| May 26, 2011

Is the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals trying to influence a Presidential election?

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has requested parties to both the Liberty University and Virginia lawsuits seeking to overturn Obamacare to file supplemental briefs explaining how application of the “Anti-Injunction Act” would affect each case. The Anti-Injunction Act is a tax statute that prohibits a claim against the government until after the tax has been implemented and the parties have standing to sue, which would not take place under Obamacare until 2014 when the individual mandate kicks in. If the Fourth Circuit Court applies the Act, it would likely dismiss the cases until the parties have standing in 2014. The randomly selected three-judge panel assigned to the cases are a Bill Clinton appointee and two Barack Obama appointees. No surprise, they appear to siding with the federal government’s argument that the individual mandate is constitutional because it falls within the government’s power to tax. Neither the federal government nor the plaintiffs have to this point raised the applicability of the Anti-Injunction Act to the claim, meaning the Court appears to be unilaterally trying to push back adjudication of the lawsuits until after the Presidential election in 2012.

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