Democrats were hoping the Supreme Court would give them a boost in their effort to keep the Affordable Care Act (or ACA, also known as “Obamacare”) alive and well.
But according to Fox News, the justices delivered the bad news on Tuesday that there would be no fast-tracking of an appeal of a lower court decision on the ACA.
The issue revolves around a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling handed down in November 2019. The decision declared the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate to be unconstitutional, something to which Obamacare proponents took great exception, initiating a court battle as a result.
As the lower courts squabble over the details, a coalition of blue states took an appeal to the Supreme Court in an effort to bypass procedural hurdles and get the high court to make a decision on hearing the case sooner rather than later.
Democrats were hoping to have this issue settled before the 2020 election. If the Supreme Court had elected to fast-track the case, it would have been argued during the upcoming term, with a decision handed down — more than likely — by June.
With the Supreme Court now refusing to hear the case at this time, the earliest a decision is likely to be reached would be far too late to impact the upcoming election.
Republicans, of course, celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision.
“The Fifth Circuit’s holding is clear: the federal government cannot order private citizens to purchase subpar insurance products that they don’t want…Finally being rid of this law will be a victory for all Americans.”https://t.co/J7YNPSkjAD
— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) December 19, 2019
Democrats, on the other hand, were furious, once again taking the stance that Obamacare is necessary in order to ensure coverage for all.
The California Department of Justice is prepared to challenge the 5th Circuit’s decision in #TexasvUS.
— Xavier Becerra (@AGBecerra) December 19, 2019
While this is a small win for the GOP, it is far from outright victory. This decision by the Supreme Court only rules against fast-tracking the appeal, it does not dismiss the case in its entirety.
The court could still decide to hear the case this year, which would probably mean that arguments would be heard in October.
Fox News reports: “In the meantime, the case will continue in district court, with that court’s ruling almost certainly being appealed by the party that loses.
“It is unclear, however, when or whether the Supreme Court will decide to hear this case and rule on the ACA’s constitutionality,” the outlet added.