There have been few laws enacted by Congress that have received more criticism than Obamacare. This case was a frontal challenge to the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, a/k/a Obamacare. One of the key provisions challenged was the minimum coverage requirement provisions of that law.
CLDEF’s amicus curiae brief before the U.S. Supreme Court asked the Court to rule that Obamacare was an invalid exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause. Our brief also asked the Court to overturn two of its most extreme and controversial cases: United States v. Darby and Wickard v. Filburn.
In a 5-4 decision, in an opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court ruled that Obamacare was permissible as a constitutional exercise of Congress’s power to tax — even though Congress intentionally and specifically framed the mandate as a penalty — not a tax. In other words, the Court ignored what Congress passed, effectively rewrote the law, and then approved it under the Constitution.