Obamacare Scores a Big Legal Victory

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 08:  U.S. President Barack Obama walks across the South Lawn after arriving on the South Lawn of the White House November 8, 2011 in Washington, DC. Obama is traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to tour Yeadon Regional Head Start Center, meet with students and teachers and announce the next step in his "We Can?t Wait" campaign.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Barack Obama earlier today. Celebrate a little, dude? Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

This afternoon, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld a ruling from a lower court that Obama's health-care legislation is not unconstitutional, in a case brought by the Pat Robertson–founded American Center for Law and Justice. The suit claimed that the mandated insurance under Obamacare is unconstitutional because (a) it forces Americans to buy a product, and (b) it discriminates against those who trust in God for their health needs.  (I don't think my doctor takes God's PPO, but I'll check. ) The ruling is particularly meaningful because the court tends toward conservative and the (rather strong) majority opinion was written by Reagan-appointee Laurence Silberman. The New Republic's Jonathan Cohn explains:

 He's now the second well-known, well-regarded conservative jurist at the Circuit level to uphold the law. Judge Jeffrey Sutton, a Bush appointee on the 6th Circuit, was the first. And while one Democratic appointee has voted to strike down the law, that judge, Frank Hull of the 11th Circuit, is not a strong liberal.