Federal judge Paul Friedman, a Clinton appointee, ruled in favor of the Administration in January. But the three-judge D.C. Circuit panel may be another story. It includes Judges Thomas Griffith (a George W. Bush nominee), A. Raymond Randolph (George H.W. Bush) and Harry Edwards (Jimmy Carter). The fear of an adverse panel ruling is one reason that Senate Democrats broke the filibuster rule to pack the D.C. Circuit with three more liberals this year. If the Administration loses at the panel level, it will ask for an en banc ruling that it thinks it will win and thus delay any Supreme Court judgment by many months.
March 24, 2014
"Unlike the challenge to the individual insurance mandate, Halbig v. Sebelius involves no great questions of constitutional interpretation."
"The plaintiffs are merely asking the judges to tell the Administration to faithfully execute the plain language of the statute that Congress passed and President Obama signed."