The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on Wednesday in a second major challenge to President Barack Obama's healthcare law.
Here is a look at the events leading up to the oral arguments in the case, King v. Burwell.
- March 23, 2010: The Affordable Care Act, widely known as Obamacare, becomes law after a protracted debate in the U.S. Congress, with Democrats narrowly securing passage over unified Republican opposition. Florida and other states begin suing on the day it is signed into law, challenging the constitutionality of the "individual mandate" that requires Americans to obtain health insurance. The National Federation of Independent Business later sues, too.
- June 28, 2012: The Supreme Court rules in that first challenge to the law, upholding its constitutionality in a case known as National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius on a 5-4 vote with conservative Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court's four liberals.
- May, 2, 2013: With the financial backing of the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a group of individuals and businesses sue the government in federal court in the District of Columbia, claiming the law's text allows tax-credit subsidies only for insurance purchased on exchanges established by states. Most states did not create insurance marketplaces, leaving the task to the federal government.
- Sept. 16, 2013: When that case appears to be moving slowly, CEI and lawyer Michael Carvin file a separate lawsuit in a Virginia U.S. judicial district known as the "rocket docket" for speeding cases along. CEI enlists four plaintiffs, including self-employed Virginia limousine driver David King.
- July 22, 2014: U.S. appeals courts rule on the D.C. and Virginia cases. A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sides with the challengers against the Obama administration (Halbig v. Burwell). A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit sides with the Obama administration (King v. Burwell). Sylvia Burwell is U.S. health and human services secretary.
- Sept. 4, 2014: The full D.C. Circuit announces it will rehear Halbig v. Burwell, throwing out the panel’s decision that would curtail the reach of tax-credit subsidies. It sets arguments for December. Those are later canceled when the Virginia case is accepted by the Supreme Court.
- Nov. 7, 2014: Over the Obama administration's objections, the justices agree to hear the challengers' appeal in the Virginia case, King v. Burwell.
- March 4, 2014: Supreme Court hears oral arguments in King v. Burwell.
(Reporting by Joan Biskupic)