I borrowed “you can’t spell Schadenfreude without a ‘ha'” from someone, I forget who, but it never seemed more appropriate than today.
Back in February, Texas and 19 lesser states filed a lawsuit claiming that the Affordable Care Act. aka ACA, aka ObamaCare, was unconstitutional.
They’re claiming that since the GOP eliminated the tax penalty associated with the individual mandate, that ObamaCare itself is no longer constitutional.
In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that ObamaCare’s individual mandate was constitutional because Congress has the power to levy taxes. The lawsuit points to that part of the ruling in its argument that the law is no longer constitutional.
The GOP tax law “eliminated the tax penalty of the ACA, without eliminating the mandate itself. What remains, then, is the individual mandate, without any accompanying exercise of Congress’s taxing power, which the Supreme Court already held that Congress has no authority to enact,” the complaint states.
“Not only is the individual mandate now unlawful, but this core provision is not severable from the rest of the ACA—as four Justices of the Supreme Court already concluded.”
The GOP tax law zeroed out the individual mandate’s penalty so that, starting in 2019, people wouldn’t have to pay a fine for not having insurance. It didn’t actually eliminate the requirement that people have insurance.
“The U.S. Supreme Court already admitted that an individual mandate without a tax penalty is unconstitutional,” Paxton said in a press release. “With no remaining legitimate basis for the law, it is time that Americans are finally free from the stranglehold of Obamacare, once and for all.”
Yesterday, in federal court the Trump administration basically said, “you know what, we agree.”
The Trump administration told a federal court on Thursday that it would no longer defend crucial provisions of the Affordable Care Act that protect consumers with pre-existing medical conditions.
Under those provisions of the law, insurance companies cannot deny coverage or charge higher rates to people with pre-existing conditions.
The Justice Department said the provisions were part of an unconstitutional scheme that required most Americans to carry health insurance.
With Justice basically changing sides, ACA is now defended by a coalition of fifteen socialist fiefdoms led by California.
Good heavens, the responses are just delicious.
Read these whole threads:
My service is weak here, so I'm reduced to tweeting.
Basically the DOJ is refusing to defend Obamacare in Court, on the grounds that they think it's unconstitutional. This is not good, and I say this as someone who is not a fan of the ACA by any stretch.
— Will Chamberlain (@willchamberlain) June 8, 2018
I am at a loss for words to explain how big of a deal this is. The Justice Department has a durable, longstanding, bipartisan commitment to defending the law when non-frivolous arguments can be made in its defense. This brief torches that commitment.
— Nicholas Bagley (@nicholas_bagley) June 7, 2018
The latter is particularly epic in its “old man screaming at the clouds” tone.
If you want to watch someone crap themselves and then rub feces in their hair on Twitter, then this is your thread https://t.co/EyGixodZwP
— streiff (@streiffredstate) June 8, 2018
IANAL and I have better things to do with my time than wading through opposing briefs. But some thoughts immediately come to mind. Without the Department of Justice defending the law, there is a great deal of doubt that California and friends have any standing. Factually, they could force their citizens to carry health insurance without the ACA and there is no logical reason that California should be able to dictate Texas’s policy preferences. At least three DOJ lawyers walked off the case presumably because they didn’t like the tack the department was taking. This gets back to the bullsh** figment of the imagination that there is a non-political federal bureaucracy. These guys stopped working on the case because they were opposed to the outcome. Having a battalion of liberal law school professors eating sh** and baying at the moon means that the DOJ brief hit a nerve. And finally, the epic dishonesty of these people is on full display. It was the Obama administration that flushed several thousand years of civilization down the crapper when it refused to defend DOMA. Then all the Justice Department lawyers and the law school faculties were as happy as clams. Now the same thing is done to wipe out a patently unconstitutional federal power grab and it is Armageddon.
They are going to hate when the new rules get applied to them https://t.co/QTvdzYM0hb
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) August 27, 2017
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