"I think it would be hard for you to argue that Congress intended to overturn the entire law if the mandate were knocked down when the same Congress that reduced the penalty to zero did not even try to overturn the rest of the law," Roberts said to Kyle D. Hawkins, the Texas attorney general, is in charge of the states. "I honestly think they wanted the court to do that. But that's not our job." Here are the "balls and punches" Roberts again, who this time refuse to be the partisan activist.
Kavanaugh also said to Donald B. Verrilli Jr., House attorney defending the law, "I tend to agree with you. This is a very simple case for severability under our precedents, which means we cut the mandate and would leave the mandate. " Rest of the fact in place. "Verrilli knew the reason he was standing on – he defended the law as attorney general for the Obama administration in 2012. Verrilli argued it was too far-fetched to believe that when Congress lifted the mandate sentence, it thought it would Repeal all law. "There have been efforts to repeal the entire ACA," Verrilli said. "Those efforts have failed." So the Republican Congress has done what it can and is happy with the repeal.
Taking this up, Roberts said that while the rest of the law remained in place, lifting the sentence was clearly deliberate. "You have a hard time arguing that Congress intended to overturn all of the law if the mandate were struck down," he told Hawkins, "when the same Congress that cut the penalty to zero didn't even try the rest of the Repeal the law. " "" To be fair, they tried, failed, and completely given up trying. Hawkins, in exchange with Kavanaugh, attempted to argue that Congress did not intend to maintain protections for people with pre-existing conditions by not revoking them in 2017, saying that the court should not be examining the intent of Congress, but rather the Code said. The problem Hawkins has there is that the touchstone of the decision, and pretty much every other legal issue, is "what Congress intended" to do.
The New York Times' veteran court observer Adam Liptak cites three distinct legal arguments that challengers to the law had to win: "that they have suffered the kind of violation that makes them sued; that zeroing the tax penalty makes individual mandates unconstitutional ; and that the rest of the law cannot stand without the individual mandate. "From what we've heard from five of the nine judges, the challengers might win the first two, but the whole shebang, the constitutionality of the law itself, will be preserved.
The court is expected to rule by June at the end of this session, probably not sooner.