Congress Has Already Ruled in California v. Texas

22 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2020 Last revised: 10 Jan 2021

Date Written: October 21, 2020


In California v. Texas, opponents of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) have asked the Supreme Court to invalidate the statute. Relying on a 2017 legislative change to the ACA’s individual mandate, the challengers argue that the mandate is unconstitutional. They then assert that the mandate is inseverable from the rest of the ACA, thus the entire statute must fall. Earlier this year, however, Congress said otherwise. Last March, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act and the CARES Act. The two statutes amended and expanded provisions of the ACA, thereby overriding Texas v U.S., the district court decision that underlies California. In short, Congress has already ruled, via an override, on the severability question at issue in California. The ACA stands, even with an unconstitutional individual mandate.

Keywords: ACA, Supreme Court, severability, override, CARES Act, Families First Coronavirus Relief Act

Suggested Citation

Cogan Jr., John Aloysius, Congress Has Already Ruled in California v. Texas (October 21, 2020). Boston College Law Review, Vol. 62, No. 9, 2020, Available at SSRN:

John Aloysius Cogan Jr. (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut - School of Law ( email )

65 Elizabeth Street
Hartford, CT 06105
United States

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