Rapid Response to SCOTUS Ruling on ACA Challenge
We expect the Supreme Court will issue its decision on legal challenges to the ACA by the end of June, if not earlier. Although there is no way to be certain of the decision’s timing or the precisedetails of the verdict itself, advocates and organizers must be ready to immediately respond inways that define that outcome of this case for their members, the public and the press as soon aspossible after the announcement of the ruling.Once the Supreme Court issues a decision, national and state press will focus much of theirattention on reporting the legal details and speculating on the political significance of the outcome. This creates is a huge opportunity for advocates to elevate a message about the benefits of thelaw for average people and to influence the coverage so that we tell the political and human storythat most helps us protect and preserve the law moving forward.
To do this, we’ll have tomove quickly and be ready to respond with events and other activities as these storiesare being written: within 24 hours of the decision.
To accommodate this quick turnaround time, it's important to start lining up elements andresources to stage events and execute activities that anticipate the context in the moment whenthe news breaks.
Note that many of these can be lined up NOW, without any additionalinformation about the timing or specifics of the decision
What should organizations prepare in May to be ready to respond to the Junedecision?
Prepare Your Organization’s Statement
Develop a statement based on common messaging to release to the press nationally and instates immediately following the decision. Ideally, this statement would be ready to go byMemorial Day and would need only minor tweaks by the time you send it.
Plan Events Now That Can be Executed Immediately After the Decision
The best way to demonstrate public outrage or public celebration about the decision is tostage an event that shows average people actually responding to the news. We can do thisby organizing events as quickly after the announcement of the decision as possible while themedia window is still open--ideally, within 12-24 hours. To do this, we’ll need to startassembling the elements of these events now, so that they will be lined up and ready to goon decision day (if the ruling comes early in the day) or the following day.
See below for more details on how to plan these events now.
Recruit, Gather and Prepare Your “Real People” Stories
No matter what the flavor of our response is, we’ll need real people who are impacted bythe decision to anchor our message and create urgency. Now is the time to find morestories, train key constituency messengers and put spokespeople on alert that they will beneeded for events, social media and press release quotes within 24 hours of the decision.
Develop materials like e-alerts, press templates, social media tools, and talkingpoints
To break through with our message and influence the narrative around the decision, we’llneed tools ready to go as soon as the announcement comes that both ask our supporters totake action and that amplify our coordinated message. These materials should not focuson the particulars of the legal decision or even specific policy implications, but actually onthe impact (or possible impact) of a favorable or unfavorable decision on regular people whodepend on the ACA for health care. The final messaging will be either celebratory oragitational in tone depending on the result, but we will need to have both versions preparedto go.