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November 26, 2012 3:11 PM Back to the Bench For Obamacare

By Ed Kilgore

It’s been obvious—certainly since Speaker John Boehner’s op-ed vowing to continue legislative challenges—that conservatives weren’t going to let little things like a landmark Supreme Court decision and a national election stop their efforts to kill or scale back the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

And the judicial challenges aren’t over, either. The Supreme Court has given a green light to a circuit court review of a claim by Liberty University that Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates violate the religious liberties of those who object to the law on moral or religious grounds. The 4th Circuit had dismissed an earlier suit on procedural grounds, and the Supreme Court refused to take up it (or other challenges to Obamacare) pending its July decision on the constitutionality of the individual mandate.

There’s no particular reason to think Liberty will succeed (if it did it would be a landmark decision with implications for other federal and state laws). But the revival of the suit will help revive the broader “war on religion” meme of the Christian Right. Given how that worked out prior to the election, it will be interesting to see if Republican pols stay on that bandwagon or get off at the next stop.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • T2 on November 26, 2012 3:26 PM:

    this doesn't seem much of a threat. These Conservative Religious Nuts will keep this crap up for the next four years and hopefully eight after that. Their main problem is that most of the nation doesn't agree with them, and with Obamacare starting to hit stride, support to destroy it will continue to fade among normal, thinking Americans.

  • RimKitty on November 26, 2012 3:57 PM:

    The Supreme court hearing this case may not be a bad thing. The issue is what rights and responsibilities do employers have with regard to health insurance. The fact that insurance is even tied to employers was a creation of Blue Cross many years ago to get everyone buying insurance. It virtually created the health insurance industry when it got employers to offer it.

    Well, times have changed. We need a system that covers everyone and this could get us there. By separating insurance from your job, we could finally get to universal single payer in this country, and we would all be better off.

    The real problem will be for employers because they would no longer have the carrot of health insurance to dangle as part of their pay package. They might actually have to put money where their mouth is to get the good people they want to hire.

  • Peter C on November 26, 2012 3:58 PM:

    "a claim by Liberty University that Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates violate the religious liberties of those who object to the law on moral or religious grounds."

    You don't get to 'opt out' of laws because you have moral or religious objections to them. You may not burn heretics at the stake and dodge murder charges based upon a 'free exercise of religion'. Religious zealots are free to BELIEVE whatever the hell they want, but their BEHAVIOR must conform to the LAW! Those who object may seek to influence new legislation or they can self-deport, but they may not 'opt-out'.

    We have one law for everyone, dangit! If Liberty 'University' doesn't teach this, it should lose it acceditation so that no one is tricked into valuing their 'degrees'.

  • c u n d gulag on November 26, 2012 4:39 PM:

    Will the same group of people defend the rights of Muslim beliefs?

    I think not.
    They don't realize that there's little to no difference between their idea's of laws, and the Sharia Law that they dread.
    Same product - different brand.

  • boatboy_srq on November 26, 2012 4:48 PM:

    a claim by Liberty University that Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates violate the religious liberties of those who object to the law on moral or religious grounds

    How very Xtian of them to determine that affordable, accessible healthcare for all - and perhaps even health, if it comes down to that - is offensive to their religious (sic) sensibilities.

    Plus ditto Peter C.