After my column about a key legal challenge to Obamacare appeared at NRO this week, conservatives hoping for success against a serious breach of the Constitution’s separation of powers have received two pieces of news — one good, and one frustrating but not necessarily bad. Yesterday came the good news: The case of Coons v. Lew (formerly and better known as Coons v. Geithner) drew a three-judge panel at the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that promised a reasonable hearing. One of the judges, Stephen Reinhardt, is a hard-line liberal, but the other two are the independent-minded, conservative-leaning Alex Kozinski and Jay Bybee.
Alas, today came frustrating news that, for as-yet-unexplained reasons, the January 28 oral arguments in the case have been postponed to an unknown date. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the panel will be reshuffled, nor that the case faces any new legal obstacles. But for those of us who are appalled by numerous provisions related to Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), every day this bit of bureaucratic tyranny remains on the books is an affront to our Madisonian sensibilities. Here’s hoping the postponement is only for a short duration, and that the case is heard soon and decided firmly against the government.