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Wednesday, June 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Justices Decline Early|Health Care Challenge

(CN) - The Supreme Court on Monday turned down the first constitutional challenge of health care reform to reach the nation's highest court.

The justices declined to overturn a federal judge's ruling that the individuals and employers who objected to the new federal health care law could not show that they have been injured by its mandates.

Steve Baldwin, a former California legislator, and the Pacific Legal Institute argued that Congress lacked authority under the Constitution to require everyone to have health insurance by 2014.

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego dismissed the case for lack of standing, and the plaintiffs appealed to both the 9th Circuit, where the case is still pending, and to the Supreme Court. They asked the justices to step in at this early stage, because federal district judges have disagreed on whether health care lawsuits should advance, or whether they're premature.

Though the high court rarely intervenes to settle conflicting federal court rulings, the petition for review has been closely watched as an indicator of whether Justice Elena Kagan, the former U.S. solicitor general, would participate.

Monday's list of orders indicated no dissents or recusals in Baldwin v. Sebelius, no. 10-369.

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