New legal challenge to Obama health law

The U.S. Supreme Court today reversed course, and is allowing a challenge against the Obama health law by a religious school to go forward before a federal appeals court, signaling that the legal challenges against those reforms are by no means over.

This case involves Liberty University, a religious school in Virginia, which filed one of the first legal challeges against the Obama health reforms; the case had been thrown out by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court originally stood by that decision.

But five months after upholding most of the health law, the Supreme Court today allowed the Liberty challenge to go forward, remanding the case to the Fourth Circuit for hearing.

That case covers some very familiar ground, but also has some new items involved, like the issue of religious liberty, as the school charges “that the individual and employer mandates exceed Congress’ delegated powers under Article I, §8 of the Constitution, violate Petitioners’ rights to free exercise of religion under the First Amendment.”

Liberty is also specifically challenging the employer mandate, which has not been ruled on by the Supreme Court.

The Obama health law would penalize those businesses with more than 50 employees who don’t offer health insurance to their full time workers.

Business groups say the employer mandate creates all kinds of new red tape for small businesses and even creates a Catch-22 where if the spouse of an employee loses his or her job and makes that family eligible for government medical subsidies, the business could be liable for fines dealing with its coverage.

All of that will now get sorted out before the Fourth Circuit, and one could see this issue getting back before the U.S. Supreme Court over the next two years.

The National Federal for Independent Business has its own rundown of what the employer mandate would mean – in their eyes – you can find that at