Re: Obamacare Litigation Update

Stretching the limits of government power has been a hallmark of the Obamacare enterprise — first the law itself and now its implementation. The latest case challenging the president’s attempt to govern by executive fiat, Halbig v. Sebelius, will move forward thanks to a ruling today. The suit is brought by employers who are being forced to pay penalties and cut their employees’ hours because federal regulations are extending the employer mandate and some aspects of the individual mandate to states that have not set up their own insurance exchanges. These regulations are at odds with the text of the law, which only applies these provisions to states with exchanges.

While the court did not issue a preliminary injunction to block the subsidies and penalty, it will decide the case in an expedited fashion, possibly even before consumers have to decide to buy insurance or pay the penalty.

After the ruling Sam Kazman, the general counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is helping coordinate the case, said, “We have been hoping for a quick ruling since we filed this case, and now it looks like we will get it. . . . We are hopeful the forthcoming ruling will invalidate the attempt by the IRS to eliminate the distinction between states that participate in the insurance exchange program and those that do not.”

While this case does not have the potential to undermine the entirety of the law like the original NFIB case, it is a serious challenge to this administration’s attempt to use executive and regulatory power to get around the laws passed by Congress that will have implications for the president’s choice to unilaterally delay the employer mandate as well.

Carrie Severino — Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

Most Popular

Culture

Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More
Immigration

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More
U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More