This weekend, legal journalists had their eyes on the Eleventh Circuit's decision striking down the so-called "individual mandate" of the Affordable Care Act (the subject of an ongoing symposium on this blog). With the Sixth Circuit having recently rejected a challenge to the mandate (and a petition filed) in another case, Thomas More Law Center v. Obama, there is a now a split in the circuits on the issue, which most commentators believe that the Court will eventually resolve. The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Christian Science Monitor all suggest that Supreme Court review is now more likely, while the editorial board of the Washington Post opines that "the sooner the Supreme Court finally decides the matter, the better." Ashby Jones of the Wall Street Journal Law Blog interviews Prof. Bradley Joondeph (a contributor to our symposium), who agrees that a grant of certiorari in an individual mandate case is now inevitable unless the Eleventh Circuit reverses the panel's decision en banc. Prof. Joondeph suggests that the Solicitor General may be able to exert some control over the timing of such a grant, either hastening it by offering a weak opposition to the pending petition in Thomas More Law Center or delaying it by petitioning the Eleventh Circuit for en banc review. On his Plum Line blog at the Washington Post, Greg Sargent suggests that "[t]he most likely scenario is a SCOTUS decision next spring," though he argues that "the fate of ACA in the courts isn't likely to matter much" in next year's presidential election.
In other news, Robert Barnes of the Washington Post reports that, after their victories in Heller and McDonald, gun-rights activists have "been on a losing streak in the lower courts." Barnes discusses the pending petition in Williams v. Maryland, which presents the question of whether the right to carry or transport a registered handgun outside the home without a carry permit is protected by the Second Amendment.
Recommended Citation: James Bickford, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 15, 2011, 8:22 AM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2011/08/monday-round-up-89/