Appeals Court Judges Plan Quick Review of Reform Law Decision

By Staff Report

Jan. 28, 2011

Federal judges in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have agreed to expedite their review of a decision from a district judge in Richmond, Virginia, that struck down the individual insurance mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional.

The decision means the Virginia federal appeals court will render a quick decision as the case winds its way toward what will be its likely final destination: the U.S. Supreme Court. The request for expedited review was filed jointly by the Department of Health and Human Services and Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli II. The case is scheduled to be heard by May.

“Major decisions are already being made and money is already being spent to comply with a law that may not be around two years from now,” Cuccinelli said in a news release. He said he had not yet decided whether to seek permission to bring the case directly to the Supreme Court without an appeal.

An appeal is also pending in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the decision of a federal district judge in Detroit that the law is constitutional. Numerous friend-of-the-court briefs have been filed in that case since the appeal was lodged last week, but a briefing schedule has not yet been set.  

Filed by Joe Carlson of Modern Healthcare, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail


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