Judge Stays His Obamacare Ruling While Appeals Take Place

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor on Sunday put a stay on his ruling that the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) is unconstitutional while appeals are being prepared and heard.

aca-unconstitutional-ruling-on-holdThe Ft. Worth-based judge issued his ruling on Dec. 14, the day before the 2019 open enrollment season was to end. The decision was based on a lawsuit by 20 Republican-leaning states that argued the ACA was no longer constitutional now that the individual mandate’s tax penalty has been essentially removed.

That contention, which was argued against by attorneys general from Blue States, was based on the last-minute flip-flop by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in 2012, who used the argument that because the mandate was a tax, the overall law was constitutional.

In issuing his temporary stay pending appeals, Judge O’Connor noted that “many everyday Americans” would face “great uncertainty” if he issued an injunction to stop the federal health care program.

California, joined by 15 other pro-ACA states, said it would issue an appeal “imminently.” Judge O’Connor said their appeal was “unlikely to succeed.” (The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where the process must start, is considered the most conservative in the nation.)

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who led the anti-ACA coalition, said: “We are eager to defend the district court’s ruling declaring Obamacare unconstitutional.”

NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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