University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Texas v. United States of America PB-TX-0015
Docket / Court 4:18-cv-00167-O ( N.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Case Summary
On February 26, 2018, The State of Texas and 19 other states filed this action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The complaint named as defendants: the United States of America, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Health ... read more >
On February 26, 2018, The State of Texas and 19 other states filed this action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The complaint named as defendants: the United States of America, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, United States Internal Revenue Service, and the Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Represented by various states' attorneys general, the plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief from a 2017 amendment to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The plaintiffs alleged that the December 22, 2017 amendment known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 forced an “unconstitutional and irrational regime onto the States and their citizens” because it eliminated the tax penalty of the ACA without eliminating the individual mandate requiring that most Americans have “minimal essential coverage.”

Multiple states and parties intervened in the case as defendants including 16 states and the District of Columbia. Notably, the United States House of Representatives intervened to argue in favor of the ACA as an intervener defendant. Plaintiffs also named John McCain as an additional defendant because of his vote against repeal of the individual mandate on July 28, 2018. The plaintiffs moved for summary judgment in an extraordinary motion stating that they would settle or withdraw from the complaint if McCain would file a rescission of his nay vote. McCain, though, passed away due to brain cancer on August 25, 2018 and is no longer a party to the suit.

The Supreme Court had interpreted the mandate in NFIB v. Sebelius, 567 U.S. 519 (2012), as part of a tax penalty applying to individuals covered by the mandate. Thus, the mandate was a lawful exercise of Congress's taxing power. As a result, the plaintiffs alleged that eliminating the tax penalty in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 made not only the individual mandate unlawful, but also the rest of the ACA unlawful. The complaint sought: (1) a declaratory judgment that the individual mandate of the ACA exceeded Congress's Article I constitutional enumerated powers; (2) a declaratory judgment that the ACA violated the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment; (3) a declaratory judgment that the ACA violated the Tenth Amendment; (4) a declaratory judgment under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA); and (5) injunctive relief against federal officials from implementing, regulating, or otherwise enforcing the ACA.

On April 23, 2018, the complaint was amended to add Special Counsel for Civil Litigation as attorneys for plaintiff states. A month later, on May 16, 2018, Judge Reed C. O'Connor granted a motion for 16 states and the District of Columbia to intervene as defendants. By the time oral arguments concerning the preliminary injunction began on September 5, 2018, multiple associations and scholars offered amicus briefs in support of the defendants.

While the defendants agreed that the individual mandate requirement was unconstitutional, they argued that all other provisions of the ACA were severable and thereby enforceable.

Finally, on December 14, 2018, Judge O'Connor denied the plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction and instead granted the plaintiffs' partial summary judgement on count one of the plaintiffs' complaint. The court found the individual mandate unconstitutional because it no longer triggered a tax and held that the provision was inseverable from the rest of the ACA. However, Judge O'Connor also granted defendants' motion to sever count one from the remaining claims in order to make the judgment final and therefore immediately appealable. In the same order, Judge O'Connor granted the defendants' motion to stay the judgment pending appeal.

The defendants appealed from the judgement on count one on January 3, 2019 to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. By March 25, 2019, the court granted dismissal of both the State of Maine and the State of Wisconsin as plaintiffs and Judge O'Connor granted the United States House of Representatives defendant intervener status. The Fifth Circuit heard oral arguments on July 9, 2019, and the case is ongoing pending the appellate court's decision.

