RICHMOND, Va., May 10 (Reuters) - Lawyers for President Barack Obama go to court on Tuesday to try to save the cornerstone of his healthcare overhaul, arguing that the requirement for Americans to buy insurance is constitutional.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will consider whether a lower court was correct in striking down the requirement. But they will not be the final arbiter in a fight that is expected to reach the Supreme Court.
Legal scholars see the case as pivotal because it is the first to have oral arguments before an appeals courts. That means its ruling could affect other courts and become the first challenge to the law to reach the high court.
The healthcare law, which requires Americans to buy insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty, was a major victory for Obama, one that Republicans are working to undo in the courts, statehouses and Congress.
A momentary digression, if you will allow me. I would really love for an administration spokesperson to get out in front of this story and start telling us precisely what good has come of healthcare enactment. I mean, we all know the wonkies on this: everyone will be covered, all children are covered, the age that a child can be carried has been raised already, no pre-existing condition qualifications, that sort of thing. What I want to see is someone in authority (Secretary Sebelius would be fine) give us anecdotes to work with.
But I digress...
What's really going to burn the right-wing's bowels is the fact that Obama, through the luck of the draw, stacked the appellate panel:
RICHMOND, Va. — Two appointees of President Barack Obama have been selected for the three-judge federal appeals court panel reviewing his health care overhaul in Virginia.
Judges Andre Davis and James Wynn were randomly selected for the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel.
Now, you and I understand what random means: it means "by chance". But remember, we're talking about people who wouldn't accept the statements of duly elected government officials that a birth certificate that was good enough for the government to issue the ultimate document of citizenship, a passport, wasn't good enough to establish that the president was truly a fellow American.
So this ought to be a good week for fans of pussilanimous pules.
It gets better. The third judge on that panel was appointed by Bill Clinton, who also tried to enact healthcare reform.
If the earth stops spinning, it's likely because of the critical mass of lazy overweight Teabaggers swirling in the opposite direciton in their Hovarounds...