FIE - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is all in with his support of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit decision on the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

In a brief filed with the court this month, Paxton wrote that the Fifth Circuit’s decision to declare Obamacare’s individual mandate unconstitutional and remand the case to a lower court does not need a review by the U.S. Supreme Court at this time. The brief added that the U.S. House of Representatives, which seeks the Supreme Court review, lacks standing to request it.

Paxton issued a statement following the decision in which he said the Fifth Circuit engaged in a “straightforward application of existing U.S. Supreme Court precedent.”

“The Fifth Circuit has ordered this case to return to district court to determine which, if any, provisions of Obamacare are still valid notwithstanding the unconstitutional mandate. That is where this case belongs at this time,” he said. “I applaud the Fifth Circuit for upholding the core principle that the federal government cannot order private citizens to purchase subpar insurance that they don’t want. I look forward to demonstrating exactly how this law has failed in district court.”

Paxton is not alone in backing the Fifth Circuit’s declaration of the individual mandate as unconstitutional. He is joined in the briefing by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and 15 other attorneys general.

The attorneys general briefing argues the law should remain as is until the appeals process is through, and the Supreme Court should wait on that process to occur.

In 2012, Paxton’s statement explained, the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare with a majority of the justices agreeing that Obamacare’s individual mandate was constitutional only because its accompanying tax penalty could justify forcing individuals to purchase health insurance under Congress’ taxing power. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 removed the penalty.