Supreme Court Won't Hear Early Challenge to Health Care Law

The U.S. Supreme Court won't step in and issue an early decision on the constitutionality of the new federal health care law, meaning that challenges to the law will continue to play out in the federal district courts and courts of appeal.

The decision to deny Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's petition for a "writ of certiorari before judgment" was issued without comment and came as part of a list of U.S. Supreme Court orders handed down today (Virginia, Ex Rel. Cuccinelli v. Sebelius, Sec. of H&HS).

Attorney General Cuccinelli's challenge to the health care reform package was one of the first to be filed last year, and in late 2010 a federal district court struck down part of the law. An appeal of that decision is currently slated for oral argument in federal circuit court in May 2011, and today's decision by the Supreme Court ensures that the highly anticipated next word will come then (from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit), so stay tuned.