How Will Scalia’s Death Affect U.S. Health Care?
On February 13, 2016 United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passed away unexpectedly, reportedly of a heart attack. He was on a hunting trip at a Texas ranch with friends and was reportedly alone at the time of his death.
Recent conspiracy theories have emerged due to the circumstances surrounding his death; namely, that no autopsy was completed, and the fact that Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara never viewed Scalia’s body before pronouncing him dead of natural causes. Although this is permissible under Texas law, critics, such as former head of D.C. police criminal investigations William O. Ritchie said he was “stunned” that no autopsy was ordered.
The effects of Scalia’s death are likely to be far reaching and the upcoming cases to be heard by the court this spring could prove especially challenging for the future of some health care issues.
- One upcoming case pertains to restrictions on Texas abortion clinics. Experts say there is a possibility that the court could request the case be argued next term.
- Another case involves Obamacare’s mandate on birth control and combines seven previously individual cases involving non-profits and their right to refuse to provide birth control under their health plan. This case will bring the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into the spotlight once again.
Topping Obama’s short list of replacements for Justice Scalia’s seat include:
- Loretta Lynch, Attorney General
- Sri Srinivasan, US Court of Appeals judge for D.C.
- Merrick Garland, US Court of Appeals chief judge
- Neal Katyal, a Georgetown professor and former Acting Solicitor General
- Don Verrilli, Solicitor General
- Eric Holder, Former Attorney General
According to Radio Iowa, State Judiciary Committee Republican Chairman Chuck Grassley said he will wait until a nominee is made by before making a decision as to whether or not to hold a confirmation hearing.