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Judge clears the way for appeal of ruling against health law

danarhea

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A federal judge in Texas who recently declared the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional has stayed his ruling to allow for appeals.

That means “Obamacare” remains in effect while litigation continues.

This means that this is going to go all the way to SCOTUS, where Justice Roberts will cast the deciding vote that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional.

We are not a banana republic, folks, and my prediction is that we are not going to act like one.

https://apnews.com/0185bce004a948328c2405b7b17a9ccb
 

Mr Person

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This means that this is going to go all the way to SCOTUS, where Justice Roberts will cast the deciding vote that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional.

We are not a banana republic, folks, and my prediction is that we are not going to act like one.

https://apnews.com/0185bce004a948328c2405b7b17a9ccb

Shall I guess that his clerks had to tell him "Ahmmm... so, you can't really do that".

I suppose he could say it, but I suspect the government would ignore it until the circuit court stayed it pending resolution. It's a national program.
 

Common Sense 1

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It is unconstitutional but that does not matter to Roberts? Or does it now?
 

trouble13

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This means that this is going to go all the way to SCOTUS, where Justice Roberts will cast the deciding vote that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional.

We are not a banana republic, folks, and my prediction is that we are not going to act like one.

https://apnews.com/0185bce004a948328c2405b7b17a9ccb
Robert's will need to explain how its constitutional if it's not a tax

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Shall I guess that his clerks had to tell him "Ahmmm... so, you can't really do that".

I suppose he could say it, but I suspect the government would ignore it until the circuit court stayed it pending resolution. It's a national program.


Read the article:
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge in Texas who recently declared the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional has stayed his ruling to allow for appeals. That means “Obamacare” remains in effect while litigation continues. In a ruling issued Sunday, Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth wrote that he stands by his earlier conclusion that the entire law is invalidated by congressional repeal of its fines on people who remain uninsured, like a house of cards collapsing. However, because “many everyday Americans would ... face great uncertainty” if that ruling were immediately put into effect, O’Connor issued a stay to allow for appeals.

He should have stayed his ruling at the moment he issued it, but this sounds like he failed to and someone had to point out to him that he should probably stay it since he's just a district court judge and this is was a ruling on national program that was certain to be resolved on appeal.
 

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Robert's will need to explain how its constitutional if it's not a tax

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That's absolutely no problem whatsoever, since THERE IS a tax.

The fact that the RATE of that tax is 0.00% is completely irrelevant at law.
 

trouble13

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That's absolutely no problem whatsoever, since THERE IS a tax.

The fact that the RATE of that tax is 0.00% is completely irrelevant at law.
Not according to the last judge who ruled it unconstitutional. Robert's will have to overturn that decission

You better hope Ginsburg makes it long enough to hear the case or Robert's opinion may not matter

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The law

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The law isn't a tax. That statement doesn't make sense. The question six years ago was whether a very specific piece of the law, "its requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance," was a legitimate use of Congress's power to tax. The rest of the law is a bunch of things that unquestionably are not taxes.

That part of the law is gone. There no longer is any requirement that individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance. There's no longer even a question to ask at this point.

Beyond that, the crux of Roberts' reasoning was that (1) Congress can't make it unlawful for you to not have health insurance, but (2) they can tax you, within reason, for not having health insurance.

John Roberts said:
While the individual mandate clearly aims to induce the purchase of health insurance, it need not be read to declare that failing to do so is unlawful. Neither the Act nor any other law attaches negative legal consequences to not buying health insurance, beyond requiring a payment to the IRS.

Per Roberts, (2) was okay, (1) is not. But now Congress isn't doing either (1) or (2). It's entirely legal for you to be uninsured right now, and you don't even to pay a tax anymore. So, again, there's nothing in the law to even strike down at this point.

That's why even conservative legal scholars are scratching their heads on how this case even made it through the door, as you have to have standing (i.e., be injured in some way) in order to sue and you can't be injured by something that doesn't exist.

