Liberty University [official website] on Friday petitioned [text, PDF] the US Supreme Court [official website] to review its case against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) [HR 3590 text; JURIST backgrounder]. The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] last month ruled [JURIST report] that it could not review the university's case until the health care law takes effect until 2014 because of a tax law issue. The circuit court vacated a lower court's ruling [JURIST report] with the decision. Liberty University is challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate, marking the fourth such challenge to officially reach the high court.
It is becoming increasingly likely that the Supreme Court will review the health care law this term, especially after the US Department of Justice [official website] asked the high court to do so last month [JURIST report]. The DOJ was appealing an August ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [official website], which struck down the individual mandate [JURIST report] as unconstitutional, creating a circuit split. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli [official website] has also asked the Supreme Court to weigh in [JURIST report] on PPACA, appealing a Fourth Circuit ruling. The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] upheld the law in June, and that ruling was appealed [JURIST reports] to the Supreme Court by the Thomas More Law Center [advocacy website]. Also in August, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website] dismissed a lawsuit [JURIST report] brought by a physician organization for lack of standing.