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    This page contains Supreme Court rulings -- with summaries of the majority and minority conclusions.

06-MCVEIGH on Apr 25, 2006

Decided Jun 15, 2006
Case Ruling: Empire HealthChoice Assurance v. McVeigh
A 5-4 Court decided that federal jurisdiction does not extend to controversies over insurance contracts under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act. Thus, state courts are the proper venue for contract disputes arising between federal employees and insurance companies, which may result in inconsistent outcomes across states.

Empire Healthchoice Assurance sued the estate of a deceased federal employee who received $157,000 in insurance benefits as the result of an injury. The wife of this federal employee had won $3.2 million in a separate lawsuit; Empire Healthchoice claimed reimbursement because the beneficiary was compensated for the same injury by a third party.

HELD: Ginsburg, joined by Roberts, Stevens, Scalia, and Thomas

The Court ruled that under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act, state courts, not federal courts, are the proper forum for a contracts lawsuit by a plan administrator seeking reimbursement for medical costs. Empire, the Court ruled, had not demonstrated a "significant conflict between an identifiable federal policy or interest and the operation of state law."

DISSENT: Breyer, joined by Kennedy, Souter, and Alito

The dissenting opinion asserted that the dispute should have been deliberated at the federal level because, in part, "there is little about this case that is not federal."

ORIGINAL HOLDING: Sotomayor

Judge Sotomayor, then on the Second Circuit prior to her Supreme Court nomination, found no federal jurisdiction because Empire failed to show that New York state law "significantly conflicts" with federal interests. The Supreme Court affirmed Sotomayor's decision.


    Participating counts on VoteMatch question 5. Question 5: Expand ObamaCare Scores: -2=Strongly oppose; -1=Oppose; 0=neutral; 1=Support; 2=Strongly support.
  • Topic: Health Care
  • Headline: States decide insurance issues, not federal government (Score: 0)
  • Headline 2: Federal government decides insurance issues, not states (Score: 1)
  • Headline 3: Ok to collect health benefits from 2 sources for same injury (Score: 2)

    Participating counts on AmericansElect question 3.
  • Headline: States decide insurance issues, not federal government (Answer: C)
  • Headline 2: Federal government decides insurance issues, not states (Answer: B)
  • Headline 3: Ok to collect health benefits from 2 sources for same injury (Answer: B)
  • AmericansElect Quiz Question 3 on Healthcare: When you think about healthcare reform in the United States, which of the following solutions is closest to your opinion?
    • A: The Government should be the sole provider of healthcare insurance
    • B: The Government should have a major role in providing healthcare insurance
    • C: The Government should have a limited role in providing healthcare insurance
    • D: Only private companies should provide healthcare insurance
    • E: Unsure


  • Key for participation codes:
  • Sponsorships: p=sponsored; o=co-sponsored; s=signed
  • Memberships: c=chair; m=member; e=endorsed; f=profiled; s=scored
  • Resolutions: i=introduced; w=wrote; a=adopted
  • Cases: w=wrote; j=joined; d=dissented; c=concurred
  • Surveys: '+' supports; '-' opposes.



Democrats participating in 06-MCVEIGH

Stephen Breyer w2dUS Democratic Appointee to Supreme Court 
Ruth Bader Ginsburg w1US Democratic Appointee to Supreme Court 
Sonia Sotomayor w3US Democratic Appointee to Supreme Court 



Republicans participating in 06-MCVEIGH

Samuel Alito j2dUS Republican Appointee to Supreme Court 
Anthony Kennedy j2dUS Republican Appointee to Supreme Court 
John Roberts j1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court 
Antonin Scalia j1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court 
David Souter j2dUS Republican Appointee to Supreme Court (retired 2009) 
John Paul Stevens j1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court (retired 2010) 
Clarence Thomas j1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court 



Independents participating in 06-MCVEIGH



Total recorded by OnTheIssues:

Democrats: 3
Republicans: 7
Independents: 0


















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