The Obama administration is asking the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of the federal healthcare overhaul sooner rather than later, with the Justice Department announcing that it will file a petition Wednesday asking the court to take the case.
The department is appealing from a decision last month by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta that held that the requirement under the Affordable Care Act that all Americans purchase health insurance is unconstitutional.
Earlier this week, the department declined to seek review of the full appeals court of that decision, signaling that it was ready for the case to be heard by the justices. Technically, the administration had several weeks before it had to file its petition to the high court and the accelerated timetable suggests that it’s eager for a final determination on the legality of the controversial law.
“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,” the Justice Department said in a statement Wednesday.