The White House has declined to appeal a lower court’s ruling that the health reform law is unconstitutional. So it appears the Supreme Court could rule on the matter by the 2012 presidential election.
The Justice Department had a tough choice to make: ask the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to reconsider its 2-1 decision in which it declared the reform law’s requirement that Americans obtain health insurance unconstitutional — or skip the appeal and take the case straight to the Supreme Court.
Most likely, appealing to the lower court would’ve meant pushing back any Supreme Court ruling until 2013.
The decision to take the case straight to the Supreme Court could wrap up the political debate on the matter as early as next June.
The Obama administration’s decision carries some big risks. If the Supreme Court rules that the mandate to obtain health insurance is unconstitutional, it would be an embarrassing defeat that could cost the president votes this coming election.
However, the sentiment in the nation’s capital seems to be that the decision to go straight to the High Court shows the administration’s confidence that the decision by the lower court will be overturned.
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