District Of Columbia Circuit Appeals Judges Critical Of Healthcare Law.

Bloomberg News (9/23) reported the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act “got a mixed reception in its fourth review by a federal appeals court as three judges grappled with questions about the law’s constitutionality and their own authority to rule on it.” Two District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals judges said Friday that “a ruling upholding the law, which requires that most Americans buy insurance or face a tax penalty, could leave the government with unprecedented power over its citizens.” But Judge Brett Kavanaugh “questioned whether federal courts could rule on the law before any taxpayer had been assessed a penalty.” The DC court “may be the last to rule on the law before it reaches US Supreme Court.”

        The Wall Street Journal (9/24, Kendall, Subscription Publication) said Kavanaugh pointed out that “in 220 years…Congress has never once mandated a purchase,” but he and fellow conservative judge Laurence Silberman did not signal an outright intention to overturn the law.

        The National Journal (9/24, Sanger-Katz, Subscription Publication) reported that “the three-judge panel randomly selected to hear the DC case included two influential conservative judges with close ties to justices on the Supreme Court. If they vote to uphold the law, it could predict how the high court resolves the cases, court watchers said.” The suit, “brought by five people who did not want to buy health insurance for religious reasons, challenged the health care law’s requirement that every citizen do so or face a penalty fee beginning in 2014.” CQ (9/24, Norman, Subscription Publication) also covered the story.

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