Supreme Court Update on PPACA Constitutionality

The Supreme Court ruled today that the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) may add two plaintiffs to its lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of PPACA. The original business owner that was the primary subject of NFIB v. Sebelius filed for bankruptcy last year, so there was some concern that without the addition of new plaintiffs, the NFIB’s grounds for filing suit could be questioned. The federal government did not oppose the addition of new plaintiffs in the case.

Meanwhile, the American Center for Law and Justice and Susan Seven-Sky, plaintiffs in other suits challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate on religious grounds, submitted a brief to the Court last Wednesday, asking to join the 26 states and the NFIB in their case against PPACA. The Court has not yet responded to their request.

In other news concerning the case, last Friday was the first deadline for the submission of amicus, or friends of the court, briefs. Twenty-two groups that either agree with the federal government on the constitutionality of the individual mandate or with the NFIB and the states on the point that since the law does not contain a severability clause then the entire law must be stricken if certain portions are declared unconstitutional, submitted supporting briefs to the Court. Additional deadlines are forthcoming for the submission of amicus briefs on other key points and positions, so many more briefs will be filed between now and the start of oral arguments in March. 

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