David Catron | Could Obamacare Go the Way of McCain-Feingold?

Are the legal foes of Obamacare as numerous and determined as those of McCain-Feingold? The answer to that question is an unequivocal YES. Their numbers are greater, they are far better financed and they are demonstrably more dedicated to the cause. In fact, the dragon’s teeth sown by the Court’s misguided June ruling produced a spate of fresh troops to reinforce those already on the legal battlefield. There are now at least forty legal challenges to the law pending in federal courts involving its various provisions as well as its implementation.

Moreover, the Court just resurrected one of the original challenges to Obamacare by ordering the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider arguments on which it didn’t deign to rule in Liberty University v. Geithner last year. The Fourth Circuit’s pretext for not ruling on the University’s claims was that the federal Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) barred the Appeals Court from ruling on the mandate. The Supreme Court’s June ruling, however, held that the AIA doesn’t apply. Thus, the Appeals Court must give Liberty another hearing.

Liberty’s case differs from the lawsuits upon which SCOTUS ruled last summer in that the University challenged Obamacare for its unequal treatment of religious dissenters. As the original complaint states, "Liberty University is a Christian educational institution and Plaintiffs Waddell, Merrill and Helgeson are Christians, but none of the Plaintiffs is ‘a member of a religious sect or adherent of established tenets or teachings’ as described in Section 1501 and, therefore, all are prohibited from exercising a religious exemption under the Act."


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