Justices Will Mull Health-Care Overhaul in Spring


Certain to play a part in the 2012 presidential election, the U.S. Supreme Court announced this morning that it would hear arguments over President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. The arguments are expected to come in March, which means that a decision could be handed down just a few months before Election Day. A Supreme Court spokeswoman said oral arguments would be limited to 5-1/2 hours.

The case will focus on whether the White House and Congress overstepped their constitutional authority in enacting the sweeping health-care reform. Lower courts have reached opposing conclusions.

Legal analysts said the Supreme Court vote could be close on the nine-member court, with five conservatives and four liberals. The vote may come down to moderate conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy, who often casts a decisive vote.