The Supreme Court of the United States granted five petitions for writs of certiorari today, some of which were ordered consolidated:

Astrue v. Capato, No. 11-159: Whether a child who was conceived after the death of a biological parent, but who cannot inherit personal property from that biological parent under applicable state intestacy law, is eligible for child survivor benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 401 et seq.

Armour v. Indianapolis, No. 11-161: Whether the Equal Protection Clause precludes a local taxing authority from refusing to refund payments made by those who have paid their assessments in full, while forgiving the obligations of identically situated taxpayers who chose to pay over a multi-year installment plan.

Department of Health & Human Services v. Florida, No. 11-398: (1) Whether Congress had the power under Article I of the Constitution to enact the minimum coverage provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which, as amended, will require non-exempted individuals to maintain a minimum level of health insurance or pay a tax penalty. (2) Whether the suit brought by respondents to challenge the minimum coverage provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is barred by the Anti-Injunction Act, 26 U.S.C. §7421(a). [A total of two hours is allotted for oral argument on Question 1. One hour is allotted for oral argument on the additional question.]

National Federal of Independent Business v. Sebelius, No. 11-393, and Florida v. Dept. of Health & Human Services, No. 11-400 (consolidated, with a total of 90 minutes for oral argument): Whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended, must be invalidated in its entirety because it is nonseverable from a mandate requiring virtually every individual American to obtain health insurance, which mandate exceeds Congress’ limited and enumerated powers under the Constitution.

Florida v. Department of Health & Human Services, No. 11-400: Does Congress exceed its enumerated powers and violate basic principles of federalism when it coerces States into accepting onerous conditions that it could not impose directly by threatening to withhold all federal funding under the single largest grant-in-aid program, or does the limitation on Congress‘s spending power that this Court recognized in South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203 (1987), no longer apply?