The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has released the names of the panel set to hear oral arguments this morning in two Virginia cases that ruled on constitutional challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The judges are: Diana Gribbon Motz, Andre M. Davis and James A. Wynn Jr. Davis and Wynn are both Obama appointees and two of the newer judges on the 14-member court. Motz, a Clinton appointee, has served on the court since 1994. Motz and Davis are from Maryland and Wynn is from North Carolina. The court uses a computer program to randomly assign judges to a panel to hear a particular case, according to court officials.
The two cases on the calendar today, Liberty University v. Geithner and Virginia v. Sebelius, created a split among Virginia federal courts. The Liberty case from Lynchburg federal court upheld the key provision in the healthcare reform legislation that requires individuals to buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty. In Sibelius, the Eastern District case out of Richmond, the court struck the individual mandate.
The Virginia cases are the first two to reach a federal appeals court, but cases on the individual mandate will be argued in the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati on June 1 and in the 11th Circuit in Atlanta on June 8.
By Deborah Elkins