Obama Administration Will Not Seek Further Appeals Review on Health Law Ruling

Obama Administration Will Not Seek Further Appeals Review on Health Law Ruling



The Obama administration has decided that it will not anymore ask a federal appeals court in Atlanta for a further review of a ruling that rejected the centerpiece of the present administration’s sweeping health care overhaul.

This decision opens the possibility of the U.S. Supreme Court hearing a case on the health-care legislation in its term that begins next month, and rule on whether the law is constitutional or not. Legal observers say that the ruling may be handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in the midst of the campaign of the 2012 presidential election.

Tracy Schmaler, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, revealed the decision of the Obama administration. She declined to comment or further explain any of the department’s next moves.

The Atlanta circuit decision sided with 26 states, including the state of Pennsylvania, which filed the lawsuit to prevent the 2010 legislation from taking effect. The plaintiffs argued that the provision requiring Americans to purchase health insurance was unconstitutional.

In a separate lawsuit, the Sixth Circuit appeals court in Cincinnati upheld this same individual-mandate provision back in June. Earlier this month, two lawsuits were rejected by a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit appeals court in Virginia on technical grounds.

The Atlanta ruling was handed down in August by a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit appeals court. It ruled that Congress went beyond its authority when the legislators passed the individual-mandate provision.

Had the Obama administration decided to ask the full 11th Circuit court to hear the case, it could potentially delay the Supreme Court review.