Supreme Court to rule on subsidies for health care exchanges
Supreme Court to rule on subsidies for health care exchanges

The US Supreme Court [official website] on Friday granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in King v. Burwell [docket; cert. petition, PDF] to rule on health care subsidies under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) [text, PDF]. Section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code [text] authorizes federal tax credit subsidies for health insurance coverage that is purchased through an “Exchange established by the State under section 1311” of the ACA. The issue before the court is whether subsidies may be awarded by the federal government in states that elect not to set up their own health insurance exchange. The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the subsidies [JURIST report] in July, on the same day that the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found the subsidies illegal. The DC ruling has been set aside while the full appeals court reconsiders the issue en banc.

Also Friday the court granted review in Chen v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, Maryland [docket; cert. petition, PDF] to rule on deadlines for serving papers in federal civil cases. The court limited the grant to the following question: “Whether, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m), a district court has discretion to extend the time for service of process absent a showing of good cause, as the Second, Third, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits have held, or whether the district court lacks such discretion, as the Fourth Circuit has held?” Oral arguments in both cases are expected in March.