Wednesday, October 26, 2011

November 10 conference

Sorry--I was in Berkeley today, speaking at a joint Federalist Society-ACS event concerning the constitutionality of the ACA. (I seem to be away from a computer whenever there is big ACA-related news.)

The news from today, as has been widely reported, is that the five petitions in which responses have been filed (all pending ACA petitions except that in Virginia v. Sebelius) were distributed today to the justices' chambers, and they are now scheduled for discussion at the November 10 conference. It seems highly likely (for all the reasons we have been discussing) that the Court will vote to grant cert that day--in at least one of the cases, on at least the question of the minimum essential coverage provision's constitutionality. We are therefore likely to see an order from the Court granting certiorari either in the afternoon of November 10, or at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, November 14, as part of the regular order list.

Of course, the Court has a variety of decisions to make with respect to which petitions to grant and which specific questions to accept for review. We will discuss that subject further here in the coming days. (Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSblog has a good discussion of these matters here.) But whatever the Court decides on these questions, we are now probably looking at oral argument in the last week of March. If anyone wants to participate in a pool, I am picking March 28.