Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case Over ObamaCare’s Unconstitutional Mandate for the Third Time


Jordan Sekulow

March 3, 2020

3 min read




This could finally be the death knell for ObamaCare.

The Supreme Court just agreed to hear a THIRD major challenge to ObamaCare, aka the Affordable Care Act, after a group of conservative-led states argued that the law is now, at least in part, unconstitutional.

As reported by Fox News:

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will review a challenge to the Affordable Care Act's constitutionality after a group of states led by Texas claimed that there is no longer a legal justification for it.

The law, commonly known as ObamaCare, was first upheld by the Supreme Court under the justification that by tying the individual mandate -- the requirement to buy health insurance -- to a financial penalty[,] it fell under Congress'[s] taxation power. When President Trump eliminated the penalty, Republican-led states claimed there was no longer a legal basis for the mandate.

Initially, ObamaCare included the individual mandate, which essentially forced Americans to purchase health insurance under threat of a tax penalty if they did not. During the first year of the Trump Administration, Congress eliminated that tax penalty. The only reason the Supreme Court had previously held the individual mandate constitutional was because the mandate could be construed as a tax, and Congress has the power to impose taxes. After the tax penalty was eliminated, eighteen states and two individuals sued, arguing that ObamaCare’s individual mandate is no longer constitutional.

Both the district court and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the Plaintiffs that that the mandate is now unconstitutional:

“The individual mandate is unconstitutional because it can no longer be read as a tax, and there is no other constitutional provision that justifies this exercise of congressional power,” the ruling said.

The ACLJ filed an amicus brief at the 5th Circuit in that case, arguing:

All three features that supported the [Supreme] Court’s “saving construction” of the individual mandate as a tax are now effectively nonexistent. This year, Americans were no longer required to make the shared responsibility payment with their income tax returns and were therefore not responsible for calculating their payment in accordance with such “familiar factors as taxable income, number of dependents, and joint filing status.” Because no payments have been made, no revenue will be generated. . . . And because the mandatory requirement no longer triggers a tax payment generating revenue for the government, the individual mandate is unmoored from any of Congress’s enumerated powers.

Now that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear this case, our legal team will again be involved.  We are preparing to file an amicus brief at the Supreme Court, urging that unconstitutional individual mandate be struck down for good. Perhaps the third time will indeed be the charm.