Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-7) issued the following statement today in response to yesterday's decision by the U.S. Justice Department to forego an appeal to the full 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, paving the way for consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court on the legality of the individual mandate of President Obama's health care law.
"Yesterday's decision by the U.S. Department of Justice not to seek review by the full appeals court will likely speed up consideration of the matter by the U.S. Supreme Court in its upcoming term that begins next week. Such an appeal could have taken months and delayed a final decision from the high court until at least 2013. Now a ruling by the high court could come by late June, in the middle of the presidential campaign," Lance said.
An August decision by a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals found the 2010 health care law's requirement to purchase health insurance to be unconstitutional. The U.S. Justice Department had until Monday to ask the full court to review the case. The suit brought by 26 states will now likely head to the Nation's highest court.
"It is my hope that highest court rule expeditiously and spare the Nation years of litigation and uncertainty," Lance added.
Lance has led the call for an expedited review of the health care law. The Seventh District lawmaker is the co-author of a bicameral congressional resolution (H.Res. 74) respectfully requesting that the justices invoke the Court's Rule 11, "writ of certiorari" allowing the High Court to take a case from the appellate level only upon a showing that the case is of such "imperative public importance" as to require an immediate decision.
Congressman Leonard Lance opposes the President's health care law and instead supports common-sense fiscally responsible reforms that will lower health care costs, expand access and grow jobs. These reforms include allowing insurance to be sold across state lines, establishing high-risk insurance pools, limiting frivolous lawsuits and prohibiting insurance companies from discriminating on the basis of pre-existing conditions. As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Lance is on the front lines of this effort.