National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius
United States Supreme Court
567 U.S. 519, 132 S.Ct. 2566, 183 L.Ed.2d 450 (2012)
In 2010, Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Shortly afterward, multiple parties, including business organizations, individuals, and 26 states, filed suit in district courts across the country to challenge the Act’s constitutionality. The results were fractured: some courts upheld some or all of the ACA, others declared part or all unconstitutional, some concluded offending provisions could be severed, and others argued that the Act couldn’t be challenged until someone was forced to pay the penalty. The National Federation of Independent Business, the State of Florida, and others (plaintiffs) sued in Florida federal court Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (defendant). The litigation challenged two key provisions of the legislation: (1) the individual mandate, which requires individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a “penalty” and (2) the Medicaid expansion provision, which conditioned continued receipt of federal Medicaid funds on states expanding their eligibility requirements for the program. The district court held that Congress had exceeded its authority in passing the individual mandate. The court concluded that the individual mandate was not severable and struck down the Act as a whole. On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that the individual mandate was unconstitutional. However, the court of appeals determined that the individual mandate was severable; so, the rest of the Act remained intact. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve the split between the circuits.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Roberts, C.J.)
Concurrence/Dissent (Ginsburg, J.)
Dissent (Scalia, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 725,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 725,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,600 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.