WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hold off on a dispute over former President Donald Trump’s effort to let states impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients.
Without comment, the court pulled the case from its scheduled argument later this month. President Joe Biden’s Justice Department had requested the move in late February while the new administration began the process of unwinding the Trump-era rule.
It was the latest in a series of major cases before the Supreme Court this year that have been dismissed or put on hold while the new administration reviews the government’s policies. The court acted on the same day that Attorney General Merrick Garland was sworn in.
While requiring some welfare recipients to work has been federal policy since the 1990s, forcing low-income people to work or prepare for employment in exchange for health care coverage is unusual. Only a handful of states have work requirements for Medicaid, though trials were set up under the Trump administration for several others.
The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case in December. The Biden administration notified states in February that it intended to halt the work requirements.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled unanimously last year that requiring work does not promote Medicaid’s primary mission, which is health care. The decision was written by Judge David Sentelle, an appointee of Republican President Ronald Reagan.