And did I mention standing? The Justice Department somehow neglected to raise standing in its briefing, but Judge O'Connor addressed it nonetheless (as he should have, as Article III standing is jurisdictional). Despite recognizing the need to address standing, Judge O'Connor completely botched the relevant analysis, concluding the plaintiffs have standing to challenge a provision of a law that has no legal effect. Because the law imposes no penalty or legal sanction on failing to comply, there is no injury as required by Article III, let alone an actual and concrete injury-in-fact that is caused by the relevant provisions of the ACA and that can be redressed by this opinion. Judge O'Connor concludes otherwise only by ignoring the actual operation of the law and Chief Justice Roberts' NFIB opinion (quoted above) that makes clear that the ACA's mandate imposed no consequence whatsoever beyond the tax liability that Congress has since erased. Standing requires an actual injury. An unenforced and unenforceable horatory admonition doesn't cut it.
As noted above, I do not believe this opinion is long for this world. However superficially plausible the plaintiff states' claims initially appear, they melt upon inspection. The more one digs into them, the less substantial they appear. I expect this to be clear to the Fifth Circuit, and do not believe the states' arguments have much of a chance before the Supreme Court. Indeed, I would not be surprised were this decision to be overturned on standing on appeal, in which case certiorari would almost certainly be denied. Stay tuned.

The people who think dialing the tax penalty down to zero is kryptonite for Roberts' ruling frankly don't understand the content of that ruling.
 

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Robert's will need to explain how its constitutional if it's not a tax

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How many times do we have to explain to you people that the entire bill does not rest on taxation powers.

“The government has the power to tax, therefore the government can make health insurance companies keep children on their parents’ plans until age 26” was never part of Roberts’ ruling or anyone’s legal argument.
 

trouble13

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The law isn't a tax. That statement doesn't make sense. The question six years ago was whether a very specific piece of the law, "its requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance," was a legitimate use of Congress's power to tax. The rest of the law is a bunch of things that unquestionably are not taxes.

That part of the law is gone. There no longer is any requirement that individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance. There's no longer even a question to ask at this point.

Beyond that, the crux of Roberts' reasoning was that (1) Congress can't make it unlawful for you to not have health insurance, but (2) they can tax you, within reason, for not having health insurance.



Per Roberts, (2) was okay, (1) is not. But now Congress isn't doing either (1) or (2). It's entirely legal for you to be uninsured right now, and you don't even to pay a tax anymore. So, again, there's nothing in the law to even strike down at this point.

That's why even conservative legal scholars are scratching their heads on how this case even made it through the door, as you have to have standing (i.e., be injured in some way) in order to sue and you can't be injured by something that doesn't exist.




The people who think dialing the tax penalty down to zero is kryptonite for Roberts' ruling frankly don't understand the content of that ruling.
What is kryptonite (your word) is the judge ruled that it is unconstitutional. The scotus will need to overturn his ruling.

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trouble13

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How many times do we have to explain to you people that the entire bill does not rest on taxation powers.

“The government has the power to tax, therefore the government can make health insurance companies keep children on their parents’ plans until age 26” was never part of Roberts’ ruling or anyone’s legal argument.
Congress does not have the authority to force anyone to buy anything against their will

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Shall I guess that his clerks had to tell him "Ahmmm... so, you can't really do that".

I suppose he could say it, but I suspect the government would ignore it until the circuit court stayed it pending resolution. It's a national program.
This will go to the 5th circuit depending on how they rule it might go to the SCOTUS.

His law clerks didn't do anything he just knows it will go to a higher court and doesn't want to stop the ACA until the legation is complete. My guess is if it goes to the SCOTUS that the ACA is toast because Roberts ruled it was constitutional BECAUSE of the mandate which he ruled was tax. The Congress got rid of the mandate and that is why O'Connor ruled it unconstitutional.

It will be interesting to see which way the 5th rules. Keep in mind that O Connor is a solid jurist and his opinion is base on the law and not a partisan opinion. The ACA is in trouble.
 
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My guess is if it goes to the SCOTUS that the ACA is toast because Roberts ruled it was constitutional BECAUSE of the mandate which he ruled was tax.

