The U.S. House of Representatives and a group of Democrat-led states are seeking an expeditious review at the Supreme Court of a lawsuit challenging former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Following Congress's amendment, a group of states and two private individuals filed a lawsuit claiming that the provision was no longer constitutional and that the whole Affordable Care Act needed to be invalidated because the provision was inseverable from the rest of the law.
A district court judge in Texas found in favor of the plaintiffs, prompting an appeal to the appeals court. The appeals court upheld the plaintiffs' constitutional claims and sent the case back to the district court for a further review of the question of severability.
“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 judge added.
Elrod said in her opinion that regardless of the result of the lower court's review on the issue of severability, "it is no small thing for unelected, life-tenured judges to declare duly enacted legislation passed by the elected representatives of the American people unconstitutional."
"The rule of law demands a careful, precise explanation of whether the provisions of the ACA are affected by the unconstitutionality of the individual mandate as it exists today," she wrote.
"That uncertainty threatens adverse consequences for patients, providers, and insurers nationwide," the state officials wrote.
It's unclear whether the Supreme Court will take up the case this year, given its busy docket. This term, the high court is expected to rule on several hot-button issues, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, guns, abortion, and subpoenas for President Donald Trump’s financial records.