Professor Lisa McElroy analyzed President Obama's federal judge appointment strategy as it relates to the Affordable Care Act in a June 22 article on Politico.
According to Politico, on June 22, a three-judge D.C. Circuit panel, of which two judges were Republican, issued a decision that might affect federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. However, according to the article, the same panel consists of a majority of 7 Democrat judges which, due their appointments by the Obama administration, might exert influence to revise the decision, the article suggests.
Professor Lisa McElroy, who studied five years of D.C. circuit decisions, however, is not so sure the judges appointed by the Obama administration will necessarily decide cases along party lines. “The new appointees really only took their seats in December and January and we’re only in July. We’re just getting first opinions from these new judges,” McElroy said. Although, given the politically charged nature of health care, having such a strong democratic party aligned presence on the court does not necessarily hurt the Democrats, she claimed, stating "I think that if I were the White House, I would be very glad I had [appointed the democrat judges]."