TOPEKA – (March 14, 2011) – A federal appeals court has granted a request by Kansas and 25 other states to expedite its review of a district court decision that the federal health care law is unconstitutional, Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today.
The Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday established a schedule for considering the appeal that could lead to oral arguments as soon as early summer.
“This exceptionally quick consideration shows that the Court understands the importance of this litigation,” Schmidt said. “Our initial challenge to the law's constitutionality has been successful. We now need to get a final appellate decision as soon as possible to bring certainty to citizens, businesses, health care professionals, and the state of the law. The public interest is not served by delay and uncertainty.”
In January, a federal district judge in Florida sided with Kansasand 25 other states, striking down the federal health care law as unconstitutional. The federal government has appealed the decision, and the states asked the appeals court to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible. That is the request the appeals court granted on Friday.
A total of 28 states are challenging the federal government's authority to enact the “individual mandate” provision in the so-called “Obamacare” law. Twenty-six states, including Kansas, are together challenging the law in Florida. Virginia and Oklahoma each have brought separate lawsuits.