Richa Bijlani - 10/28/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
Medicaid
Medicare
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Government Services (specify)
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Commissioner of Internal Revenue
Secretary of Health and Human Services
United States Department of Health and Human Services
United States Internal Revenue Service
United States of America
Plaintiff Description Texas, Wisconsin, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Governor of Maine, Governor Phil Bryant, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Declaratory Judgment
Source of Relief Litigation
Filing Year 2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Explaining Texas v. U.S.: A Guide to the 5th Circuit Appeal in the Case Challenging the ACA
KFF.org
Date: Jul. 3, 2019
By: MaryBeth Musumeci (Kaiser Family Foundation)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
4:18-cv-00167 (N.D. Tex.)
PB-TX-0015-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/16/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
PB-TX-0015-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/26/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 27]
PB-TX-0015-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/23/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 211] (344 F.Supp.3d 579) (N.D. Tex.)
PB-TX-0015-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/14/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Stay and Partial Final Judgment [ECF# 220] (352 F.Supp.3d 665) (N.D. Tex.)
PB-TX-0015-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/30/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges O'Connor, Reed Charles (N.D. Tex.) show/hide docs
PB-TX-0015-0001 | PB-TX-0015-0002 | PB-TX-0015-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Boucek, Braden Heath (Tennessee) show/hide docs
PB-TX-0015-9000
Fredricks, Scott A (Texas) show/hide docs
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Hacker, David J. (Texas) show/hide docs
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Henneke, Robert (Texas) show/hide docs
PB-TX-0015-0003 | PB-TX-0015-9000
Kilpatrick, Steven Carl (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
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Leroy, Kevin M. (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
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McCarty, Darren L (Texas) show/hide docs
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Mitchell, Jonathan F. (Texas) show/hide docs
PB-TX-0015-0003 | PB-TX-0015-9000
Nimocks, Austin (Texas) show/hide docs
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Tseytlin, Misha (Wisconsin) show/hide docs
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Vickers, Philip A (Texas) show/hide docs
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Defendant's Lawyers Battles, Benjamin D. (Vermont) show/hide docs
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Beckenhauer, Eric B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Bender, Robyn R. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Boergers, Kathleen M (California) show/hide docs
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Buysse, David F (Illinois) show/hide docs
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Chesler, Elizabeth R. (New York) show/hide docs
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Elias, Nimrod P (California) show/hide docs
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Feigenbaum, Jeremy (New Jersey) show/hide docs
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Ikeda, Scott H (Minnesota) show/hide docs
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Kallen, Michelle S. (Virginia) show/hide docs
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Kantor, Henry (Oregon) show/hide docs
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Kaplan, Scott J. (Oregon) show/hide docs
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Kopplin, Rebecca M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Lenz, Maria (Rhode Island) show/hide docs
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Lyons, David J. (Delaware) show/hide docs
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Mauler, Daniel (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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McElvain, Joel (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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McGuire, Matthew R. (Virginia) show/hide docs
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Nakatsuji, Robert T (Hawaii) show/hide docs
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Nannery, Valerie M (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Palma, Neli Nima (California) show/hide docs
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Payne, Taylor Allen (Kentucky) show/hide docs
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Rian, Heidi M. (Hawaii) show/hide docs
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Rubin, Joseph (Connecticut) show/hide docs
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Shumate, Brett (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Sprung, Jeffrey Todd (Washington) show/hide docs
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Suzuki, Andrea (Hawaii) show/hide docs
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Verrilli, Donald B. Jr. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Vogel, Stephen B (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
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Willey, Jessica M. (Delaware) show/hide docs
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Other Lawyers Berner, Nicole (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Bershteyn, Boris (New York) show/hide docs
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Brewer, John Mark (Texas) show/hide docs
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Clausewitz, Tiffanie S (Texas) show/hide docs
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Davis, Michelle L (Texas) show/hide docs
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Deutsch, Ruthanne M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Dotzel, Margaret M (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Fergenson, Micah Festa (New York) show/hide docs
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Gillet, Gabriel K (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Golder, Chad (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Gonzalez, Iris Y. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Gyamfi, Maame (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Hedrick, Joshua L (Texas) show/hide docs
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Hellman , Matthew S. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Hunt, Hyland (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Hutcherson, Kenton J (Texas) show/hide docs
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Hyman, Leslie Sara (Texas) show/hide docs
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Kiernan, Leslie B (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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McClung, Britton D (Texas) show/hide docs
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Meadors, Carey Brain (North Carolina) show/hide docs
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Meier, Brennan Holden (Texas) show/hide docs
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Mignouna, Dila (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Palmore, Joseph R. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Park, Saerom (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Petronio, Beth Bivans (Texas) show/hide docs
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Reed, Teresa A Dippo (California) show/hide docs
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Roberson-Young, Katherine (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Schultz, William B (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Shah, Pratik A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Stetson, Catherine E. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Tatachar, Jayant Kartik (Texas) show/hide docs
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