U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Constitutionality of Affordable Care Act

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Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari (meaning it has agreed to hear an appeal) on three petitions concerning the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). Given the Supreme Court’s timeline for the filing of briefs, oral argument will likely be scheduled for the end of March or beginning of April 2012. The Supreme Court has set aside five and a half hours for oral arguments on four different issues. Under this timeline, the Court’s final ruling will likely be handed down at the end of June 2012, just before the Court recesses for the summer.

Key Points About The Decision

The Supreme Court has complete discretion to decide which cases (and which issues raised by those cases) it will hear. Each year the Court receives approximately 10,000 certiorari petitions, of which it hears between 80 and 100. A petition must receive the vote of four Justices to be granted certiorari.

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