Published: Thu, January 23, 2020
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

U.S. Supreme Court declines to fast-track Obamacare appeal

U.S. Supreme Court declines to fast-track Obamacare appeal

Texas is spearheading the plaintiff coalition of red states arguing that not only is Obamacare's mandate unconstitutional due to the zeroed-out mandate, but also that the entirety of the law is inseverable from the mandate - and thus, unconstitutional.

"They may still choose to hear the current appeal, or wait for the case to go back to the district court before taking it up, but either way, the earliest we'd get a decision from the court about the fate of Obamacare would be the middle of 2021". Instead, a lower court judge will reconsider how much of the 2010 health care law should fall after Congress eliminated the law's tax penalty on most Americans who did not have health care coverage. Given the stature of the Affordable Care Act, the court was right to not comply with the demand to expedite review. Less than 24 hours later, the appeals court issued its orders that effectively hit the pause button on the case and halted any immediate change to the state's voter registration rolls.

Democrats have a winning issue when they talk about the benefits provided by Obamacare.

Shari Guertin brought the case against the city of Flint and state officials in 2016, claiming her child was harmed by drinking lead-contaminated water after the city switched water sources from Lake Huron to the Flint River. They appealed the circuit court's ruling and asked the Supreme Court to step in.

The high court has already declined to take up the original ruling, but is now being asked to consider the validity of subsequent orders. The decision comes after the act's individual mandate was struck down by a federal circuit court.

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In 2018, the Supreme Court allowed the Little Sisters to intervene in their own case, and last week the Court agreed to hear oral arguments in their case.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops filed a friend-of-the-court brief November 1, siding with the Little Sisters of the Poor and stressing that the court needs to set the record straight particularly with its interpretation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. If the court decides to hear the challenge, it would likely be heard in the court's next term, which begins in October.

RFRA - which says, "Governments should not substantially burden religious exercise without compelling justification" - was passed by Congress in 1993 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. "To date, the Court of Appeals has provided nothing".

"Only this court's intervention can ensure that RFRA remains a meaningful security for religious freedom", it added.

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