February 3, 2011
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced Thursday that the Commonwealth will file a petition to ask the United
States Supreme Court to take Virginia's health care lawsuit now, as opposed to waiting for the case to first be decided by the court of appeals.
The Petition for Certiorari Before Judgment in the United States Supreme Court in the case of Commonwealth v. Sebelius will be filed pursuant to Rule 11 of the Rules of the United States Supreme Court.
"Given the uncertainty caused by the divergent rulings of the various district courts on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, we feel that it is necessary to seek resolution of this issue as quickly as possible," said Cuccinelli.
Normally, appeals of decisions of United States district courts are
first heard in the federal courts of appeals. But Rule 11 provides that an immediate review in the U.S. Supreme Court is permissible "upon a showing that the case is of such imperative public importance as to justify deviation from normal appellate practice and to require immediate determination in" the Supreme Court.
Cuccinelli noted, "Given his unique responsibilities to fund and implement PPACA as Governor of Virginia, Governor McDonnell is particularly concerned about the possibility of wasting precious and strained taxpayer dollars preparing for a law that may well be struck down."
The Petition for Certiorari and Appendix are currently being assembled by the legal printer for the attorney general and will be filed with the court as soon as is practicable.