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Supreme Court won’t fast-track case challenging health care law

Supreme Court won’t fast-track case challenging health care law
By Eric Black

In a one sentence order that offered no explanation for its thinking, the U.S. Supreme Court this morning said (for the second time, actually) that it will not expedite the process for hearing the constitutional challenges to the big health care law.

Challenges to the law have arisen from pretty much every state that has a Republican attorney general. The most common challenges focus on the question of whether Congress overstepped its constitutional authority in mandating that most Americans acquire health insurance, even if they don’t want it. Lower federal courts have already divided, with some upholding the law and some striking it down, which virtually guarantees that the case will eventually be decided by the Supremes. But the normal process would allow the intermediate federal appellate courts to weigh in before the Supreme Court decides whether it will take a case. It’s rare for the Supremes to take a case early and they will not do it for this one.

Reporters covering this morning’s ruling seem to think that the case will reach the Supremes in the spring of 2012, with a ruling perhaps in the summer.