The Supreme Court is gearing up for opening arguments in the case of NFIB v. Sebelius, the court case challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act being brought against the federal government by the National Federation of Independent Business and 26 states. The deadline to submit opening briefs on issues was Friday, January 6, so a host of briefs were filed, including the Obama administration arguing the individual mandate is constitutional, and a variety of individuals and groups arguing that the whole law should be struck down if the individual mandate portion is found unconstitutional. In addition, court-appointed counsel submitted a brief arguing that the Anti-Injunction Act should prevent a ruling on the mandate until it goes into effect.
The next major deadline will be January 10, when the states will be required to file their briefs on Medicaid challenge in the case. In addition, the court is expected to rule soon on a request by the NFIB to add two additional lead plaintiffs to the case. This move was based on the fact that the original lead plaintiff, small business owner Mary Brown, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. The concern was the PPACA concerns she had might not be valid if she was no longer in business and that the federal government could argue that Brown had no "standing" to challenge the law. The Obama administration has not objected to the NFIB’s request.