WASHINGTON — The US Supreme Court will decide on November 10 whether or not to take up the case of President Barack Obama’s historic health care law, court sources said Wednesday.
The decision by the nine justices, to be made in closed session, could be made public that day or on the following Monday, November 14, the sources said.
The top US court has received six requests to rule on the legislation passed in 2010, which was fiercely contested by Republicans.
Five of those requests will be considered on November 10.
The Obama administration last month asked the court to uphold the law, after a federal appeals court in Georgia ruled in August that the individual mandate exceeded Congress’s powers.
But that court also ruled that the remainder of the health care law, which extended coverage to an extra 32 million people and was a long-held dream of Democrats, was within the bounds of the constitution.
The Justice Department asked the court to declare the key provision of the new law, requiring everyone to buy health insurance by 2014 if they can afford it, constitutional.
“We know the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. We are confident the Supreme Court will agree. We hope the Supreme Court takes up the case and we are confident we will win,” top Obama advisor Stephanie Cutter said last month.
Republican opponents of the law say the government has no power to compel people to buy health insurance and have vowed to repeal the law in the courts and eventually replace it through new legislation.
A group of 26 states and small businesses have called on the Supreme Court to strike down the totality of Obama’s reform, as has the state of Virginia as a separate entity.
The justices will not consider the Virginia filing right away.
A number of other courts have struck down challenges to the law, making it inevitable that the Supreme Court would eventually be called upon to judge the law, possibly in 2012 amid the political heat of Obama’s reelection campaign.
Many legal experts believe the Supreme Court will agree to take up the case since lower courts are in conflict on the constitutionality of the law.
If the court does decide to weigh the case, arguments would follow and the justices would be expected to rule by the end of their term in June 2012, in a judgment likely to reverberate before the November general election.