The Trump administration had backed the lawsuit, which involved many red states, which argued that Obamacare was made unconstitutional after Congress eliminated the individual mandate, which penalized individuals who did not have health insurance.
The penalty was originally upheld under Congress’ constitutional power to levy a tax, but Republican attorney general of Texas, Ken Paxton, argued that the penalty stopped being a tax after former President Donald Trump signed a law in 2017 removing the penalty.
Texas and 17 other red states argued that the rest of the law had to be thrown out because other provisions, such as preexisting condition protection, required all Americans to obtain health insurance.
“We do not reach these questions of the Act’s validity, however, for Texas and the other plaintiffs in this suit lack the standing necessary to raise them,” said Associate Justice Stephen Breyer for the majority.
Breyer was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Clarence Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. Associate Justice Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch were the two dissenters.
“Today’s decision is the third installment in our epic Affordable Care Act trilogy, and it follows the same pattern as installments one and two,” wrote Alito in his dissent. “In all three episodes, with the Affordable Care Act facing a serious threat, the Court has pulled off an improbable rescue.”
This story is developing. Check back later for updates.