There are currently two cases testing the health care law. In one case, a trial judge declared that the mandate which required a person “to buy health insurance by 2014 or face a tax penalty” was unconstitutional. A judge upheld the same mandate in the second case.
Throughout this case, there have been strong arguments from both sides, and while the law has been reviewed in several other courts in the nation, on Tuesday it will go before the highest court that it has yet faced. While it will still most likely end up going to the US Supreme Court eventually, this court of appeals should help “focus and narrow the issue”, according to University of Virginia law professor John Jeffries.
The court has a history of being able to decide cases quickly, usually a few months after a hearing takes place. The court will not reveal the names of the judges who will be hearing the case until right before the 9:30 AM hearing on Tuesday.
US Solicitor General Neal Katyal will be arguing for the health care law’s constitutionality on Tuesday. Katyal is the top lawyer for the government before the Supreme Court.
Two separate lawsuits, one brought by Virginia officials, and one brought by a Christian college, will be presented to the court. In the Virginia case, state Solicitor General Duncan Getchell is set to argue, and Mathew Staver will be presenting in the Christian College case.
If you want to follow along, the court will have an audio link on Tuesday of the arguments by both sides on its website, which will be a first for this court. Its website is located at: http://www.ca4.uscourts.gov.