Attorney General Becerra Leads Coalition Seeking Supreme Court Review of ACA Repeal Case
Friday, January 3, 2020
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today, leading a coalition of 20 states and D.C., filed a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court seeking review of the Fifth Circuit’s recent decision in Texas v. U.S. The decision held the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional and called into question whether the remaining provisions of the ACA could still stand, including those that protect and provide coverage to Americans with pre-existing conditions. Because this decision causes uncertainty that may harm the health of millions of Americans, as well as doctors, clinics, patients, and the healthcare market, Attorney General Becerra and his coalition are petitioning the Supreme Court to take up the case and resolve it before the end of the Court’s current term in June.
Long-time readers may remember that back in June 2018, the Trump Administration's Justice Dept. threw all precedence, decency and logic out the window by not only refusing to defend against the idiotic "Texas vs. Azar" lawsuit (aka #TexasFoldEm) brought by 20 Republican state Attorneys General...but went even further by actually agreeing with the plaintiffs that the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act--which is, remember, the federal law of the land which the DoJ is supposed to defend--is unconstitutional.
At the time, there was one strange thing which was buried within the ugly implications of such a complete abdictation of duty by then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions: While the Trump DoJ did side with the plaintiffs on the case, they split from the plaintiffs as to what they thought the actual "solution" to the "problem" should be.
The Justice Department nonetheless thinks that neither the House of Representatives nor the blue states have standing. And if the Fifth Circuit dismisses the appeal, the Department says that O'Connor's opinion should *not* be vacated.
Significantly, the Justice Department now says that it will continue to enforce the ACA "pending a final judicial determination of the constitutionality of the individual mandate as well as the severability of the ACA's other provisions."
Republican attorneys general suing to strike down the Affordable Care Act asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to delay oral arguments in the case, which are set to take place on July 9.
The Republican states said they need more time to file a supplemental brief on whether the U.S. House of Representatives and the Democratic states that are defending the landmark healthcare law have standing to intervene in the case and if not, what that means for the appeal. The Republican attorneys general asked to extend the July 3 deadline to file the brief by 20 days and reschedule oral arguments for after that date.
...The Democratic states and the House urged the court to deny the request, arguing that moving ahead with the case would reduce uncertainty in the healthcare sector.
Jibbers Crabst on a stick. Any time University of Michigan Law Professor Nicholas Bagley begins his Twitter threads with a screenshot of legalese, it's bad news.
First, here's his full thread:
The panel in the Fifth Circuit that's about to hear Texas v. United States has just asked for further briefing on standing -- and in particular on whether the intervenor states and the House of Representatives can properly appeal the case.
I'm neither an attorney nor a Constitutional expert, so this may not have any legal significance beyond confirming what everyone already knew about the Trump Administration. Then again, perhaps it will.