The U.S. Supreme Court approved a petition on Monday to hear arguments in cases challenging the constitutionality of ObamaCare.
The court granted certiorari (a petition submitted requesting that the court hear an appeal from a lower appeals court) in three of the several cases currently filed against the U.S. government. The announcement by the court indicates that the justices have set aside five and one-half hours to hear oral arguments from the parties.
Oral arguments will likely begin in March, with a decision handed down before the court recesses at the end of the Spring Term in late June.
The court divided the allotted time into the following partitions: First, the justices will hear two hours of argument on the issue of whether in enacting the individual mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Congress exceeded the authority granted to it by Article I of the Constitution. Next, the court will hear one hour of argument on the issue of whether the suits challenging ObamaCare should be barred by the Anti-Injunction Act.
The third issue to be heard by the court is whether the individual mandate provision can be severed from the rest of the law. This is a critical issue as it is that particular provision in the act that has attracted the most attention and has generated the most controversy — including the controversies that will soon be heard by the highest court in the land.
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Photo: Supreme Court building