Supreme court revives challenge to Obama health law

updated at 10h17
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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday revived a challenge to President Barack Obama's healthcare reforms, allowing a Christian college to pursue litigation raising First Amendment objections to a law that the court mostly upheld in June.

 Photo: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
Police form a line after arresting demonstrators on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building, on the anniversary of the Citizens United decision, in Washington, January 20, 2012.
Photo: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Liberty University, based in Lynchburg, Virginia, had challenged both the individual mandate, which required all people to obtain insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty, and a separate mandate requiring large employers to provide coverage for workers.

In September 2011, a federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, said it lacked jurisdiction because challenging the mandates would have violated the federal Anti-Injunction Act's ban on lawsuits seeking to halt collection of a tax.

The Supreme Court did not include Liberty's appeal among the cases it reviewed earlier this year, which led to its upholding of the individual mandate by a 5-4 vote. A day after it ruled, the court formally declined to review Liberty's appeal.

But the university asked for a rehearing, saying that because the 4th Circuit was wrong to decide it lacked jurisdiction, its decision should be thrown out, and a new lawsuit should proceed. The Supreme Court's order on Monday allows that to happen.

Reuters Terra

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