Supreme Court Appoints Amici To Argue Position Government Abandoned In Health Care Case. Is this right?

November 20th, 2011

I have previously questioned the wisdom/appropriateness of the Court appointing amici to argue a position that no one accepts.

Even if no one is willing to argue the case, the Justices, sua sponte, select counsel to argue and brief the case. I suppose the Justices have a vested interest in making sure that a case granted cert is effectively argued on both sides. But isn’t this kinda meddling? If the party below does not want to contest the case, why should the Justices get involved. Is there even a live case or controversy at this point? Is this Kosher?

In a case of extreme importance–perhaps the most important case in decades–the Court has appointed Amici to argue two very important, if not dispositive questions, in the health care case: the Anti-Injunction Act and Severability issues.

I blogged this article last year defending the practice of appointing amici.