The US Supreme Court has turned back its third chance to upend the Affordable Care Act, reports MedicalBrief.
By a 7-2 vote, the court rejected a lawsuit filed by a group of Republican state attorneys general claiming that a change made by Congress in 2017 had rendered the entire law unconstitutional. Two of former President Donald Trump’s court picks, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, joined the majority in rejecting the Republican effort.
Chief Justice John Roberts and fellow conservative Justices Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett joined Justice Stephen Breyer’s opinion, as did Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Preserving coverage for over 30m people insured under the Affordable Care Act, the majority said that the plaintiffs did not have standing to bring their lawsuit to federal court.
“We proceed no further than standing,” wrote Justice Stephen Breyer for the majority. “Neither the individual nor the state plaintiffs have shown that the injury they will suffer or have suffered is ‘fairly traceable’ to the ‘allegedly unlawful conduct’ of which they complain.”
The two dissenters in the case, Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, disagreed. “The States have clearly shown that they suffer concrete and particularised financial injuries that are traceable to conduct of the Federal Government,” Alito wrote. “The ACA saddles them with expensive and burdensome obligations, and those obligations are enforced by the Federal Government. That is sufficient to establish standing.”