Lifestyle & Belief

Supreme Court asked to rule on health care law

Twenty-six states asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday to rule on the constitutionality of the federal health care law signed by President Barack Obama last year, CNN reports.

According to CNN, the petition "virtually assures" that the court will rule on the issue by June.

"This case offers this court an ideal vehicle to resolve pressing and persistent constitutional questions arising out of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," lawyers for the states said in the petition. "It represents an unprecedented challenge -- involving over half of the states in the nation -- to an unprecedented legislative initiative."

The states involved in the petition are: Florida, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Virginia and Oklahoma have filed separate challenges to the law, as have a number of other groups.

ABC News reports that lawyers for states argued that “time is of the essence."

“States need to know whether they must adapt their policies to deal with the brave new world ushered in by the [Affordable Care Act],” Paul Clement, an attorney representing the states, wrote.

Reuters reports that the Obama administration is also expected to ask the court to rule on the law:

The Obama administration earlier this week said it decided against asking the full U.S. Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit to review the August ruling by a three-judge panel of the court that found the insurance requirement unconstitutional.

That decision cleared the way for the administration to go to the Supreme Court.

Three federal appeals courts have ruled on the Affordable Care Act so far, with two of them upholding the law. In August, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found the law's "individual mandate" section, requiring Americans to purchase health insurance, was unconstitutional.