Wednesday, September 28, 2011

BREAKING: U.S. files petition for certiorari in Florida v. HHS

Details to follow shortly.

UPDATE: You can access here the petition for a writ of certiorari just filed by the Solicitor General in HHS v. Florida. And you can access the appendix to that petition here. The docket number is 11-398.

The end game now appears to be fast approaching: a cert grant by late October, oral argument likely in February or March, and a decision by June. Actually, now that I think about it, the Court may want both sides to file responses to the three cert petitions filed today (and just hold Thomas More in the mean time). As both sides are seeking certiorari, I am not sure how much the responses matter here. (And perhaps the parties will waive their rights to respond, thus expediting the process.) But the normal course is for the parties to file their responses 30 days after the petition, meaning October 27. If that is what happens here, the Court would likely issue the order granting cert in late November. And that would slate the argument most likely (though it is up to the Court's discretion) for March.

UPDATE 2: The United States's petition asks the Court to address two questions: (1) "Whether Congress had the power under Article I of the Constitution to enact the minimum coverage provision," and (2) "whether the suit brought by respondents to challenge the minimum coverage provision of the [ACA] is barred by the Anti-Injunction Act, 26 U.S.C. 7421(a)."

In the petition, the government continues to express its view (as it has now for a while, though certainly not from the beginning of this litigation) that the AIA does not deprive the Court of jurisdiction. But the SG acknowledges a circuit split on the question and thus urges the Court to address the issue.

UPDATE 3: You can find Lyle Denniston's (SCOTUSblog) coverage of the United States's petition here. You can find Randy Barnett's take on the United States's petition here at Volokh Conspiracy, and Randy's commentary from earlier today on the petition that he co-authored on behalf of the private plaintiffs (the NFIB, Brown, and Ahlburg) here.