Our colleague Mark Finkelstein noticed on Twitter just how quickly the Associated Press jumped to label the Texas judge who ruled against Obamacare. Ricardo Alonso-Valdivar began: "A conservative federal judge in Texas has ruled the Affordable Care Act 'invalid' on the eve of the sign-up deadline for next year. But with appeals certain, even the Trump White House said the law will remain in place for now."
So when judges overrule Trump policies, are they "liberal judges"? Get a load of AP's Gene Johnson rebutting Republicans on a similar case, when states sued to overturn the Trump travel ban, and the Ninth Circuit voted against Trump on February 10, 2017:
A LIBERAL COURT?
Many conservatives denounced the ruling. The response of Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas was emblematic: He called it misguided and wrote off the court it came from as "the most notoriously left-wing court in America."
While the 9th Circuit certainly has a lefty reputation, based in part on the long tenure of the many liberal judges that Democratic President Jimmy Carter appointed, legal scholars say the label is less deserved than it used to be. Two of the judges on the panel that made the ruling are Democratic appointees, while one, that Judge Richard Clifton, was appointed by President George W. Bush.
Alonso-Valdivar wrote a different article calling the ruling a "stink bomb" for Republicans:
WASHINGTON — A federal judge’s ruling that the Obama health law is unconstitutional has landed like a stink bomb among Republicans, who’ve seen the politics of health care flip as Americans increasingly value the overhaul’s core parts, including protections for pre-existing medical conditions and Medicaid for more low-income people.
The AP reporter found two Republican experts to say this is a hot political mess for Republicans, including:
Economist Gail Wilensky, who oversaw the Medicare program for President George H.W. Bush, said the state attorneys general from GOP strongholds who filed the lawsuit really weren’t very considerate of their fellow Republicans.
“The fact that they could cause their fellow Republicans harm did not seem to bother them,” said Wilensky, a critic of President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.
The people who raised it are a bunch of guys who don’t have serious election issues, mostly from states where saber-rattling against the ACA is fine,” she added. “How many elections do you have to get battered before you find another issue?”
Republicans are always in trouble when the liberal media is doing the framing. They better never repeal Obamacare!
The AP writer also noted the Democrats are unified in opposition to the ruling. Reporters begin with the assumption that the Obamacare's "core parts" are a highly valued "domestic achievement," and whether it all has worked as Obama sold it isn't a subject for news reporters.