No Surprise: The Supreme Court Denies Fast-Track Of Virginia Health Care Lawsuit

April 25, 2011 1:34 pm ET — Meredith Kormes

AG Ken Cuccinelli

Today, in an expected move, the Supreme Court denied right-wing Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's request to fast-track the state's case regarding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. As Politico wrote:

The denial was expected. It's rare for the high court to take a case without letting it go through the circuit courts first.

It's even more unusual for the court to take a case early against the wishes of the federal government. The Department of Justice opposed the motion, arguing that the case should follow regular order.

Even Cuccinelli acknowledged that "expediting [the] case would have been the exception" and noted that the ruling, "although disappointing...is not surprising." Cuccinelli is not giving up, though. He is planning on seeing the case through to the "logical end" and counting on it being before the Supreme Court in the future.

To recap the Virginia case: In March 2010, Cuccinelli challenged the constitutionality of the health care law by filing suit against the federal government on the day President Obama signed it into law. In December 2010, U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson ruled the individual mandate in the health care law was unconstitutional, but allowed the law to remain in effect during the appeals process. (Judge Hudson may have had his own political agenda influence his ruling in the case.) In February 2011, Cuccinelli submitted his request to expedite the case to the Supreme Court, citing the cost of implementing a law that could potentially get overturned. With the Supreme Court's denial, regular order now means that the case will continue to make its way through the 4th Circuit Court, where the government's appeal is scheduled to be heard in May 2011.

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