Fourth Circuit Rulings Against Obamacare Challenges
A Fourth Circuit panel today issued two rulings dismissing challenges to Obamacare on grounds unrelated (from what I gather from the quickest of skims) to the ultimate merits of the constitutional claims at issue. In Virginia v. Sebelius, the unanimous panel ruled that the state of Virginia did not have standing to bring its challenge. In Liberty University v. Geithner, a divided panel ruled that the suit amounted to a pre-enforcement action to restrain the assessment of a tax and was barred by the Anti-Injunction Act. The dissenting judge would have reached the merits and ruled against the constitutional claims.
Given the attention that has been paid to panel composition in challenges to Obamacare, I’ll note that all of the panel members were appointed to the Fourth Circuit by Democrats—one by President Clinton and two by President Obama. I’ll leave further commentary to those who have followed these cases more closely than I have.