Big Day for Health Reform Law

The first two challenges to the health reform law to reach a federal appeals court will be argued today before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. Three more federal appellate courts will hear other challenges on June 1, June 8, and June 23, with three additional cases pending before other appeals courts but not yet scheduled for arguments, according to an excellent preview by Lyle Denniston of

Acting Solicitor General Neal K. KatyalTwo 40-minute oral arguments are scheduled today. At 9:30 a.m. EDT, Liberty University, Inc. v. Timothy Geithner, No. 10-2347, will be argued, followed immediately by the arguments in Commonwealth of Virginia v. Kathleen Sebelius, No. 11-1057. Denniston writes that the Obama Administration's signal of the significance of today's arguments is shown by its sending Acting Solicitor General Neal K. Katyal, the administration's top lawyer, to defend the Affordable Care Act in both cases. Opposing Katyal in Liberty University is the university's law school dean, Professor Mathew D. Staver, while E. Duncan Getchell Jr., Virginia's solicitor general, is on the opposite side of Katyal in Commonwealth of Virginia.Mathew D. Staver, Liberty University law school dean

An announcement posted on the court's website says an audio link to both arguments will be available beginning at 2 p.m. today at

Denniston reports that the 4th Circuit has a reputation for quickly moving its docket, and thus the three judges hearing today's arguments may issue their ruling before those of the other circuits. One of the appellate cases is "very likely" to reach the U.S. Supreme Court during its next term, which will begin Oct. 3, 2011, he notes.

Posted by Jerry Laws on May 10, 2011