The legislation passed by Congress to overhaul the nation’s health care system may one day reach the Supreme Court. But there should be no hurry, the Department of Justice asserted in a brief filed with the justices on Monday.
“Especially given the court of appeals’ imminent consideration of this case, there is no basis for short-circuiting the normal course of appellate review,” said the brief, filed on behalf of Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health and Human Services.
The filing of the brief, reported by The Richmond Times-Dispatch, was in opposition to the move by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to have Virginia’s lawsuit against the health legislation go right past normal appellate procedures and be heard directly by the Supreme Court.
Virginia’s challenge is one of at least three against the health legislation. Judge Henry E. Hudson of the Eastern District of Virginia ruled in Virginia’s favor in December, agreeing that the law’s provision mandating the purchase of health insurance was unconstitutional. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit is scheduled to hear the case in May in Richmond.