People For the American Way

PFAW: ACA Ruling Illustrates Trump Judges’ Threat

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 18, 2019

Contact: Laurie Kinney at People For the American Way

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 202-467-2307

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional and returned the case to a lower court for further review, putting the ACA at continued risk of being overturned in a lawsuit filed by a number of Republican attorneys general and backed by the White House. A Trump appointee to the Fifth Circuit, Kurt Engelhardt, cast the deciding vote in the case. PFAW Executive Vice President for Policy and Program Marge Baker released the following statement:

“You couldn’t ask for a better illustration of the threat Donald Trump’s judicial appointments pose to health care — as well as a host of other critical rights and freedoms. The Trump administration has set its sights on destroying the ACA, and is choosing judges like Kurt Engelhardt to carry out that agenda. Engelhardt joined a ruling that could ultimately result in taking health care away from millions of Americans. Not only is the legal rationale for this ruling incredibly weak, its effects could be incalculably cruel.”

PFAW’s legal research team has posted a blog entry on this case as part of the Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears series. Since 2017, Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears has been covering troubling votes and decisions by Trump appellate judges, including Supreme Court justices. The series has focused on showing how extreme Trump’s judges are by documenting cases in which dissents occurred and Trump judges split from their colleagues.

About People For the American Way

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunityLearn more: