And the 4th Circuit decides that Obamacare is…

…well, the court didn’t decide anything.

The United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued two long awaited opinions today on Obamacare.  Neither decision addressed the constitutionality of Obamacare, although both cases clearly raised  the constitutionality of the “individual mandate”.  Here is what happened.

In Virginia v. Sebelius, (see page 17) the court held that the State of Virginia “lacked standing” to sue.  That phrase is fancy legal terminology that means, someone else may have the right to contest this, but not you, State of Virginia.  Basically, the court held that Virginia could not bring this law suit on behalf of it’s citizens, each citizen of Virginia had to bring his or her own lawsuit. 

This decision will definitely help alleviate the enormous back log of cases in the federal courts.

And then, we had the decision in Liberty University v. Geithner.  This decision may be even more strange than the Virginia case.  To understand it you first need to know that, under federal law, a “tax” and a “penalty” are two different “animals”.  A citizen can challenge a penalty before it takes effect.  That same citizen can only challenge a tax after it takes effect. 

Under Obamacare, you only owe the government money for not having “approved insurance” after January 1, 2014.  So, if the money you owe is a penalty, you can sue now.  But if it is a tax, you must wait until January, 2014. 

The court in Liberty (at page 7) tells us that the money you owe for failure to have government approved insurance is a tax.  This finding is in spite of the fact that the law calls it a penalty, earlier versions of Obamacare called it a “tax”, and that word was purposely deleted in the final version and replaced with the word “penalty”, and, the President told us repeatedly that it was not a tax.  Forgetting that for the moment, all other courts to consider this issue have held that it is a penalty, not a tax.

Basically, the Fourth Circuit punted on all relevant issues. 

As you know by now, I believe Obamacare is not only unconstitutional, but also a fiscal disaster for this country’s future.  However, I would have preferred a decision explaining why Obamacare is constitutional, then what we got from the Fourth Circuit.

And, I would have expected better from a Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, than what we received…kicking the can down the road.


14 replies
  1. Shared Sacrifice
    Shared Sacrifice says:

    Confucius say the nail that stands up must be hammered down.? The 4th circuit did a great job on kicking the can down the road!

  2. winnie
    winnie says:

    Why bother releasing a decision that isn’t really a decision?? I would compare it to your kid asking you if they can go somewhere and your response being “Maybe”…kids always take that as a yes.? This explains why, on the news, the msm reported this as the 4th circus ruling that Obamacare is constitutional (not isn’t constitutional, not may be constitutional, not tbd constitutional, but is constitutional).? Almost drove off the road when I heard it because all I can think is, “It’s comin’ and there’s nothing we can do to change it”.?

    Oh, and if it’s a penalty, maybe we should all individually start suing the O administration right now.? Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

  3. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Since this issue will go to the Supreme Court, I am not getting too worked up until that happens. There are more pressing issues at this time.

  4. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Lynn, have it your way… If the Reps and the Dems wanted to truly govern, they would find a way to fix the country’s woes.

  5. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    Sammy, I am tired of hearing the Republicans are obstructionists. Paul Ryan offered cohesive, coherent plans to rescue SS and Medicare and President Obama and the other obstructionist Democrats would not even listen AND they never came back with a plan themselves. As for Obamacare, I refuse to call it Affordable anything it is flat out wrong, it allows for waivers to unions and political friends, it has a mandate to Buy it or a penalty, there is no tort reform and there was not even a try to listen to the Republicans it was all behind closed doors. Governing means a two way street. President Obama is only interested in his failed (may I add) policies. Anybody But Obama

    • winnie
      winnie says:

      Lynn, the other thing that irritates me to no end is when people scream about the Republicans not proposing any jobs legislation.? NO ONE seems to understand that it doesn’t matter what they propose if Harry Reid won’t bring it up for a vote in the Senate.? There are two houses of Congress…If either one of them is obstructionist, it’s the Senate.

  6. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Lynn, I did not pick sides as to who is an obstructionist. As long as EITHER side keeps saying: “My way or no way” we’ll get nowhere. You like Paul Ryan’s dead-on-arrival proposal? Fine, then you’ll get nothing.

  7. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Paul Ryan’s plan passed in the House by 235 to 193. It lost in the Senate 57-40. Paul Rand voted against it too. I don’t think anybody talks about it these days, q.e.d.

  8. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    Sammy, thank you, I did not know that. However, I bet if I looked into it, I would find that there was a ton of pork added to it!

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