The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a request from a conservative legal group for an early review of the Obama administration’s healthcare overhaul bill. The California-based Pacific Justice Institute challenged the bill’s mandate that all individuals buy health insurance, but the court declined to hear the appeal on Monday on the grounds that it is premature.
The court’s action was not a surprise because the justices almost never deal with cases before they have been litigated fully in the lower courts, and a U.S. appeals court has not yet ruled on this case yet, The Wall Street Journal reported
A federal court in San Diego previously dismissed the challenge.
Significantly, Justices Clarence Thomas and Elena Kagan participated in the court’s decision not to hear the case.
Observers had wondered whether Kagan's previous work as the Obama administration’s top Supreme Court lawyer during Obamacare enactment in March might force her to recuse herself from the case.
Similar questions were raised about Thomas, whose wife, Virginia, heads the conservative organization Liberty Central and has been an outspoken foe of Obamacare.
Other lawsuits against the healthcare reform bill are proceeding in lower courts.
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