Healthcare

DOJ Drops Nonsensical Obamacare Arguments

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

To some degree, it may not ultimately matter at this point, but the Department of Justice under President Biden is no longer arguing that the Supreme Court should eliminate all of the Affordable Care Act.

The Trump-era department sided with conservative states in arguing that the entire law should be thrown out because the individual mandate is no longer applicable, but the Biden-era department obviously doesn't see it that way.

"Following the change in Administration, the Department of Justice has reconsidered the government's position in these cases," Edwin Kneedler, deputy solicitor general, wrote in a letter to Scott Harris, the Supreme Court clerk. [...]

The Justice Department under Trump agreed that the mandate was unconstitutional. The department also argued that if the Supreme Court scrapped the individual mandate, it must strike down the entire Affordable Care Act.

Kneedler wrote that the Justice Department under Biden reversed its position on both questions. The department, he wrote, believes that the individual mandate provision is lawful and that if the court finds that it is not, the provision may be removed while the rest of the act remains standing.

The Justice Department's official position does matter, but the Supreme Court has already heard arguments in this case and may or may not have already decided the outcome.

Personally, I'm not exceptionally worried that the entire law will be thrown out because the Supreme Court and Chief Justice John Roberts have had two previous opportunities to scrap the entire law and they chose not to.

For his part, Roberts also seemed to be particularly annoyed to be considering the subject yet again and he was audibly if not visibly frustrated during oral arguments shortly after the 2020 election.