What’s The Rush?

I said I would be offline this week, but then I saw that the District Court in Michigan upheld the constitutionality of the individual health insurance mandate.

Now this case and the others that are pending are very interesting for those of us that follow these issues. And I hate to be the skunk at the garden party, but . . .

The individual mandate does not come into effect until 2014. The last time I checked, this is 2010. It seems to me that the proper response to all of these cases is to say, “Your challenge is not ripe (or you have no standing). Take a hike.”

Can you come up with a plausible argument that the merits can be heard now? Sure. But why is that warranted at this point?

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4 Responses

  1. I understand the general rule is that, when a change in the law requires you to spend money, you have standing when the law is passed, because you might have to adjust your spending today, in order to save money for the impending expense. Rather than waiting until it hits, and coming up short.

    I can see, though, why Democrats would like Obama to have another several years to possibly nominate justices before the Court hears the case.

  2. Orin Kerr says:

    So when does it become ripe?

  3. Howard Wasserman says:

    When there actually is a legal obligation to purchase health insurance? Plus, it is possible the law never will go into effect, if Congress and the White House change hands between now and 2014. Isn’t this comparable to trying to enjoin a law before it has been enacted, which surely never would be ripe (not a precisely identical situation I recognize, but comparable)?

  4. TJ says:

    Howard, isn’t it more analogous to trying to enjoin a law that has been enacted, but hasn’t yet taken effect? And I think that happens all the time in, e.g., challenges to abortion restrictions. Perhaps there is some difference that I am not aware of.