Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Third Circuit affirms dismissal in New Jersey Physicians v. President

The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has just issued its opinion in New Jersey Physicians, Inc. v. President of the United States, and it has affirmed the District Court's dismissal of the complaint for lack of jurisdiction. Specifically, it held that the plaintiffs have failed to establish Article III standing.

Here is the critical passage of the opinion:
The only allegations pertaining to any injury in fact suffered by Patient Roe are as follows: (1) “Roe is a patient of Dr. Criscito who pays himself for his care,” and (2) Roe “is a citizen of the State of New Jersey who chooses who and how to pay for the medical care he receives from Dr. Criscito and others.” These allegations are factually barren with respect to standing. The first apparently suggests that Roe pays for his own health care. The second reveals only that, before Roe pays, he chooses his doctor and his method of payment. It provides no specifics as to whom Roe chooses or how Roe pays. These allegations are insufficient to establish injury in fact.   
This is another win for the United States, but on extraordinarily narrow, factbound grounds. It really means rather little--if anything--in the broader drama.

You can access the Third Circuit's opinion here.