Alliance for Justice Releases Report on Key Supreme Court Case That Tests the Ability of Everyday Americans to Challenge State Actions That Violate Federal Law
Press ContactKevin Fry firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, D.C., September 29, 2011—Alliance for Justice today released a report detailing the facts and far-reaching implications of Douglas v. Independent Living Center of Southern California, one of the most important cases of the upcoming Supreme Court term. The Court will hear arguments on Monday, October 3, the first day of the session.
The case deals with whether Medicaid beneficiaries and medical service providers can sue California to force it to make higher payments for medical services in the wake of state legislation that would set reimbursement rates so low they would violate the federal Medicaid Act. Federal law requires states to set reimbursement rates that are high enough to ensure access to care, a standard which California would violate if its proposed cuts were allowed to go into effect. The case turns on whether everyday Americans who receive Medicaid benefits, such as the poor, elderly, and people with disabilities, can bring a lawsuit against the state under the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, which mandates that federal laws take precedence over state laws.
A ruling against the Medicare recipients and for the state of California would serve to undermine the long-established ability of individuals to challenge state government actions that violate federal policies. Perhaps more significantly, it also would invite states to enact laws that undermine federal policies in other areas, such as fair housing, immigration, and public assistance, knowing that those who are adversely affected could not bring federal lawsuits to force compliance.
A PDF copy of the report is available for download at http://www.afj.org/connect-with-the-issues/the-corporate-court/douglas_independent_living.pdf.
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Additional information about the Supreme Court’s 2011-12 term, as well as past decisions, can be found at http://www.afj.org/connect-with-the-issues/the-corporate-court/.
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Alliance for Justice is a national association of over 100 organizations, representing a broad array of groups committed to progressive values and the creation of an equitable, just, and free society. AFJ works to ensure that the federal judiciary advances core constitutional values, preserves human rights and unfettered access to the courts, and adheres to the even-handed administration of justice for all Americans. It is the leading expert on the legal framework for nonprofit advocacy efforts, providing definitive information, resources, and technical assistance that encourages organizations and their funding partners to fully exercise their right to be active participants in the democratic process. AFJ is based in Washington, D.C.