Debate to take place in March, ruling could come next fall.
Setting the stage for a historic constitutional confrontation over federal power, the Supreme Court on Monday granted three separate cases on the constitutionality of the new federal health care law, and set aside 5 1/2 hours for oral argument, to be held in March. The Court, however, did not grant all of the issues raised and it chose issues to review only from three of the five separate appeals before it. It is unclear, at this point, whether all of the cases will be heard on a single day. (UPDATE: The Court has informed the lawyers involved that the case will be argued over two days.)
Governor Deal reacted thusly:
“The state of Georgia has been a leader in the fight against the crippling mandates of Obamacare. As a member of Congress, I was the first to question the constitutionality of the individual mandate on the floor of the House. It’s appropriate and expected that the court would rule on an issue so central to Americans’ individual liberties. As governor, I’m especially happy to see the court look into whether the federal government can force state governments to take on huge new spending programs. Obamacare would vastly expand our state’s Medicaid enrollment, creating a huge new tax burden on Georgia taxpayers. Frankly, our state can’t afford these new unfunded mandates, and what we’re seeing is that the majority of states feel the same way. The outcome of this case is hugely important to the future of Georgia, and we have high hopes for a favorable decision from the Supreme Court next year.”
So what’s going to happen? Will Obamacare be upheld, thrown out or something in between?