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Supreme Court Leaves Affordable Care Act Intact
The high court preserves the 2010 healthcare law, the signature legislative accomplishment of the Obama administration
GOP-led states had asked the Supreme Court to invalidate the law.
PHOTO: DANIEL SLIM/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES
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Updated June 17, 2021 6:11 pm ET
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WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act from Republican-led states in a 7-2 decision, ruling that they lacked standing to bring the case.
Texas and other Republican-leaning states, backed by the Trump administration, had sought to strike down the law on technical arguments after Congress reduced to zero the tax penalty for failing to carry health insurance. Thursday’s decision, written by Justice Stephen Breyer, concluded that none of the plaintiffs suffered any injury from zeroing out the penalty and thus lacked legal standing to bring the lawsuit at all. It was the third time the court has preserved the 2010 healthcare law.
“We do not reach these questions of the Act’s validity,” Justice Breyer wrote. “Texas and the other plaintiffs in this suit lack the standing necessary to raise them.”
The decision underscored that the court, even with the recent addition of more conservative justices, at times is still able to find broad coalitions supporting middle-ground outcomes in hot-button cases.
Joining the majority were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
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