The three U.S. Appellate Court judges who today heard the federal government’s appeal of the decision by U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson of Virginia on the constitutionality of the individual mandate in the health care law, were all appointed by Democratic Presidents. In fact, two of three judges — all selected at random — were appointed by President Obama himself.

Why is this important? So far all the rulings made on the constitutionality of the new health care law – 12 in all – have correlated directly to which party’s president – Republican or Democrat – appointed them. The three-judge panel is effectively a royal flush because the Fourth Circuit is comprised of Republican appointees by a ratio of nearly 3-to-1. While not a certainty, it appears likely Hudson’s ruling will be overturned and appealed to the Supreme Court by the Commonwealth of Virginia from a losing position.

Joe Trauger is vice president for human resources policy at the National Association of Manufacturers.