Supreme Court Turns Down Constitutional Challenge To ACA

Date: January 20, 2016

Justices Refuse To Weigh In On Origination Question

USA Today reported that the Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to consider “yet another” challenge to Obamacare. The justices turned down a challenge “that contended Congress violated the Constitution when it approved the law in 2010 by sending a bill that raised revenue through the Senate before the House.” Under the Constitution, all revenue-raising bills must start in the House. A Federal appeals court had turned down the petition “because, a panel of judges said, the law was predominately a bill to improve health insurance coverage, not a revenue-raising bill.” Conservatives contested that reading of the law but said the legislation actually did originate in the House. The Washington Times reported that the “origination question has been in doubt since Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s surprise decision three years ago saying that while Obamacare’s individual mandate wasn’t allowed under Congress’s powers to control interstate commerce, it was valid as an exercise of its taxing power.” Still, Bloomberg Politics said, the lawsuit known as Sissel v. HHS “had gained little traction in the lower courts.” Indeed, The Hill said the lawsuit “was viewed as a long shot.” The AP reported that the Pacific Legal Foundation “backed the latest lawsuit, filed on behalf of small-business owner Matt Sissel.”

What This Means For Small Business

The Court’s decision to not weigh this fresh challenge leaves in place a law that places under burden on American businesses and continues to sap both job creation and innovation. Additionally, by leaving in place the lower court’s ruling, and side-stepping concerns raised by court conservatives about the origination of the law, the Supreme Court may have opened the door for more complex regulation and taxation.

Additional Reading

A number of other sources also covered the story including Reuters, the Washington Examiner, the Huffington Post, Roll Call, and Modern Healthcare.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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