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.