Supreme Court opens door to university's health care challenge

With the Obama administration posing no objection, the U.S. Supreme Court today gave a Christian college in Virginia a chance to carry on its claim that the Obama health care law violates religious freedom.

Liberty University was among the first challengers of the law, arguing that two provisions violate its religious freedom -- the individual mandate and the requirement that employers provide health insurance or pay a penalty. The case was never fully developed, however, because the court of appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that the law could not be challenged before it went into effect. On the first time through the courts, the trial judge ruled against the school, but the appeals court said a federal law that imposes a tax cannot be challenged ahead of time.

Today's action by the Supreme Court does not mean that the justices think Liberty University is right. It simply means the court has concluded that the school should be given a chance to start over rather than leaving the question unresolved.

The Obama administration had told the court that it poses no objection to giving Liberty a shot at making its religion arguments, even though the government believes "those claims lack merit."