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Supremes might put off ObamaCare case for two years

An eagerly awaited ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act might not be rendered this spring after all.

It says HERE that the high court might delay a decision on the matter until 2014, when the tax (if that’s what it is) imposed by the measure takes effect:

The temporary escape hatch involves the Anti-Injunction Act, an age-old law that says courts may not halt a tax that isn’t yet being collected. (Under the Affordable Care Act, it won’t be collected until 2014.) Although the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals last fall tossed out a lawsuit against the mandate on this basis, most courts have decreed that the statute doesn’t apply here.

But further evidence that justices may disagree came Tuesday, when the Supreme Court increased the time for next month’s oral arguments from 5.5 hours to 6 hours, allotting an extra half hour to discuss the application of the Anti-Injunction Act. That means there will be a full hour and a half to discuss whether the court has the authority to rule on the health law this year.

Because the Obama administration and the plaintiffs agree that the AIA does not apply — arguing that the provision functions more as a penalty than a revenue-raising tax — the high court has appointed two veteran attorneys to argue that it does. The considerations come over the objections of Democrats and Republicans who each say they want a speedy ruling.

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