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Death of Justice Scalia May Affect Healthcare Cases

The death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia raises questions about a number of pending cases with potential impact on healthcare. Included are cases regarding the Affordable Care Act’s...
February 18, 2016


The death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia raises questions about a number of pending cases with potential impact on healthcare. Included are cases regarding the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) contraception mandate, abortion, data sharing and False Claims Act suits brought against health care providers.

Justice Scalia’s absence could make a difference in such cases. Generally viewed as a stalwart conservative, it will be more difficult for conservatives to prevail without him. With the Supreme Court down to eight members, it could split 4-4 on controversial matters. When that happens, the lower court’s decision would remain in place, but only for the area of the country served by that circuit. With the Supreme Court’s “decision” tied, the judgment of the high court would not bind the whole country.

President Obama said he will nominate a replacement for Scalia shortly, and has called on the Senate to hold a confirmation hearing and vote on his nominee. Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, say the vacancy should not be filled until after the 2016 presidential election, by the next president. The political battle over Justice Scalia’s replacement began within hours of the confirmation of his death.

Scalia Death Leaves Healthcare Cases in Limbo (Business Insurance 2/16/16)

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