Written by Don Byrd
The Department of Justice will not oppose a move to reopen Liberty University’s challenge to the Affordable Care Act. The suit claims the mandates in the administration’s enforcement of the law violates the institution’s religious freedom rights. The 4th Circuit never considered the merits of the claim after determining they lacked jurisdiction to consider requests to halt tax collection. When the Supreme Court ruled the Act constitutional, they rejected the argument against jurisdiction. Now Liberty will have the substance of their claim heard by the 4th Circuit.
In Wednesday’s filing, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said Liberty’s First Amendment and equal protection claims lack merit, but that the 4th Circuit never considered their merits.
“Under the circumstances of this case, (the government defendants) do not oppose further proceedings in the court of appeals to resolve them,” he wrote.
However the 4th Circuit rules on the religious liberty claim, the U.S.Supreme Court will likely have the opportunity to review the decision. Will we get another round of health care in the high court, this time with a religious liberty angle?