You all remember the days when the Affordable Care Act was challenged in SCOTUS, and Chief Justice Roberts argued that the penalty was a tax, and therefore constitutional, right?
Well since then, Republicans, unable to repeal Obamacare outright, made the penalty zero. So now that the penalty is zero, Republicans are now arguing it’s no longer a tax, and therefore the individual mandate is an unconstitutional mandate, and the law should be repealed entirely.
The ACA supporters will argue that the mandate is severable, meaning SCOTUS could remove the mandate clause and leave the rest of the law in tact. But Republicans are like, “That’s how the fucking law was paid for. So you can’t fucking sever it.”
So basically SCOTUS is being asked to re-review this case in light of this new change.
With regards to severing the law, Congress reduced the tax to zero, but didn’t repeal the law. If they had the power to do one, they had the power to do the other. So the argument is then made that it must be severable, because if congress wanted the law to be repealed, they’d have repealed it, not reduced the tax to zero.
But the argument to that, is that congress didn’t have the votes or support for a full repeal, but by removing the tax, they’re hoping SCOTUS will nullify it, effectively trying to make SCOTUS the “bad guy” in all this shit.
At one point, Justice Kavanaugh asked:
Brett M. Kavanaugh
Are you aware of any other examples in the U.S. Code at least where Congress has enacted a true mandate, not something hortatory, but a true mandate with no penalties?
Essentially questioning the validity of such a law knowing there’s no other instance where congress forces you to buy something. Social Security is forced retirement income, but you don’t go out and buy it, government just takes it as a tax.
The reason this is Texas v. California, is because Texas challenged the law, and California and other states are defending it.
In a 7:2 decision, where Alito and Gorsuch dissented, SCOTUS ruled in favor of California. Texas may not sue California over this bullshit. Texas hasn’t shown in any way how they were harmed by California and company, and therefore they have no grounds to be suing here.
Hear oral arguments and read about the case here.