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Friday, February 22, 2008

US Supreme Court to SF Restaurant Association: Pay Up!

Posted By on Fri, Feb 22, 2008 at 8:00 AM

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The Chronicle reported yesterday that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in San Francisco's favor, requiring businesses to continue paying fees that enable their employees to access city health care even as the legality of the program is challenged in court. Six weeks ago, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled city officials could require large and medium size companies to either pay the fee or provide insurance. The Golden Gate Restaurant Association balked and filed a suit saying the program violated a federal law. U.S. District Judge Jeffery Wright agreed and on Dec. 26 suspended payments until the case could be heard. (click 'more')

Two weeks later the appeals court reinstated the payments saying:

"San Francisco was likely to win…Uninsured people's hardships from not having health care are far greater than the hardships that businesses would suffer by making payments that could be refunded if they won their suit."
Then – stay with me here- on Feb. 8, the GGRA took their case to Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court justice who handles emergency appeals for California and other Western states, in the hopes he would see things their way and once again suspend the payments. He didn't. The kicker is that all this rapid-fire litigiousness was to suspend payments that are due April 30. The original case brought by the GGRA, arguing the legality of the program, is to be heard April 17. –Andy Wright

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Andy Wright

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