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Amy Coney Barrett And The Future Of The Affordable Care Act

Seventh U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett looks on while being introduced by U.S. President Donald Trump as his nominee to the Supreme Court during an event at the White House.
Seventh U.S. Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett looks on while being introduced by U.S. President Donald Trump as his nominee to the Supreme Court during an event at the White House.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett is President Donald Trump’s third nominee to the Supreme Court. If confirmed, she will replace the late  Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and create a 6-3 conservative majority on the nation’s highest court. She currently serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, based in Chicago.

The New York Times’ Adam Liptak summarized Judge Barrett’s record.

 Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, has compiled an almost uniformly conservative voting record in cases touching on abortion, gun rights, discrimination and immigration. If she is confirmed, she would move the court slightly but firmly to the right, making compromise less likely and putting at risk the right to abortion established in Roe v. Wade.

In the coming weeks, months and years, the Supreme Court may be called upon to weigh issues as varied and weighty as the presidential election, the fate of affirmative action, the structure of the administrative state and the role courts can play in addressing climate change. Judge Barrett had not written major opinions in any of those areas, and, in any event, the views expressed by appeals court judges do not always predict their positions when they are elevated to the Supreme Court.

Judge Barrett would be the court’s youngest justice at 48. And one of the first cases she could hear is about the future of the Affordable Care Act.

Kaiser Health News’ Julie Rovner summarized the case for NPR:

A coalition of Republican state attorneys general, led by Texas, argued in February 2018 that the Republican-backed  tax-cut law of December 2017 had rendered the ACA unconstitutional by reducing to zero the ACA’s penalty for not having insurance. They based their argument on Chief Justice John Roberts’  2012 conclusion that the ACA was valid, interpreting that penalty as a constitutionally appropriate tax.

If Republicans secure a 5-4 ruling with Barrett on the bench, 20 million Americans could lose health insurance.

We explore Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s judicial record and the upcoming fight over the Affordable Care Act.

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