Huffpost Politics
Mike Sacks Headshot

Obama Health Care Law: Supreme Court Sets Dates To Hear Oral Arguments

Posted: Updated:
OBAMA HEALTH CARE SUPREME COURT
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) | Getty Images

WASHINGTON -- March madness is coming to the Supreme Court next year. The justices have designated three days, March 26 to March 28, as the oral argument dates for the health care cases.

The Court agreed to hear the challenges to the Affordable Care Act in November, setting aside an extraordinary five and a half hours for oral argument.

The main event will be on Tuesday, March 27, when the Court will take up the constitutionality of the health care law's minimum coverage requirement. That provision, commonly called the individual mandate, requires virtually all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty. The Court has set aside two hours for argument over whether Congress' passage of the individual mandate exceeded the legislature's powers to regulate interstate commerce or lay and collect taxes under Article I of the Constitution.

On Monday, March 26, the Court will hear an hour of argument over whether a Reconstruction-era federal statute, the Anti-Injunction Act, bars the justices from making a decision on the individual mandate's constitutionality until after the provision goes into effect in 2014.

The Court will consider two additional issues on Wednesday, March 28. Ninety minutes will be dedicated to whether the individual mandate is so central to the health care overhaul that the entire law must fall should the justices find the mandate itself unconstitutional. An additional hour of argument will address 26 states' claim that the law improperly expands Medicaid by coercively conditioning states' receipt of federal funds on their participation in the new health care exchange system.

These three days of oral argument will occur almost exactly two years after President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, sparking a slew of lawsuits across the country.

The four courts of appeals to consider the issues now before the Supreme Court have split on the constitutionality of the individual mandate and the application of the Anti-Injunction Act, but have all rejected the challengers' arguments about state coercion and the centrality of the individual mandate.

The justices' decision in the health care cases will likely come down at the end of June.

Around the Web

Supreme Court takes up challenge to health care reform law - CNN

Health care hits the Supreme Court - CNN.com

Supreme Test for Health Law - WSJ.com

  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results