Some critics are skeptical the battle over the Obama administration's controversial health care law will be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The high court announced Monday that it will hear arguments over President Obama's health care overhaul next March, just months before the 2012 election.
The decision could be handed down in June, just four months from Election Day. The move sets up an election-year showdown over the administration's main domestic policy.
"Either way it rules, the Supreme Court decision will not end the debate on health care," former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, an influential Democratic adviser, said.
"It is, and will largely remain, a debate on the role of government," he said.
The justices announced they will hear more than five hours of arguments from lawyers on the constitutionality of a provision at the heart of the law and other related questions about the act.
The central provision in question is the requirement that individuals buy health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty.
Jay Sekulow , chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, talked more about the controversial mandate, on "The 700 Club," Nov. 15.
"We are pleased that the court has agreed to hear this case. We know the Affordable Care Act is constitutional and are confident the Supreme Court will agree," White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said.
Republicans have called the president's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act unconstitutional since Obama signed it into law in March of 2010.
However, several federal appeals courts have made split decisions on the issue.
Court watchers say the case could become the high court's most significant and political ruling since its 5-4 decision in the Bush v. Gore case nearly 11 years ago. That decision effectively sealed George W. Bush's 2000 presidential election victory.
Ken Klukowski, director of the Family Research Council's Center for Religious Liberty, offerred his insights on the health care law challenge on Newswatch, Nov. 14.