Friday, June 22, 2012

What can personal jurisdiction teach us about the upcoming SCOTUS health care ruling?

As we gear up for the last week of the current Supreme Court Term, it’s hard to see what more could be added to the speculation about what the Court will decide in the health care cases. There is, however, a potential parallel with one of last Term’s down-to-the-wire close-call cases: J. McIntyre Machinery v. Nicastro, which came down on the Supreme Court’s last opinion day in June 2011.

Toward the end of last Term, FantasySCOTUS predicted that New Jersey’s exercise of jurisdiction over the British defendant would be upheld in McIntyre. The prediction had a fairly low degree of confidence (55%), and indeed it was wrong—the Supreme Court rejected jurisdiction by a 6-3 vote.

Fast forward to June 2012: A recent survey of experts predicts that the individual mandate will be struck down, but with a probability level of just 57%. Perhaps another end-of-Term surprise is in order? Apples-to-oranges I'm sure, but that's why they call it speculation.


PS: According to Adam Liptak (New York Times), this coming Monday will not be the last day opinions are announced this Term. So we may be waiting until Wednesday or Thursday to hear the final word.

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