Friday, March 11, 2011

Update on U.S. Citizens Association v. Sebelius

The focus of the past two weeks has been on the two marquee cases, Virginia v. Sebelius and Florida v. HHS.  I thus missed some minor developments in U.S. Citizens Ass'n v. Sebelius, the case currently before Judge David Dowd in the Northern District of Ohio.

First, on February 28, Judge Dowd issued this order dismissing counts 2, 3, and 4 with prejudice, clarifying that the court's judgment was final on those points. The goal, said the court, was to permit the plaintiffs now to appeal that judgment. These claims are that the ACA "violates plaintiffs’ freedom of expressive and intimate association guaranteed by the First and Fifth Amendments of the United States Constitution (Count 2), the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution (Count 3), and plaintiffs’ constitutionally protected right to privacy (Count 4)." Order at p.1.

Second, in response to Judge Dowd's order, the plaintiffs filed this motion Monday for clarification of Judge Dowd's order seeking as follows:
Plaintiffs respectfully request that this Court grant Plaintiffs’ motion for clarification or, in the alternative, for reconsideration of this Court's Order filed February 28, 2011. In particular, Plaintiffs ask the Court to issue its decision on the merits of Count 1 forthwith or, if not, to clarify that it will act on Plaintiffs' pending Count 1 on or before May 2, 2011, the deadline by which Plaintiffs must file their appeal of decided Counts 2, 3, and 4.
The Plaintiffs are specifically concerned about being forced to bring their appeals piecemeal. There has been no official response to this motion from the United States or Judge Dowd.