Tierney Sneed notes that, in response to questioning by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh refused to say whether he would uphold Obamacare’s protections for preexisting conditions if they were to come before the Supreme Court.
“I can’t give assurances on a specific hypothetical,” he said.
This hypothetical, however, is likely to become quite real. Lawyers for a coalition of Republican attorneys general are in Texas federal court today arguing that the Affordable Care Act can’t stand without a tax penalty for those who don’t comply with the individual mandate. The tax penalty was removed from the law by the GOP tax legislation signed at the end of 2017.
The Trump administration, which has sought to undermine the ACA in ways large and small, sided with the Republican attorneys general. That means the task of defending the ACA fell to Democratic attorneys general.
In court today, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor reportedly appeared skeptical of the defense’s arguments. That means the case could well be headed to the Supreme Court on appeal.