Ever since three-judge panels on the Fourth Circuit and the D.C. Circuit issued conflicting rulings in July on the availability of tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the opponents of the law have been trying to rush their case to the Supreme Court. That’s where they apparently think they have their best shot at succeeding in what D.C.
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This week, in an odd coincidence of timing, two judges put on the federal bench by Ronald Reagan issued rulings on consecutive days about whether the U.S. Constitution requires states to allow same-sex couples to marry, and reached diametrically opposite results. On September 3, District Judge Martin Feldman of the Eastern District of Louisiana held that it is constitutionally permissible for a state to deny marriage equality to gay men and lesbians (the first judge to so rule after more than two dozen decisions to the contrary in the last year). The very next day, in an opinion written by Judge Richard Posner for a unanimous three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, that court held that such discrimination is prohibited by the Fourteenth Amendment.