The Spectacle Blog

The Supreme Court and Cuccinelli

By on 4.18.11 | 11:59PM

So what did the Supreme Court decide at its meeting last Friday about whether to expedite the state of Virginia's Obamacare case directly to the high court, as the state has requested? According to Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, there was no announcement today. All we know is that "they relisted the case on their docket for this Friday, April 22nd." What does this mean?

Here's the email Cuccinelli sent out Monday evening:

The United States Supreme Court Justices met last Friday to discuss whether or not to grant Virginia's request to expedite our healthcare case directly to the Supreme Court - thereby bypassing the 4thCircuit Court of Appeals.

Virginia, along with many other states and companies, has been left with great uncertainty regarding the healthcare bill. Virginia alone is spending millions of dollars preparing to implement the bill - despite the fact that if Virginia's legal challenge succeeds, the bill may well be stricken before it is ever fully implemented. 

The Supreme Court did not make an announcement today on whether or not it was going to expedite the case. Instead, they relisted the case on their docket for this Friday, April 22nd.

What does that mean?

It means that they haven't rejected our request - yet. Remember, requests to expedite are infrequently granted. However, it also probably means that one or more of the Justices want more time to consider the question.

It also means that there appears at least to be interest in the petition at the court, which is itself encouraging. If my numbers are right, over 90% of petitions addressed in these conferences are summarily rejected because no Justice has any interest in them. So, the fact that the Justices didn't summarily dismiss our petition is itself interesting and at least modestly encouraging (hopefully not in the vein of what your mother told you growing up: "the worst thing they can do is ignore you"... of course, my mother has never filed a petition with the Supreme Court). 

Generally speaking, we would expect an opinion issued Monday the 25th; however, it is Easter weekend, so I don't know if that will have an impact on timing, but I'll let you know as soon as we find out!

Stay tuned.

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