U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review Ruling on Obamacare Constitutionality

Published April 25, 2011

The United States Supreme Court issued a one-sentence order Monday declining to review the ruling by a lower court in Virginia declaring unconstitutional the individual mandate provision in Obamacare.
The following statement by attorney Maureen Martin, senior fellow for legal affairs at The Heartland Institute, may be used for attribution. For further comments, refer to the contact information below.
“They’re probably breaking out the champagne in the White House today, but it’s too soon to read negativity into the Court’s ruling.

“Normally, cases proceed from the trial court to federal courts of appeal and then to the Supreme Court, which isn’t required to take the case. It bypasses the normal process only rarely, when a case is ‘of such imperative public importance as to justify deviation from normal appellate practice.’

“The ruling at issue today came in a Virginia case, now on appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. But several other cases are now on appeal to the Third, Sixth, Ninth, and D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeal, where the constitutional arguments will be further developed and refined.

“Though the Virginia case is obviously of ‘imperative public importance,’ so are the other ones. On an issue of such obvious divisiveness, the Supreme Court was wise to allow input from across the United States before considering whether to take a case.”

Maureen Martin, J.D.
Senior Fellow for Legal Affairs
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]