The Supreme Court’s announcement Monday that it will hear challenges to President Obama’s health care law have put the spotlight on Justice Elena Kagan, who worked in the administration while the law was being written and, conservatives argue, helped craft its legal defense.

“Before the Supreme Court case is heard we need to know if Justice Elena Kagan helped the Obama Administration prepare its defense for Obamacare when she was solicitor general. The Justice Departmentmust answer serious questions about whether Justice Kagan has an inherent conflict of interest which would demand that she recuse herself from the Obamacare case,” said Rep. John Flemming, Louisiana Republican.

At stake in the case is the fate of the president’s massive health care overhaul, which passed Congress on the strength of Democratic votes last year and has seen a checkered record in lower courts.

The case will likely be argued next spring, and a recusal — if it does come — could happen any time.

But legal experts doubted it would happen, and James Sample, a law professor at Hofstra University School of Law who studies recusal issues, said the outside groups’ calls are misplaced.

During her confirmation process last year Republican senators asked Justice Kagan if she would recuse herself. She replied that she had no role in crafting the government’s response to the lawsuits.

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