|Thompson & Knight attorney Richard Roper quoted in the Houston Chronicle article |
5 things to look for in health care, immigration rulings
|June 24, 2012 12:00 pm|
WASHINGTON — As early as Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court will render its verdicts on two of the most politically divisive issues of the past decade, immigration and health care.
As the justices announce the fate of Arizona's tough immigration enforcement law and the sweeping health care reform law, political and legal analysts will try to determine the impact of the rulings on Barack Obama's presidency, enforcement of immigration laws and the one-sixth of the U.S. economy connected to health and medicine. Here are five things to look for that will give you quick answers to the significance of the decisions:
How narrow or sweeping are the decisions?
The justices have the option of deciding either case along narrow grounds or could draw sweeping conclusions.
"If Justice Kennedy is satisfied that the unique problem of ensuring health care for all authorizes Congress to act, the law will be upheld," said Dallas attorney Richard B. Roper. "If not, the individual mandate will fall."
Can one side win a solid majority in either case?
In some cases, there is no single majority opinion because no viewpoint commands the support of five justices. A fractured majority with several different opinions means that the decision will have less impact on the country.
Legal experts who have been watching the Arizona case say there is a strong possibility that the decision will be muddled.
"Whatever the outcome, the decision likely will spawn additional litigation as the lower courts sort what the court meant in its ruling," said Roper, of the Thompson & Knight law firm.
© 2012 Hearst Communications Inc.
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