The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth District ruled earlier this week that Obamacare’s individual mandate is unconstitutional — and Democrats are already vowing to appeal it straight to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The individual mandate is unconstitutional because it can no longer be read as a tax, and there is no other constitutional provision that justifies this exercise of congressional power,” said the court.
The Supreme Court will take on the case again eventually, giving the court another opportunity to strike down Obamacare.
“However, the appeals court ruling largely ducked the central question of whether the Affordable Care Act remained valid after Congress removed the penalty for not having health insurance and it sent the case back to a Texas federal judge who previously ruled the entire law was unconstitutional to reconsider how much of it could survive,” Politico reported. “The high-stakes ruling keeps the legal threat to Obamacare alive while reducing the likelihood the Supreme Court could render a final verdict on the law before the 2020 elections.”
The 5th panel wrote, “The individual mandate is unconstitutional because it can no longer be read as a tax, and there is no other constitutional provision that justifies this exercise of congressional power. On the severability question, we remand to the district court to provide additional analysis of the provisions of the ACA as they currently exist.”
As part of the GOP tax reform plan that was passed in December 2017, the mandate forcing individuals to obtain health insurance or suffer a penalty was scrapped.
That is what is being referred to here.
“On the severability question, we remand to the district court to provide additional analysis of the provisions of the ACA as they currently exist,” the court continued.
The question is now whether the rest of the law can be upheld without the mandate (i.e. severability).
The case has been sent back to a district judge who previously found the entire law unconstitutional.
Democratic-led states heading Obamacare’s legal defense are freaking out, and now they are appealing the ruling directly to the Supreme Court.
“It’s time to get rid of the uncertainty,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who’s leading the Democratic defense. “In many respects, many of us believe that this is a merry-go-around. The last thing Americans need is to have their security and the health of their kids depend on these circular arguments that are going around.”
Beyond that, this marks the third time the courts have had the opportunity to strike down Obamacare, which many legal experts continue to argue is illegal.
Naturally, Democrats are in panic mode.
At this point, only thing thing is certain: this case is going to drag on for a long time — well into Trump’s second term, assuming he’s re-elected.
Blue states are simply hoping Trump loses re-election in 2020 so they can run out the clock before a final court decision can be made.