The Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday on the Affordable Care Act, the third time since President Barack Obama signed it into law, but this time the landscape looks a lot different with a conservative-leaning panel.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death in September paved the way for Trump to get a third judge on the high court, and the Senate quickly confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
The lawsuit filed by the Trump administration in June asked the Supreme Court to overturn the ACA, arguing that in 2017, Congress, then controlled by Republicans, had rendered the law unconstitutional when it zeroed out the tax penalty for not buying insurance.
“Nothing the 2017 Congress did demonstrates it would have intended the rest of the A.C.A. to continue to operate in the absence of these three integral provisions,” the brief said. “The entire A.C.A. thus must fall with the individual mandate.”
The Texas case is the most serious challenge to the healthcare law – the Supreme Court has already ruled on two legal challenges, and both times it has left the law mostly in place.
Newly confirmed Coney Barrett, along with Trump appointees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, will hear arguments about the constitutionality of the law. More specifically, the court will address the legal concept of severability, a provision in a piece of legislation or a contract that allows the remainder of the legislation's or contract's terms to remain effective.
“The court isn’t split on severability the way it is split on some other issues,” Jonathan Adler, a law professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, told Fox News.
“Multiple conservative justices on the court have indicated that their approach to severability is not in line with the arguments that the plaintiffs are making in that case.”
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