WASHINGTON, D.C., June 21, 2012, ( – The U.S. Supreme Court has pushed back the hotly-anticipated ruling on the federal health care law, as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg disclosed that the Court was “sharply divided” over the question – but gave no hint as to the outcome.

Although media were preparing for a ruling on Thursday, the high court was silent on the health care lawsuit, leaving Monday as the next possible date for a decision.

Court watchers have said that the justices’ reactions during the three days of hearings in March gave little indication of where the Court would land on the health care dispute.


The case is complicated by three major points of disagreement: whether the mandate forcing Americans to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional, whether the law could stand without the mandate, and whether its expansion of Medicaid is within the boundaries of federal power. A fourth possibility, that the case would be deemed immature, is thought to be more remote.

Meanwhile, Justice Ginsburg on Friday commented on the High Court’s unusually heavy case load and hinted that the nine justices were pushing the most difficult decisions, including the health care law, to the last minute of their session, which finishes at the end of the month.

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“As one may expect, many of the most controversial cases remain pending,” Ginsburg said. “So, it is likely that the sharp disagreement rate will go up next week and the week after.”

Ginsburn also conceded that the health care decision would be an historic one – at least, judging by the amount of attention it has garnered.

“Some have described the controversy as unprecedented,” she said, “and they may be right if they mean the number of press conferences, prayer circles, protests, counter protests, going on outside the court while oral argument was under way inside.”

Yet the answer they all sought, said Ginsburg, was not about to leak.

“At the Supreme Court, those who know don’t talk,” she said. “And those who talk don’t know.”

If the entire law is overturned, the ruling would mark a massive victory both for the health care law’s political opponents as well as faith-based leaders struggling to overturn the law’s preventive services insurance mandate, which is set to force religious groups to pay for contraceptives and drugs many consider abortifacient by August 2013.

An Associated Press-GfK Poll conducted June 14-18 found that only one-third of Americans support the health care law, while 47 percent opposed it. Nearly twice as many said they strongly opposed the bill as those who strongly supported it, 32-17 percent.



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