The Department of Justice (DOJ) told the Supreme Court yesterday that they would not attempt to block requests to reopen a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Such a lawsuit could potentially place the ACA in front of the Supreme Court again as early as next year.
In 2010, Liberty University sued over the minimum coverage provision and other aspects of the ACA, but the case was set aside when the 26 states and NFIB case went before the Supreme Court. Because the court upheld the constitutionality of the individual mandate in its June 28th decision, it essentially tossed out Liberty’s lawsuit. Liberty now wants the Supreme Court to review its other challenges to the ACA.
Specifically, Liberty claims that the law’s employer coverage requirements are unconstitutional, as the mandate’s contraception coverage requirement violates the right to freely exercise religion. Over 30 such claims have been filed against the Obama administration. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli’s letter to the court states that although the DOJ believes that the Liberty claims “lack merit,” the DOJ does not oppose the courts reviewing the suit.
October 25, 2012
One of a number of lawsuits filed in opposition to the ACA was Liberty University, Inc., et al. v. Geithner et al. Under this lawsuit in 2010, a private Christian university and a number of individual petitioners sued the government to block enforcement of the ACA’s employer requirement to provide health insurance coverage to employees, as well as the individual requirement to maintain health insurance coverage. The district court in the Western District of Virginia rejected all the plaintiffs’ claims, which included challenges based on the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, the Tenth Amendment, the First Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). On appeal, the Fourth Circuit held that the Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) barred federal courts...
September 26, 2012
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), in addition to expanding coverage to individuals with incomes below 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), includes provisions designed to preserve existing Medicaid coverage -- known as the maintenance of effort provision, or MOE -- until the ACA is fully implemented. The ACA’s MOE provision requires states to maintain their current Medicaid eligibility standards, methodologies, and procedures until the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) determines that a state Exchange is fully operational. For children, the ACA’s MOE extends through September 30, 2019. States may reduce eligibly for certain non-pregnant, non-adult...
March 26, 2012
The table below summarizes all of the amicus briefs filed to date. HealthReformGPS has posted
summaries for at least one of the briefs filed by the bolded
January 4, 2012
On November 14, 2011 the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments on issues that have arisen as a result of more than two dozen legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that were filed upon or immediately following the March 2010 enactment of the health reform law. The Court will consider four constitutional issues related to the ACA: (1) whether Congress has the power under Article I of the Constitution to enact the coverage requirement; (2) if the coverage requirement is found unconstitutional, whether it is severable from the remainder of the ACA; (3) whether the ACA’s requirement that states expand Medicaid eligibility or risk losing federal funds is unduly coercive in violation of the Tenth Amendment; and (4) whether the individual coverage requirement is a tax for purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act, meaning that plaintiffs seeking to challenge the requirement must wait until it takes effect in 2014.
Oral arguments are set for March 26-28, 2012, and a decision is expected by the end of the Court’s term in late June of 2012.
October 12, 2011
On September 28, 2011, the United States Justice Department (DOJ) asked the United States Supreme Court to review the decision of the court of appeals for the Eleventh Circuit striking down as unconstitutional what the DOJ terms the law’s “minimum coverage provision.” In seeking Supreme Court intervention, the DOJ sought review on two matters: first, whether Congress exceeded its Commerce Clause powers, as enhanced by the Necessary and Proper Clause; and second, whether the Anti-Injunction Act bars the challenges from proceeding in the first place.
September 23, 2011
Since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), at least 27 lawsuits have been filed challenging the constitutionality of various provisions of the law. While nearly half of the lawsuits have been dismissed on procedural grounds, three district courts have found provisions challenged to be constitutional, and three have found them to be unconstitutional. Previous HealthReform GPS Implementation briefs/updates have discussed these lower court decisions. Following appeals of each of these rulings, the United States Courts of Appeals in the Fourth, Sixth, and Eleventh Circuits have now issued decisions as well. Most importantly, the appellate decisions continue to reflect a split in judicial opinion regarding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. Other important issues addressed by the appellate rulings concerned the constitutionality of the ACA Medicaid expansion and the question of whether the trial court in the Virginia cases (Liberty University v. Geithner and Commonwealth of Virginia v. Sebelius) had the authority to hear the cases at all.