In July, two Republican judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit handed down a decision defunding much of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This effort to implement Sen. Ted Cruzâ€™s (R-TX) top policy priority from the bench was withdrawn on Thursday by the DC Circuit, and the case will be reheard by the full court â€” a panel that will most likely include 13 judges. In practical terms, this means that Julyâ€™s judgment cutting off subsidies to consumers who buy insurance plans in federally-operated health exchanges is no more. It has ceased to be. It is, in fact, an ex-judgment.
There appears to be a broad consensus that there’s little chance the anti-subsidy ruling will be heard from again. In other court news, an appeals court killed gay marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana, and another federal court restored early voting in Ohio.
Former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were found guilty today of a whole bunch of corruption. I don’t think they’ve been sentenced yet.
Big fun in Kansas — the Democrat Chad Taylor, who was campaigning to take Pat Roberts’s Senate seat, dropped out of the race. Oh noes! But this was a tactical decision. There’s an independent also running for the seat and raising more money, and this guy, Greg Orman, is expected to caucus with Democrats if he wins. Orman and Taylor were running on nearly identical platforms. The pair had been expected to spit the not stupid vote, and Roberts hadn’t even been campaigning. By several accounts the GOP is genuinely panicked it could lose a seat in the Senate.