Call this the first fruits of the Obama-Reid plan to pack the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. The DC Circuit has just vacated its July 22 decision in Halbig v. Burwell that struck down the federal subsidies for Obamacare in states that did not set up exchanges as the clear language of the statute said. The DC Circuit will now hear the case en banc, which likely favors a reversal since Obama has made a project of packing it with new left-leaning judges. The sagacious Roger Pilon of Cato comments:
Thus, with the D.C. Circuit now having vacated its three-judge panel’s decision and having agreed to rehear the case en banc (by the entire court), there is no longer a circuit split and less urgency for the Supreme Court to take up the issue. Other cases challenging the federal subsidies are coming along, but for the moment, this is where things are. For more on these issues, see Ilya’s latest post and a WSJ op-ed by Adam White, both written before this morning’s decision. It’s rare for any circuit, but especially for the D.C. Circuit, to grant en banc rehearings. But then nothing has been normal about Obamacare, which is what you should expect when so politicized a program is thrust upon the nation.