SCOTUS Will Not Put VA Case on the Fast Track
By Hadley Heath
Today the Supreme Court officially announced that it will not grant Ken Cuccinelli's "Rule 11" request to hear his case (Virginia v. Sebelius) on an expedited track. Rule 11 is a little-known, little-used Supreme Court rule that allows the Justices to take up a case of immediate public importance, interrupting the normal course through federal district court and then appellate court levels. This rule is typically only invoked during wartime or extreme national crisis. Even Cuccinelli thought his case was a long shot, but pointed out that the uncertainty surrounding ObamaCare's constitutionality placed a great burden upon states.
The case will instead move along the regular path to the SCOTUS, and the next stop is in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. A hearing is set for May 10. The Florida case will move to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, with a hearing set for June 8.
Of much interest in the "Rule 11" decision was whether or not Justice Elena Kagan would be involved. Her apparent participation in this preliminary decision indicates that she does not plan to recuse herself from cases that deal with ObamaCare, regardless of her previous service as Obama's Solicitor General during the law's passage.
The Republic reports:
Justice Elena Kagan apparently took part in the court's order Monday, as there was no announcement that any justice sat out. There had been questions about whether she would participate because she served as Obama's solicitor general when the law was passed. Kagan indicated in Senate testimony last year that she played no role in the administration's planning and handling of challenges to the law.
Legal experts agree that at least one of the health care lawsuits will end up at the Supreme Court level. It's only a matter of time until the Justices must take up the issue - and apparently we can expect that all nine of the Justices will rule.