Back to the Bench For Obamacare

It’s been obvious–certainly since Speaker John Boehner’s op-ed vowing to continue legislative challenges–that conservatives weren’t going to let little things like a landmark Supreme Court decision and a national election stop their efforts to kill or scale back the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

And the judicial challenges aren’t over, either. The Supreme Court has given a green light to a circuit court review of a claim by Liberty University that Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates violate the religious liberties of those who object to the law on moral or religious grounds. The 4th Circuit had dismissed an earlier suit on procedural grounds, and the Supreme Court refused to take up it (or other challenges to Obamacare) pending its July decision on the constitutionality of the individual mandate.

There’s no particular reason to think Liberty will succeed (if it did it would be a landmark decision with implications for other federal and state laws). But the revival of the suit will help revive the broader “war on religion” meme of the Christian Right. Given how that worked out prior to the election, it will be interesting to see if Republican pols stay on that bandwagon or get off at the next stop.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.