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Supreme Court Will Soon Discuss Petitions on Healthcare Law

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama and opponents of the Affordable Care Act should know in a little more than two weeks if the Supreme Court will rule on the national healthcare law by next year.

The high court will discuss five petitions from three appeals court decisions on the law at a conference set for Nov. 10, with its findings made public four days later.

Given its full slate of cases, the earliest the judges could hear arguments about the constitutionality of the law is late February, although late March is more probable with a ruling likely coming in June.

At the core of the case is whether the government can mandate Americans to purchase medical coverage.  If the Supreme Court strikes down this provision, the rest of the healthcare law might not stand up to legal scrutiny.

So far, appeals courts have been split on the issue.  Meanwhile, 26 Republican attorneys general have filed a petition for the court to overturn the Affordable Care Act in its entirety.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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