Democratic state attorneys general on Monday took the first step in appealing a district court's Friday night ruling that ObamaCare is unconstitutional.
The 17 attorneys general, led by California's Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraOvernight Health Care — Presented by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing — FDA panel endorses booster shots of Johnson & Johnson vaccine Biden administration to invest 0 million to boost health care, attract workers FDA guidance calls for voluntary salt reduction in food supply MORE, filed an expedited motion Monday evening to clear the way for an appeal.
They asked that Judge Reed O'Connor issue an order clarifying that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) must be enforced by federal and state governments while the case is appealed, or that he issue a stay on the impacts of his ruling.
The state officials noted in their filing Monday that O'Connor's opinion created confusion about whether ObamaCare will be unenforceable once the repeal of the individual mandate takes effect Jan. 1.
They also asked that he certify his opinion so it can be appealed to the Fifth Circuit. They asked for a response by Friday.
“The district court’s ruling poses a dangerous threat to the healthcare of millions of Americans. We’re asking the court to make clear that the ACA is still the law and ensure that all Americans can continue to access affordable healthcare under it,” Becerra said in a statement.
O'Connor, a district judge in the Northern District of Texas, sided on Friday with the 20 Republican attorneys general who filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration earlier this year, arguing that ObamaCare is unconstitutional because Congress repealed the individual mandate penalty.
O'Connor ruled that ObamaCare could not stand without the penalty, and declared the entire law unconstitutional. But he did not issue an injunction, which would halt implementation of the law.
Becerra and the Democratic attorneys general who are defending the law in court — after the Trump administration declined to — have vowed an appeal.