In Commonwealth of Virginia v. Sebelius, the Fourth Circuit in an opinion by Judge Motz, joined by Judges Davis and Wynn, held that Virginia lacks standing to bring a pre-enforcement challenge to a provision of President Obama's health care reform law.
Judge Motz wrote that "if we were to adopt Virginia’s standing theory, each state could become a roving constitutional watchdog of sorts; no issue, no matter how generalized or quintessentially political, would fall beyond a state’s power to litigate in federal court. . . . We cannot accept a theory of standing that so contravenes settled jurisdictional constraints." She concluded: "In sum, the significance of the questions at issue here only heightens the importance of waiting for an appropriate case to reach the merits. This is not such a case."
Somewhat similarly, the panel mostly avoided the merits in Liberty University v. Geithner, finding that the federal courts were barred from acting by the Anti-Injunction Act, notwithstanding the disagreement of both parties over whether the sanction for failure to comply with the individual mandate is properly considered a "tax." Judge Wynn concurred on the jurisdictional issue, and Judge Davis dissented, and both added some individual thoughts on the merits.