Latest ACA Legal Challenges Dealt Two Powerful Setbacks In One Week

Washington, DC – On news this morning that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted the federal government’s request that the full active D.C. Circuit bench re-hear a three-judge panel decision that struck down essential subsidies provided to millions of Americans who buy health insurance on, Constitutional Accountability Center released the following reaction:


CAC Chief Counsel Elizabeth Wydra said, “Decisions this week by the D.C. Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court have put these last-ditch challenges to the Affordable Care Act exactly in the position they deserve to be – virtually nowhere. Meanwhile the Affordable Care Act, and the federal subsidies available to millions of Americans, continue to deliver precisely what Congress intended: affordable health care for all.” 


CAC Senior Counsel Simon Lazarus said, “On Tuesday of this week, the Supreme Court rejected the claims transparently fabricated by the challengers’ attorneys to rush the High Court into hearing an appeal of the case that the challengers lost at the Fourth Circuit. Instead, the Court granted the federal government their entirely routine request for additional time to respond. Then, this morning, the D.C. Circuit decided to re-hear the case in which the challengers were victorious, and by so doing, eliminated any pretext  that immediate Supreme Court review is required to resolve a split between the Fourth and D.C. Circuits.”


CAC’s Wydra continued, “If the Supreme Court follows normal practice, they will not preempt the D.C. Circuit’s review process, as well as other lower courts now hearing similar cases, just to take up this latest attempt to enlist the federal courts into an eleventh-hour drive to gut the Affordable Care Act. Opponents of the ACA have been desperate in moving to get this case before the Supreme Court, and with today’s ruling from the D.C. Circuit – and in the absence of any future split between the circuit courts – it is possible it will never get there.”






CAC brief in Halbig v. Burwell on behalf of Members of Congress and state legislatures in office when the Affordable Care Act was passed into law, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi:


“Republican Lawyers’ Latest Sneak Attack on Obamacare Is Their Most Brazen Yet,” Simon Lazarus, August 24, 2014:


“It’s the D.C. Circuit’s Move,” Brianne Gorod, August 6, 2014:


“There They Go Again,” Brianne Gorod, August 19, 2014:


“The Tale of a Political Attack in Search of a Legal Theory,” Joey Meyer, August 11, 2014:


“Why court’s blow to Obamacare won’t stick,” Brianne Gorod, July 23, 2014:




Constitutional Accountability Center ( is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history.