UPDATE: On Jan. 7, the Supreme Court set a Friday afternoon deadline for ACA opponents to respond to the Blue State coalition’s request to expedite the case to be resolved before the November 2020 election.

Led by California, a coalition of 20 Blue State attorneys general (AGs), plus the District of Columbia, has petitioned the Supreme Court to review the December decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Texas v. U.S.

fifth-circuit-court-rejects-individual-mandateIn that ruling, a three-judge panel agreed with U.S. District Court Reed O’Connor that the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) is unconstitutional now that the penalty associated with not buying health insurance has been eliminated.

Recall that Chief Justice John Roberts, in the first high court review of the legality of the ACA, changed his mind at the last moment and ruled that the mandate was constitutional under Congress’s power to tax.

However, Judge O’Connor had also ruled in December 2018 that the whole law was unconstitutional and issued an injunction, which he then put on hold while appeals were filed and heard. The circuit judges refused to rule on the rest of the ACA, remanding it back to O’Connor. This put the legality of the whole ACA in limbo. Will he reopen the injunction or wait for the SCOTUS review?

Filing the Jan. 3 petition were the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota (by and through its Department of Commerce), Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia, as well as the governor of Kentucky.