Adjudicating Health Care Reform by Dissent
Craig B. Garner
Pepperdine University School of Law
March, 15 2012
Los Angeles Daily Journal, March 2012
The procedural infrastructure within which the nation’s judicial system operates is as important as the canons of law the Courts espouse. Sometimes, however, courts bypass these procedural tenets without compromising their integrity, often by way of dissenting opinions.
On the cusp of a historic moment when it entertains 330 minutes or oral argument on the topic of health care reform, the United States Supreme Court commands the nation’s full attention. Typically known for its stoicism, the Supreme Court recently ruled on another health care related matter, one involving California’s Medicaid program. With what appears to be a majority opinion out of character, following by a critical dissent written by the Chief Justice, perhaps this dialogue offers more insight about what the nation can expect later this month than any definitive ruling for the matter on which the Justices recently opined.
If so, it appears the national focus on health care reform will not abate when the Supreme Court finally issues its decision sometime this summer, nor will it end with the elections in November, even should they force a changing of the guard or a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. In the midst of such chaos, our only certainty rests in the knowledge that a fundamentally divided Court will continue to stand as a bellwether, with the arguments and decisions of all nine Justices pointing the direction for the evolution of our health care system, one single step at a time.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 7
Keywords: health care reform, U.S. Supreme Court, advisory opinions, dissenting opinionsAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 17, 2012
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