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The Big Day is Here – Sixth Circuit to Hear Oral Argument Tomorrow On the Challenge to the Health Care Statute

Posted in News and Analysis

Tomorrow is the big day in the Sixth Circuit.  The Court will hear oral argument in the high-profile appeal involving a constitutional challenge to the mandate requiring individuals to purchase health insurance under the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148See Thomas More Law Center, et al. v. Obama, et al. (Sixth Circuit, Case No. 10-2388).  Oral argument is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in Room 607.  A live video feed of the oral argument also will be available at the courthouse to accommodate attendees for whom there are no available seats in the courtroom.

The complete oral argument will be available for listening or downloading on the court’s website approximately one hour after oral argument ends.

The panel includes Sixth Circuit Judges Boyce F. Martin, Jr. and Jeffrey S. Sutton, and United States District Judge James L. Graham (Southern District of Ohio), sitting by designation.  As one Beltway blogger observes, “[t]he makeup of the panel hearing the oral argument in Cincinnati is, on the surface, more favorable for opponents of the law, as it includes two Republican appointees and a Democratic appointee, which is a big difference from the Fourth Circuit panel that heard the Virginia-based suit last month, which was comprised entirely of Democratic-appointed judges (two of whom were appointed by President Obama himself).”

In addition to oral argument, the panel has before it a motion to dismiss filed on May 27, 2011 by the Defendants-Appellees seeking to dismiss plaintiffs’ appeal on mootness grounds.  Defendants-Appellees contend that the plaintiffs lack standing because they cannot show that the individual mandate will cause them economic injury, much less that such injury is imminent.  On Memorial Day, the plaintiffs filed a response to the motion to dismiss arguing that they have standing to challenge the health care statute, and that their claims are ripe for review.

Be sure to check back with us for a summary of tomorrow’s oral argument.