The Supreme Court said on Monday it will hear arguments next March over President Barack Obama’s main domestic achievement, health care overhaul, setting up an election year showdown.
The decision to hear arguments in the spring allows plenty of time for a decision in late June, just over four months before Election Day.
The health care case could be the high court’s most significant and political undertaking since the 5-4 decision in Bush v. Gore nearly 11 years ago. That ruling effectively sealed George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential election victory.
The justices announced they will hear more than five hours of arguments from lawyers on the constitutionality of a provision at the heart of the law, the requirement that Americans buy health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty, and other related questions about the act.
Republicans have called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act unconstitutional since before Mr. Obama signed it into law in March 2010. But federal appeals courts have been split on their assessment.