Today in Richmond


By Hadley Heath

Today is a big day: The opening of “Appeals Season” in the health care lawsuits.

At 9:30, the Fourth Circuit will hear oral arguments in the Liberty University case.  Immediately following that, the court will hear oral arguments in the Virginia case.

If you need to catch up on the events in these two cases, I wrote the Cliffnotes version on the Independent Women's Forum blog:

The Virginia case (headed up by VA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli) was among the first suits to be filed against DHHS on March 23, 2010 (the day the bill passed).  In terms of timing, it has led on the Florida case by about a month, facing each new step toward the Supreme Court first of all the cases that involve states as plaintiffs.  Just weeks before Christmas 2010, federal district Judge Henry Hudson (Eastern Virginia) ruled with the Plaintiffs, and declared the individual mandate to be unconstitutional.

The plaintiffs in Liberty University v. Geithner have not been as successful.  They also filed early (March 23, 2010), and amended their complaint in July.  But in November, Judge Norman Moon (Western Virginia) dismissed their case, stating in his Memorandum Opinion that the provisions of ObamaCare "are well within Congress' authority under the Commerce Clause."

But regardless of the rulings that the district level, plaintiffs will appear again [today] with a chance at oral arguments before the Fourth Circuit (now "Appellee" Virginia and "Appellant" Liberty University)…

The Virginia case - perhaps because the Commonwealth is a plaintiff, or perhaps because of its success at the district level - has received an incredible amount of attention.  And tomorrow will be no different.  America will be watching.  As Ken Cuccinelli said, "If the states lose, it will be the end of federalism as we have known it for 200 years."  Let's hope that doesn't happen!

Stay tuned to the blog today for updates.  We’ll post the audio files from today’s oral argument as soon as they are available.


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