Texas: Federal Judge Rules That Obamacare Is Unconstitutional

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Judge Reed O’Connor, a US District Judge in Texas, appointed by former President George W. Bush, ruled that Obamacare violates the Constitution. The case was brought to court by 20 Republican state attorneys general. The judge ruled that the law’s individual mandate, which requires Americans to buy insurance or pay a penalty, violates the Constitution. Furthermore, because the mandate is “essential” to the rest of the process, all of Obamacare is invalid. The ruling will be challenged by Democrats. -GEG

A Texas federal judge on Friday ruled that Obamacare violated the Constitution, likely pushing the ruling towards the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Judge Reed O’Connor, a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Texas appointed by former President George W. Bush, ruled that Obamacare violated the Constitution.

Twenty Republican state attorneys general brought the suit, Texas v. Azar, who asked the court to rule that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) violates the Constitution after Republicans managed to zero out Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act last year. The judge ruled that the law’s individual mandate violates the Constitution and therefore the entire ACA violates the Constitution.

Judge O’Connor acknowledged that health care is a “politically charged affair — inflaming emotions and testing civility.”

However, O’Connor added that the courts “are not tasked with, nor are they suited to, policymaking.”

O’Connor said that because the individual mandate is “essential” to the rest of the ACA, all of Obamacare is invalid.

“Congress stated many times unequivocally — through enacted text signed by the president — that the individual mandate is ‘essential’ to the ACA,” O’Connor wrote. “And this essentiality, the ACA’s text makes clear, means the mandate must work ‘together with the other provisions’ for the Act to function as intended.”

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