Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli reacted today to the United States Supreme Court’s decision not to expedite Virginia’s lawsuit against the federal health care law and its mandate to force individuals to buy health insurance:
“We asked the United States Supreme Court for expedited review of our lawsuit because Virginia and other states are already spending huge sums to implement their portions of the health care act, businesses are already making decisions about whether to cut or keep employee health plans, and citizens are in limbo until the Supreme Court rules. Asking the court to expedite our lawsuit was about removing this crippling and costly uncertainty as quickly as possible. We were gratified that both Republicans and Democrats in Virginia supported the effort to expedite.
“The Supreme Court rarely expedites cases under its Rule 11. Expediting our case would have been the exception and so, although disappointing, this is not surprising.
“We look forward to making our arguments in the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on the morning of May 10th here in Richmond. This case’s logical end point is the Supreme Court. It will simply have to make its way through the Fourth Circuit first,” Cuccinelli said.If the Court's denial of expedited process is not surprising, perhaps Justice Kagan's participation in the ruling is the most noteworthy part of the morning. Elena Kagan joined the Court in August after serving as United States solicitor general, the federal government’s top appellate lawyer. While under consideration for supreme appointment, Kagan wrote early last summer that she had not been involved with the administration's defense of the federal health care overhaul. “I attended at least one meeting where the existence of the litigation was briefly mentioned,” she wrote, “but none where any substantive discussion of the litigation occurred.” In December Judge Henry E. Hudson in Richmond declared that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. Judge Roger Vinson in Florida struck down the law in it entirety when he came to the same conclusion in January. Having rejected the fast track, all nine Supreme Court justices are expected to hear the states' appeal to the health care bill sometime in 2012.