Judges Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Health Care Act, or Obamacare, and describe the mandate as ‘clearly unconstitutional’.
The Supreme Court rules 7–2 that the plaintiffs, 18 Republican-led states, do not have the capacity to challenge the federal health law. The states wanted the Supreme Court to repeal the law because the “individual mandate” had been set at zero by former President Donald Trump, saying the whole law was unconstitutional.
The Justice Department under former President Donald Trump supported the Republican-led states by urging judges to destroy the law. The Biden administration does not support the argument of the previous administration.
Judge Stephen Breyer wrote the majority opinion. He was accompanied by Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh.
But Alito, in his difference of opinion (pdf), describes “today’s decision is the third installment in our epic trilogy of affordable care law”, adding that the decision “follows the same pattern as installments one and two. care law, the court terminated an unlikely rescue. ‘
“Texas and the other state prosecutors stand firm, and now that the ‘tax’ imposed by the individual mandate is set at $ 0, the mandate cannot be maintained under the tax power,” he wrote. “As a result, it is clearly unconstitutional, and to the extent that the provisions of the ACA that tax the countries are inextricably linked to the individual mandate, it is also not enforceable.”
The judge added that the Supreme Court ” has the formidable problem ” of defining the ‘individual mandate’, which redefined the same court (pdf) in 2012 as a ‘tax’.
The lower courts mostly sided with the Republican states, but agreed to postpone its application while the appeal process continued. Defenders of Obamacare, which consists of about 20 democracies and the House of Representatives, have also appealed to the Supreme Court.
‘Can the taxman, who saved the day in the first episode, sustain such a curious creature? In 2017, Congress reduced the ‘tax’ that Americans who did not meet the individual mandate to $ 0, ‘Alito noted. ‘With the move, the slender reed that supports the ruling … has apparently been cut down, but once again the court has found a way to [Afforable Care Act]. ”
“Instead of defending the constitutionality of the individual mandate,” he added, “the court simply ruled on the matter and is of the opinion that none of the protesters of the law, including the 18 states that believe the law they are not entitled to sue with large financial costs. ”
Barrett’s support for the mandate appears to contradict arguments debated by Democrats during her confirmation hearing in the Supreme Court last year. They claimed that she, along with the other Conservative judges, would beat Obamacare, which led to calls by top congressional Democrats and progressives to “tackle” or expand the Supreme Court.
Thomas, who is considered one of the most conservative judges, wrote in a similar opinion that the plaintiffs in the case did not show that they were injured by the individual coverage mandate and therefore would not give the right to bring the case. not. As a result, he said, he joined the majority.