TOPEKA – (December 14, 2018) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt tonight issued the following statement in response to this evening’s ruling by a federal court in Texas that changes made by Congress to the ‘Obamacare’ statute have rendered the law unconstitutional:
“The federal court tonight ruled that, as we thought, the ‘Obamacare’ law is now unconstitutional because last year Congress ‘sawed off the last leg it stood on.’ Because the law no longer is authorized by Congress’s constitutional power to tax, Congress has ‘exceeded the authority granted it by the Constitution, [and] the fruit of that unauthorized action cannot stand.’
“In the short term, this judicial decision may, as the Court predicts, inflame emotions and test civility because of the passions surrounding health care policy in our country. But more fundamentally, this decision reaffirms the important principle that our Constitution protects liberty by limiting the power of the federal government in ways that an independent judiciary is duty-bound to enforce. The side that did not prevail tonight already has promised to appeal, and that is certainly their right. But how much better, I think, if instead this decision would spur Congress finally to work together to fix the constitutional defects in the health law while preserving its popular and beneficial provisions.”
The case is Texas v. United States, case 4:18-cv-00167-0, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas (Fort Worth Division). Kansas is one of the 20 state plaintiffs in this action.