The court denied a request by 20 mainly Democratic states and the Democratic-led House of Representatives to decide quickly on a lower-court ruling that declared part of the statute unconstitutional and cast a cloud over the rest.
Defenders of the Affordable Care Act argued that the issues raised by the case are too important to let the litigation drag on for months or years in lower courts, and that the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans erred when it struck down the health law's now toothless requirement that Americans have health insurance.
The justices did not comment on their order. They will consider the appeal on their normal timetable and could decide in the coming months whether to take up the case. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is leading the states' appeal, said he hopes the court eventually agrees to hear the case. “The health and wellbeing of millions of our loved ones who rely on the ACA for healthcare is too important," Becerra said on Twitter.