjamin Domenech (firstname.lastname@example.org) is managing editor of Health Care News.