News & Perspectives

U.S. Supreme Court refuses to take up ACA case on an expedited basis

3. February 2020 Sam Fish Health

On January 21, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to fast-track a review of requests appealing the Fifth Circuit decision holding the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) “mandate” to be unconstitutional.

The states defending the constitutionality of the entire ACA had requested the expedited review in order for the Court to issue a decision during its current term.

The Fifth Circuit’s 2-to-1 ruling upholding the lower court’s decision declaring the “mandate” to be unconstitutional sent the issue of severability affecting the rest of the ACA back to the district court for further consideration. Texas v. United States, No. 19-10011 (5th Cir. Dec. 18, 2019).

U. S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor of the Northern District of Texas previously held that his finding of unconstitutionality for the “mandate” rendered the entire ACA to be unconstitutional as well. However, that judgment was stayed pending the appeal.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision likely renders a decision prior to the 2020 election highly unlikely.

California v. Texas, No. 19-840, and House of Representatives v. Texas, No. 19-841.