Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oral argument tomorrow at the Eighth Circuit

Most of the attention is currently on the six cert petitions pending at the Supreme Court--and rightly so. But it is also worth mentioning that the Eighth Circuit will be hearing argument tomorrow in Kinder v. Geithner in St. Paul, Minnesota. The panel consists of Circuit Judges Kermit E. Bye (appointed by President Clinton), Lavenski R. Smith (appointed by President George W. Bush), and Steven M. Colloton (also appointed by President George W. Bush).

Again, the District Court dismissed this lawsuit on the ground that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction. (You can access that opinion here.) Thus, the Eighth Circuit may very well limit itself to the jurisdictional questions -- just as the Third and Ninth Circuits have done in similar cases. But taking no chances, the parties and numerous amici have also addressed the merits. So it is certainly conceivable that the court, if it concludes that the matter is justiciable, would proceed to address the constitutionality of the minimum coverage provision.