Breaking: Government files petition for cert in Eleventh Circuit case

Minutes ago, the Solicitor General filed its petition for cert in the Florida v. HHS case from the Eleventh Circuit. Earlier this morning, the state Attorneys General filed their cert petition with some very interesting claims, including a request that the Court reconsider its 1985 decision in Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority. Just when you thought this case could not get any bigger, it does!

[Links to briefs on ACALitigation Blog added.]

With the government joining the challengers in asking the Court to review the Eleventh Circuit Case, a prompt grant of cert now seems likely, with oral argument in January or February, and a final decision on the last day of the term in mid-June 2012. This has been a momentous day. Here is the DOJ’s Press Office statement:

The Department has consistently and successfully defended this law in several court of appeals, and only the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled it unconstitutional. We believe the question is appropriate for review by the Supreme Court.

Throughout history, there have been similar challenges to other landmark legislation such as the Social Security Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act, and all of those challenges failed. We believe the challenges to Affordable Care Act — like the one in the 11th Circuit — will also ultimately fail and that the Supreme Court will uphold the law.

Each of those laws enjoyed bipartisan support when enacted; none were passed on a straight-line party vote. In fact, enacting so massive a social-welfare measure that affects every man, woman, and child in the United States in so partisan a manner was … wait for it … unprecedented.

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