Constitutionality of the ACA - A Brief Timeline and Update

State of Texas, et al. v. United States (N.D. Tex. Case No. 4:18-cv-167-O; 5th Cir. Case No. 19-10011) will follow the traditional litigation path and not be fast-tracked.

Here is a look back over the case’s history:

  • December 2017: Congress set the shared responsibility payment at $0 as of January 1, 2019 after enacting the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
  • February 2018: 20 Republican state attorneys general and Republican governors from various states filed a lawsuit captioned State of Texas, et al. v. United States challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate.
  • December 2018: Judge O’Conner in the Northern District of Texas entered a decision declaring the ACA to be invalid.
  • December 2019: U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit affirmed the trial court’s decision that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, but remanded to the trial court on the issue of whether the ACA is inseverable from the individual mandate.

Most recently, twenty states and the District of Columbia filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari seeking immediate review of the 5th Circuit’s December 2019 decision.[1] The opposing parties opposed the Petition arguing that the review “would be premature” and was not “urgently needed.” On January 21, 2020, the Supreme Court rejected the Petition.[2] Now we wait for Judge O’Conner’s next appealable decision.



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