Fox News reported that a federal appeals court upheld a lower court’s decision to declare one key part of Obamacare as unconstitutional.
This decision will more than likely set up another showdown with the Supreme Court during the presidential election in 2020.
On a 2-1 vote, the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals came to the conclusion that the original law’s principal funding mechanism — the individual mandate — was eliminated in a proper fashion by Congress, thus making the entire law unenforceable. This mandate would require most Americans to purchase health insurance or face a tax penalty.
The appeals panel kicked the issue back to the lower court to determine if other aspects of the Affordable Care Act must be scrapped.
The panel of three judges in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans was in agreement with Texas-based U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor’s conclusion that the insurance requirement became unconstitutional in 2017, when Congress eliminated a tax penalty on people who don’t have insurance.
“The individual mandate is unconstitutional because it can no longer be read as a tax, and there is no other constitutional provision that justifies this exercise of congressional power,” the ruling declared. “On the severability question, we remand to the district court to provide additional analysis of the provisions of the ACA as they currently exist.”
The appeals court argued that because the individual mandate was unconstitutional, the law’s funding mechanism was unenforceable in the current iteration of the Affordable Care Act.
Other parts of the law may stay in place, but the appeals court is now letting the lower court decide on the severability question. In other words, the lower court will determine if the entire law must be scrapped or if certain parts of the law will remain intact.
This represents a considerable blow to one of the legislative hallmarks of the presidency of Barack Obama.
There is still much work to be done on the healthcare front.
Ideally, Obamacare would be repealed, and lawmakers would find ways to get the government out of healthcare altogether.
However, this process will likely be very drawn out.
So, any victory like the one in the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is very welcome.
Texas Political Establishment Attempts to Derail Shelley Luther’s Campaign
The special election for Texas’ Senate District 30 is on pace to be one of the most heated races in the Lone Star State.
At a candidate forum on September 18, 2020, Shelley Luther, the Dallas salon owner who was jailed for opening her business in defiance of Governor Greg Abbott’s shutdown order, confronted outgoing State Senator Pat Fallon.
Fallon vacated his seat and is now backing a successor in State Representative Drew Springer.
“We don’t want somebody who’s going to be at odds with our Republican governor,” Fallon said September 18 at the Grayson County Republican Women’s Club.
I didn’t support some of the things that he has done about opening up. … So, he’s made some mistakes. He’s our Republican governor, the 80/20 rule … because you’re not going to get any bills passed unless the governor signs them.
“Let me make something clear. I am accountable to my fellow citizens in Senate District 30. Not our Governor,” Luther responded on September 19 on Facebook:
This is exactly what is wrong with Austin. Our politicians are more loyal to Abbott than us, even when they disagree with him.
I will work with Governor Abbott when he is fighting to protect the liberty of Texans, and I will oppose him when he pushes unilateral dictates that shut down our local businesses.
Fallon and Luther had a tense exchange, which was caught on video.
“You want me to go all in on this race?” Fallon questioned Luther. “I have been 5 percent in on this race. You want me to go all in on it, I’m welcome to.”
“This has become a straight-up fight between Abbott and the ‘Kumbaya’ Professional Political Class vs. the grassroots and people who remember what limited government and principles should look like,” opined conservative activist Mike Openshaw.
“Respectfully, being willing to be jailed for fighting over-reaching government shows principle; that counts for something, Patrick,” Openshaw continued.
Luther has recently received endorsements from conservative Collin County Judge Chris Hill and Young Conservatives of Texas. Springer, on the other hand, received an endorsement from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which asserted that Luther was going down a “far right” path.
A Republican is expected to carry the senate district, which may still require a runoff if the leading candidate does not get enough votes during the first round of the special election.
Election Day will be on September 29.
Luther is viewed as the truly conservative option and many believe she could help break the political status quo in Austin that has kept conservative legislation from ever being passed.
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