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SCOTUS upholds Obamacare again

Another Ken Paxton failure, for which we should be grateful and also really pissed off.

It’s constitutional – deal with it

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas-led legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, saying the plaintiffs in the 2018 lawsuit are not being harmed by the law’s unenforceable individual mandate provision — a central argument of the challenge.

The 7-2 ruling did not include an official opinion on whether the ACA, a sweeping piece of health care legislation commonly known as Obamacare, was constitutional.

Instead, the court focused its rejection of the lawsuit — brought by 18 states and two individuals — on its opinion that the plaintiffs didn’t have any standing to sue over the individual mandate, which requires Americans to purchase health insurance and had originally included a financial penalty for those who chose to remain uninsured. That penalty was zeroed out in a later Republican tax bill.

“A plaintiff has standing only if he can ‘allege personal injury fairly traceable to the defendant’s allegedly unlawful conduct and likely to be redressed by the requested relief,’” the opinion reads. “Their problem lies in the fact that the statutory provision, while it tells them to obtain that coverage, has no means of enforcement.”

It was the third time the high court defended the ACA against legal challenges, including a 2012 ruling that the initial mandate — and its tax penalty for noncompliance — was constitutional because it was within Congress’ taxing power.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, set out in 2018 to achieve through the courts what his party tried and failed for years to achieve in legislation: the end of President Barack Obama’s landmark health law.

And he failed, because Ken Paxton is a failure in life and in law, and we really need to dump his ass. I recommend you read Mark Joseph Stern’s analysis, which explains why this was a strong ruling. The next step is to elect a better class of Attorney General, here and elsewhere. The Chron has more.

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5 Comments

  1. Jason Hochman says:

    It didn’t fail because the principle is not unconstitutional. It only failed because the plaintiffs didn’t have standing. Someone who can show he was harmed by the law would have a high likelihood of being successful in a lawsuit.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    When it comes to election fraud, DACA, and O’Care, apparently, there is no person or entity in the known universe that has any standing to challenge them.

  3. Bill Daniels says:

    In an odd twist of fate, Biden meets with Putin, and voila, military aid to the Ukraine is stopped. Where are Col. Vindma’am and Scarf Lady? We’ve got to impeach the motherf*cker! I guess all the payoffs from Russia to the Biden family are really paying off. Maybe it wast the $ 3.5M from the Moscow Mayor’s wife that put it over the top! It’s deja vu all over again. Last time Joe was in D.C., Russia took Crimea. What will Russia take next now that Joe has stopped the arms transfer?

    Waiting on folks to be outraged about this.

  4. Lobo says:

    Proposition: “Someone who can show he was harmed by the law would have a high likelihood of being successful in a lawsuit.”

    Well, if you read the opinions (plural!), you would see that so would have ruled Justice Alito, and that the suit did include individuals as plaintiffs, not just states. But Ailito only got 1 other vote to agree with him: Gorsuch.

    Bottom line for limited-attention-span folks: On the SCOTUS, it boils down to votes just as it does in legislatures, here 7 to 2 out of 9. Not even close, and not even a clean conservatives vs. liberals split. You get more unanimity on the SCOTX, especially on politically charged election law issues, because they are all partisan Republicans.

    And, as Hochman correctly points out, the “win” for ACA was on lack-of-standing grounds. More specifically, lack of an injury that could be traced to illegal acts by the Federal Government. The court didn’t affirmatively rule that the ACA had no constitutional problems.

    Substituting their own health care policy preferences, Ailito and Gorsuch would have used the powers of the judiciary to countermand and thwart the will of Congress.

    California v. Texas, No. 19-0850 and Texas v. California, No. 1901019 (U.S. June 17, 2021)

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf/19-840_6jfm.pdf (slip opinion)(total of 56 pages). The syllabus (summary) alone is 3 pages long.

  5. Manny says:

    So if people don’t want to read Lobo’s opinion, they are “limited-attention-span folks”.

    Most of what you write is an opinion that means S**t.

    Jason is now a doctor and constitutional scholar, ain’t bad for a lying Russian bot;-)

    Bill, continues to be the face of the Republican Party, hate for all those hard-working people that ain’t white, stupid, and lazy who don’t get their jobs anymore just because they are white males. Pity party for all you white haters..”