Obamacare Lawsuit Gains Support of Lawmakers, Experts in Supreme Court Amicus Briefs

The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s (CEI) Supreme Court Obamacare case gained support from a distinguished and diverse group of American lawmakers, leaders, and policy experts this week. Amici briefs filed in support of the petitioners in King v. Burwell argue that an IRS regulation violates the law by granting subsidies on both state and federally-established health insurance exchanges. The language in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) states subsidies would only be available on exchanges “established by the State,” and not to states that opted out of setting up their own exchanges.  

"The range of amicus briefs we have received so far from members of Congress, constitutional law experts, physicians, state lawmakers, and various other nonprofits indicate our position in the King case is widely supported on both legal and policy grounds,” said CEI general counsel Sam Kazman. “These briefs strengthen our arguments, specifically, that the IRS’ attempt to rewrite legislation is an attack on the rule of law and our nation’s separation of powers. The Constitution does not allow the executive branch to simply make up the laws as it goes or simply ignore the plain text of laws passed by Congress.”

In addition to supporting the petitioners’ reading of the ACA, the amici briefs emphasized other supporting points regarding our nation’s separation of powers, the rule of law, and the penalties resulting from the IRS regulation in question.   

“The tax credit for individual insurance has major political and economic ramifications, and it triggers other tax consequences, including penalties for individuals and employers who fail to purchase or offer qualifying plans,” explains the brief submitted by the Galen Institute and state legislators. “Congress cannot be presumed to have ‘delegate[d] a decision of such economic and political significance to an agency in so cryptic a fashion.’” 

Amici briefs were submitted on behalf of a number of members of Congress including U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.); and U.S. Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Pete Olson (R-Texas), Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), Peter J. Roskam (R-Ill.), Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and Fred Upton (R-Mich.). Briefs were also submitted on behalf of a number of state governments, state legislators, physicians, nonprofits, constitutional and health care policy experts, and more.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) is coordinating and funding both the King v. Burwell case and the D.C. Circuit Halbig v. Burwell case.

►  View the amicus briefs and more about King v. Burwell at cei.org/obamacare