The U.S. Supreme Court took another small step on the road to officially taking on the legal challenges to the Obama health reform law, as the matter has been added to a November 10 private conference of the Justices.
Those gatherings are used to determine what petitions the High Court should address, and so it is possible the decision could be addressed on that date - two weeks from today.
The case is so politically heated that the Supreme Court has actually set up a special page on the Court's web site to deal just with the challenges to the Obama health reforms, which you can find at supremecourt.gov.
Six petitions are currently up for review by the Justices, with some cases better known than others:
The challenge by Florida and 25 other states, which won a ruling in the 11th Circuit that the individual mandate was unconstitutional
A separate legal challenge in the 11th Circuit from the National Federation of Independent Business which asks for the entire law to be struck down, not just the individual mandate
A case in the 6th Circuit, where a three judge panel ruled in favor of the Obama Administration, upholding the health reform law
An appeal by Liberty University to a Fourth Circuit ruling that the college did not have the standing to challenge the insurance mandate
A similar appeal by the Commonwealth of Virginia, as the state tries to protect its citizens from the individual mandate
There is a separate petition from the Justice Department that also zeroes in on whether legal challenges are premature because the details of the individual mandate have not yet gone into effect.
The Justices could decide on November 10 what to do with all of these challenges, or they could delay until a later conference.
One thing I've learned is never to try to predict what the U.S. Supreme Court is going to do.
So, I will wrap up this blog by saying that the Justices are getting nearer to making a decision about formally accepting legal challenges to the Obama health law - maybe in the next two weeks.