Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Third Circuit argument today in Newark in NJ Physicians v. President

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is today in Newark hearing oral argument in New Jersey Physicians v. President of the United States, No. 10-4600. The panel hearing the case consists of Circuit Judges Michael Chagares (appointed by President George W. Bush), Kent A. Jordan (appointed by George W. Bush), and Joseph A. Greenaway (appointed by President Obama). Beth Brinkman is arguing the case for the United States, and Robert Conroy is representing New Jersey Physicians.

Again, this should not be a significant decision, however it comes out, as the district court dismissed the case for lack of standing on very narrow, factbound grounds. In essence, the district court's holding was that the plaintiffs had failed to include any factual allegations in their complaint showing a discernible current harm from the need to purchase health insurance in 2014. Presumably, this could be fixed with a small change to their complaint (assuming, of course, the facts actually support the existence of such an impact).

We will post news stories about the argument this evening--if there are any.

UPDATE: Here is this brief AP story summarizing the argument, via the San Francisco Chronicle.