As you know, for months now we have been following the case making its way through the Sixth Circuit 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 111-148. See Thomas More Law Center, et al. v. Obama, et al. (Sixth Circuit, Case No. 10-2388).
Earlier today, the Sixth Circuit announced the three-judge panel that will hear oral arguments currently scheduled for Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. 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.
Judge Martin is the most senior active judge on the Sixth Circuit. He was nominated by President Carter in 1979 and has served as the Chief Judge of the Circuit.
Judge Sutton was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2001 and was confirmed in 2003. He clerked on the United States Supreme Court for Justices Antonin Scalia and Lewis Powell.
District Judge Graham was nominated by President Reagan in 1986 to a seat on the district court. He served as chief judge from 2003 to 2004, and assumed senior status on August 31, 2004. We previously blogged about the role of visiting judges and the fact that about one in three panels in the Sixth Circuit currently has a visiting judge.
The Thomas More case is one of the highest profile appeals in the Sixth Circuit at the moment, and we will continue to monitor the case closely, along with similar appeals making their way through other Circuits. As we reported yesterday, the Fourth Circuit just heard oral arguments in the appeal from Virginia District Court Judge Henry Hudson’s December 13, 2010 decision declaring unconstitutional the individual mandate under the health care statute.
It will be interesting to see which Circuit Court renders an opinion first.