Presidential Obama's national health care law is heading to the U.S. Supreme Court sooner rather than later, and in all likelyhood the constitutionality of its individual mandate will be decided before the 2012 presidential election.
Last month, a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the requirement that individuals purchase health insurance. And moments ago, the Obama administration's Department of Justice confirmed to the Examiner that it would not ask for the appeals court to hear the case en banc, or with all judges on the court present. Such a move was unlikely to change the ultimate outcome, but some speculated that the Obama administration may want to delay the case as long as possible so that it isn't decided by the highest court during the 2012 election.
However, with two other courts siding with the administration, there is tremendous uncertainty over whether the mandate will be upheld, which is making it harder to implement other aspects of the law.
Now, the DOJ will appeal directly to the Supreme Court, and the court is virtually garunteed to take up the case. Most legal observers believe that the suit is likely to be decided by next June.
The 11th Circuit case was launched by 26 states led by Florida and the National Federation of Independent Business.