I told you about the Origination Clause challenge in this post. The basic idea is that, ObamaCare being a tax, the Constitution requires it to “originate” in the House:
All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.
The Senate got around it by using a “shell bill” process, which is common. The Senate takes a bill from the House and amends it to add whatever tax they want to add. The main difference here, I believe, is that the shell bill passed in the House from which ObamaCare emerged was not a bill for raising revenue. Usually, the shell bill is.
No matter. The D.C. Circuit (the same court that ruled for the good guys in Halbig, though not the same judges) has upheld ObamaCare against the Origination Clause challenge. Their reasoning? The primary purpose of the PPACA was not to raise revenue, and under Supreme Court precedent, that is apparently what matters.
The D.C. Circuit giveth and the D.C. Circuit taketh away.
This won’t go anywhere in the Supreme Court, by the way. Justice Scalia is on record as saying that, if Congress tells you the bill originated in the House, then it originated in the House, regardless of where it actually originated. I find that reasoning puzzling, but he does not sound likely to waver. There will not be five votes to overturn this ruling.
You can pretty much write the Origination Clause out of the Constitution at this point. In that state of exile, the Clause has a lot of company.