[T]he opponents of McCain-Feingold launched a series of legal attacks that met with little success until 2007, when the Court ruled in FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life. In that decision, the justices ruled unconstitutional the law’s proscription against campaign ads mentioning candidates by name within a certain period prior to an election. Then, in 2008, the Court voided another crucial provision in Davis v. FEC. Finally, in early 2010, the Court delivered the coup de gras with its landmark ruling in Citizens United v. FEC.
Are the legal foes of Obamacare as numerous and determined as those of McCain-Feingold? The answer to that question is an unequivocal YES. Their numbers are greater, they are far better financed and they are demonstrably more dedicated to the cause. In fact, the dragon’s teeth sown by the Court’s misguided June ruling produced a spate of fresh troops to reinforce those already on the legal battlefield. There are now at least forty legal challenges to the law pending in federal courts involving its various provisions as well as its implementation.
Moreover, the Court just resurrected one of the original challenges to Obamacare by ordering the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider arguments on which it didn’t deign to rule in Liberty University v. Geithner last year. The Fourth Circuit’s pretext for not ruling on the University’s claims was that the federal Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) barred the Appeals Court from ruling on the mandate. The Supreme Court’s June ruling, however, held that the AIA doesn’t apply. Thus, the Appeals Court must give Liberty another hearing.