California v. Texas

141 S.Ct. 2104, 210 L.Ed.2d 230 (2021)

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California v. Texas

United States Supreme Court
141 S.Ct. 2104, 210 L.Ed.2d 230 (2021)

  • Written by Robert Cane, JD
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Facts

In 2010, Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (the act), which required individuals to obtain health insurance or face a tax penalty (the individual mandate). In 2018, Congress repealed the provision of the act that imposed the penalty for violating the individual mandate’s requirement for minimum essential coverage. To be clear, the act still contained language requiring individuals to obtain insurance, but the mandate no longer had any enforceable penalty. Texas, 17 other states, and two individuals (plaintiffs) sued the federal government (defendant), claiming that the act was invalid because the individual mandate was unconstitutional and that the mandate provision was inseverable from the remainder of the act. The state plaintiffs argued that the minimum-essential-coverage requirements of the individual mandate cost the states money because the requirements caused residents of the states to enroll in state health-insurances programs that they otherwise would not have. The district court found that the plaintiffs had standing to bring the suit and that the individual mandate was unconstitutional and not severable from the rest of the act. The court of appeals agreed with the district court regarding standing and that the individual mandate was unconstitutional, but the court of appeals concluded that the individual-mandate provision was severable from the rest of the act. California and other states (defendants) intervened and petitioned for certiorari, which was granted.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Breyer, J.)

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