Thursday, July 14, 2011

Recent developments in Goudy-Bachman v. HHS

This is the case that is currently pending before Judge Christopher C. Conner in the District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. You might recall that, back on January 24, the court denied the United States's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, but it withheld judgment on the United States's 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.

In the last six weeks, the following has occurred:

* First, on June 1, the district court scheduled oral argument in the case for July 21, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (You can access the court's scheduling order here.)

* Second, the parties agreed to a joint stipulation under which they would combine the United States's motion to dismiss with cross-motions for summary judgment, and would augment the record with additional briefing on the motions. Here is the gist of the stipulation:
The parties have agreed that Defendants will supplement their pending12(b)(6) motion with a motion, in the alternative, for summary judgment, and Plaintiffs will file a crossmotion for summary judgment. These motions will incorporate the parties’ prior briefing, submitted in connection with Defendants’ 12(b)(6) motion, in support of the parties’ respective summary judgment motions. In addition, the parties have also agreed that, in order to create an appropriate summary judgment record for this Court and for purposes of appellate review, they will file supplementary briefing in connection with these motions. The parties have agreed to, and respectfully request the Court’s leave for, expanded page limits for this briefing as indicated
(You can access the full text of the stipulation here.)

* Third, on June 21, pursuant to the terms of the joint stipulation, the United States submitted its memorandum in support of its pending motion to dismiss and, in the alternative, its motion for summary judgment. (You can access that brief here.)

* Fourth, last Wednesday (July 6), the plaintiffs filed their memorandum in support of their own motion for judgment and in opposition to the United States's motion for summary judgment. (You can access that brief here.)

Here is what is on the schedule for next week:

* On Monday (July 18), the United States will file its opposition to the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and its reply in support of its own motion.

* On Thursday (July 21), the court will hear oral argument on the various motions.

There is only one substantive question in the case: whether the individual mandate exceeds Congress's enumerated powers.