September 5, 2014 10:56AM

Are Democratic‐​Appointed Judges a Sure Thing for ACA?

Jason Millman of the Washington Post’s Wonkblog casually assumes that Democratic‐​appointed judges can be counted on to uphold the Affordable Care Act and its implementation against any legal challenge:

The Obama administration and supporters of the president’s health‐​care law are probably breathing a little easier this morning after some pretty big news from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.


A few months after a three‐​member panel of the court ruled the federal government can’t provide insurance subsidies through federal‐​run exchanges in 36 states, the court on Thursday granted the Obama administration’s request for the entire panel to re‐​hear the case. The en banc hearing, as it’s known, wasn’t entirely unexpected — and with a heavy makeup of Democratic‐​appointed judges on the panel, it seems likely the administration will get a more favorable ruling when the entire court reconsiders the case later this year.

I don’t know. I know that Obamacare passed in both the House and Senate on straight party‐​line votes, over unanimous Republican opposition. But judges aren’t politicians. With a slew of Reagan- and Bush-appointed judges striking down gay marriage bans, I hope and expect that Democratic‐​appointed judges will show similar nonpartisan judiciousness when they consider the challenge to the IRS’s illegal implementation of insurance subsidies.