Today’s hearing at the Supreme Court began with a Court-appointed amicus curiae from attorney Robert Long. An amicus curiae or
friend of the court brief focused on whether the Court may leave PPACA in effect even if it determines that requiring all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty is unconstitutional. This is referred to as leaving (or severing) the rest of PPACA from the provision that is being litigated. Second, the amicus curiae brief dealt with whether the Court may compel States to either comply with PPACA or lose Medicaid funding.
At the conclusion of today’s hearing Chief Justice Roberts stated,
Mr. Long, you were invited by this Court to defend the proposition that the Anti-Injunction Act barred this litigation. You have ably carried out that responsibility, for which the Court is grateful.
Briefs have been submitted by organizations favoring reversal of PPACA on the severability issue, including:
- America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association,
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the
- American Center for Law and Justice
Other organizations submitted briefs supporting severability, in other words the idea that the the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate that the rest of PPACA remains intact. These include the Missouri Attorney General and the AARP.
Since the PPACA doesn’t specifically address severability it is left to interpretation by the courts.
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