The rest of the ACA is not constitutional because of the individual mandate. The individual mandate was one of the few pieces of the ACA whose constitutionality was in question.
 

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What is kryptonite (your word) is the judge ruled that it is unconstitutional. The scotus will need to overturn his ruling.

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You are quite correct.

And for the US Supreme Court to overturn a ruling of a District Court judge is totally unprecedented in American history.

Right?
 

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The rest of the ACA is not constitutional because of the individual mandate. The individual mandate was one of the few pieces of the ACA whose constitutionality was in question.

Its questionable wheter the ACA is legal without the mandate. It will be interesting as to what the 5th and likely the SC thinks.

On January 31, 2011, Judge Roger Vinson in Florida v. United States Department of Health and Human Services declared the law unconstitutional in an action brought by 26 states, on the grounds that the individual mandate to purchase insurance exceeds the authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce. Vinson further ruled the clause was not severable, which had the effect of striking down the entire law.
 

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Its questionable wheter the ACA is legal without the mandate. It will be interesting as to what the 5th and likely the SC thinks.

Even if one did clear the hurdles of standing and the substance of Roberts' decision (and in a non-partisan-hack court, one probably would not), Vinson's logic on severability doesn't apply anymore. He correctly pointed out that the severability question hinged on inferring Congressional intent on whether the rest of the law could and should stand in the absence of the individual mandate. Yes, arguably in 2011 that was a murky question.

In 2019, it's not. Congress made clear that the rest of the ACA can stand in the absence of the individual mandate back in December 2017 when it amended the ACA to functionally remove the mandate but left the rest of the law in place. There's zero doubt about Congress's intent on the individual mandate at this point: they wanted it gone and the rest to stay.
 

roughdraft274

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Congress does not have the authority to force anyone to buy anything against their will

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No one is saying they do.

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TU Curmudgeon

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Congress does not have the authority to force anyone to buy anything against their will

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Your state legislature cannot FORCE you to get a driver's licence, and you do not HAVE TO have a driver's licence in order to drive a car. BUT your state legislature CAN penalize you if you drive a car without having a driver's licence.
 

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You are quite correct.

And for the US Supreme Court to overturn a ruling of a District Court judge is totally unprecedented in American history.

Right?
The only thing I said is he will need to explain it. It quite uncommon for a judge to write an opinion right?

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trouble13

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No one is saying they do.

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If the mandate isnt a tax then mandate is unconstitutional which is what the last judge ruled

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Its questionable wheter the ACA is legal without the mandate. It will be interesting as to what the 5th and likely the SC thinks.
On January 31, 2011, Judge Roger Vinson in Florida v. United States Department of Health and Human Services declared the law unconstitutional in an action brought by 26 states, on the grounds that the individual mandate to purchase insurance exceeds the authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce. Vinson further ruled the clause was not severable, which had the effect of striking down the entire law.

No, not really. Not following a normal severability analysis, which focuses on congress's intent at each relevant point a statute has been altered and if never altered, just the original passing congress's intent. The 2017 congress got rid of the mandate but let the rest stand.

You can't rationally argue that by letting the rest stand without the mandate, the 2017 congress actually intended that it not stand without the mandate. So, the judge didn't try. He just ignored the 2017's congress's intent.



It's also strange you decide to site some prior lower Court ruling about the version of ACA in place before the 2017 congress made its changes, especially where SCOTUS previously resolved the prior suits in the ACA's favor.
 

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I have to agree with the ruling even though I hate how it will affect millions of Americans. I hated the original health care bill in the first place... forcing people to buy insurance from the private sector, no matter what the cost, is not a real public health care system. We should scrap this one and switch to single payer already. It will save us a fortune in the long run and finally start the long process of cutting back the embarrassing levels of waste and expense in our health care.

We need to stop playing musical chairs with the health care system already. It's giving a lot of sick people whiplash. Create a proper system and then just stick to it. The partisan in-fighting over what should be a straightforward planning process is making our nation look impotent and incompetent.
 
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