Sometimes the plaintiffs in Supreme Court cases are carefully selected and thoroughly vetted. Sometimes they come out of nowhere to become important symbols of justice. But if you’ve read anything about David King, Douglas Hurst, Brenda Levy or Rose Luck, the four Virginians at the heart of the latest challenge to Obamacare that the Supreme Court will hear early next month, it is likely to have been about whether they are qualified to be in court. They were recruited by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a group dedicated to foiling the Affordable Care Act, to bring the suit, and their sworn statements about the hardships the law would cause them have been enough for two courts to say their challenge may continue.
The stories have set off a storm in the blogosphere. “This isn’t your garden-variety suit,” wrote Nicholas Bagley, a University of Michigan law professor who has vigorously defended the law. “It’s precisely the sort of high-stakes ideological clash that — absent a plaintiff with a bonafide injury — standing doctrine is supposed to filter out.”