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Document Type

Essay

Abstract

In California v. Texas, opponents of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have asked the Supreme Court to invalidate the statute. Relying on a 2017 legislative change to the ACA’s individual mandate, the challengers argue that the mandate is unconstitutional. They then assert that the mandate is inseverable from the rest of the ACA, thus the entire statute must fall. Earlier this year, however, Congress said otherwise. Last March, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The two statutes amend and expand provisions of the ACA, thereby overriding Texas v. United States, the district court decision that underlies California v. Texas. In short, Congress has already ruled, via an override, on the severability question at issue in California v. Texas. The ACA stands, even with an unconstitutional individual mandate.

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