A U.S. District Court judge in Texas has ruled that Obamacare is unconstitutional.
Judge Reed O’Connor agreed with the petition filed by a coalition of attorney generals from 19 states seeking relief from the onerous costs their states were accruing under the law.
Texas and the other 18 states in the coalition argued they’ve been harmed by an increase in the number of people on state-funded insurance rolls.
O’Connor found that the [not so] Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional without the federal mandate that forces individuals to participate or face tax penalties instead.
The individual mandate had been the linchpin of the ACA, and in 2012 Roberts cited Congress’ absolute taxing authority to swing the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision that upheld the act as a constitutionally protected extension of Congress’s taxing power in a highly controversial decision.
The plaintiffs argued that when Congress repealed the tax penalty last year for the individual mandate, they eliminated the funding mechanism behind the law thereby negating U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts prior determination that relied on Congress’ taxing authority made the ACA constitutional in 2012.
The rationale behind Roberts reason to uphold the law in 2012 evaporated when the tax-cut bill passed by Congress last year eliminated the mandated penalty. Following that act by Congress, O’Connor was left with little choice but to agree with the plaintiffs’ challenge to its constitutionality.
Absent the enforcement of the individual mandate, Judge O’Connor ruled that Obamacare was “invalid” leading him to conclude that it would be impossible for Obamacare to continue in its current state.
In his ruling Judge O’Connor wrote:
“Without marching through every nook and cranny of the ACA’s 900-plus pages. The court must find the individual mandate inseverable from the ACA. To find otherwise would be to introduce an entirely new regulatory scheme never intended by Congress or signed by the president.”
The decision by Judge O’Connor upholds conservatives criticism of Chief Justice Roberts who took it upon himself to rewrite, what has been characterized as, Congress’ in-artfully concocted scheme.
At that time, conservatives argued that by attempting to change the law to make it somehow compliant with his worldview, Roberts had ignored the balance that the Framers had so carefully constructed between Congress and the Courts.
The Constitution is clear: Congress writes the laws and the courts determine their constitutionality. By refusing to find the original bill deficient and send it back to Congress for further consideration, Roberts usurped the legislative role for himself – literally for himself considering the other justices were tied 4-4.
Imagine that, an unelected high priest in a black robe lording over the entire American populace and it only took 6 years to successfully challenge that.
For his part, President Trump has been hounding Congress since his first day in office to help him write a law that will address the healthcare needs of all Americans and that would withstand Constitutional scrutiny.