Trump administration will no longer defend the Affordable Care Act in court

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The Trump administration declared that it will no longer defend the Affordable Care Act from a challenge filed by 20 states in a brief filed Thursday night because it agrees that the law’s individual mandate is unconstitutional and that key parts of the act — including the provisions protecting those with pre-existing conditions — are invalid. President Trump has long declared the ACA, also known as Obamacare, to be a “disaster” and the brief is the latest attempt by his administration to weaken President Barack Obama’s signature health-care law.But the move also upends a longstanding legal and democratic norm that the executive branch will uphold existing laws. “I am at a loss for words to explain how big of a deal this is,” said University of Michigan law professor Nicholas Bagley in a blog post. Bagley, a former Justice Department attorney, said the DOJ has a “durable, longstanding, bipartisan commitment” to defending the laws passed by Congress as long as there is a legitimate “non-frivolous” argument to be made in its defense.

 

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