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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Francisco, Noel J"

Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court to Strike Down Affordable Care Act

Westlake Legal Group merlin_172463472_28be6e7c-e273-49f6-a6b8-24e81604ab2e-facebookJumbo Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court to Strike Down Affordable Care Act Trump, Donald J Supreme Court (US) Republican Party Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010) Obama, Barack House of Representatives Health and Human Services Department Francisco, Noel J Democratic Party Becerra, Xavier

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court late Thursday to overturn the Affordable Care Act — a move that, if successful, would bring a permanent end to the health insurance program popularly known as Obamacare and wipe out coverage for as many as 23 million Americans.

In an 82-page brief submitted an hour before a midnight deadline, the administration joined Republican officials in Texas and 17 other states in arguing that in 2017, Congress, then controlled by Republicans, had rendered the law unconstitutional when it zeroed out the tax penalty for not buying insurance — the so-called individual mandate.

The administration’s argument, coming in the thick of an election season — as well as a pandemic that has devastated the economy and left millions of unemployed Americans without health coverage — is sure to reignite Washington’s bitter political debate over health care.

In his brief, Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco argued that the health law’s two remaining central provisions are now invalid because Congress intended that all three work together.

“Nothing the 2017 Congress did demonstrates it would have intended the rest of the A.C.A. to continue to operate in the absence of these three integral provisions,” the brief said, using the abbreviation for the name of the health care law. “The entire A.C.A. thus must fall with the individual mandate.”

The Texas case is by far the most serious challenge to date for the 10-year-old health care law, President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement. The Supreme Court has already ruled on two legal challenges to the act, and both times it has left most of the law in place.

The court has not said when it will hear oral arguments, but they are most likely to take place in the fall, just as Americans are preparing to go to the polls in November.

Republicans have long said their goal is to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act but have yet to agree on an alternative. They are bracing for the possibility that the effort to overturn the health law will cost them. Joel White, a Republican strategist, said in a recent interview that he considered it “pretty dumb to be talking about how we need to repeal Obamacare in the middle of a pandemic.”

Democrats, who view health care a winning issue and who reclaimed the House majority in 2018 on their promise to expand access and bring down costs, are trying to use the Supreme Court case to press their advantage. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has scheduled a vote for Monday on a measure to expand the health care law, in an effort to draw a sharp contrast between Democrats and Republicans.

“President Trump and the Republicans’ campaign to rip away the protections and benefits of the Affordable Care Act in the middle of the coronavirus crisis is an act of unfathomable cruelty,” Ms. Pelosi said in a statement late Thursday night, after the administration’s brief was filed.

“If President Trump gets his way,” she added, “130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will lose the A.C.A.’s lifesaving protections and 23 million Americans will lose their health coverage entirely.”

The case the court will hear grows out of a lawsuit that Republican officials in 20 states, led by Texas, filed against the Department of Health and Human Services in February 2018, seeking to have the health law struck down. After Democratic victories in the 2018 midterm elections, two states, Wisconsin and Maine, withdrew.

When the case was argued in the trial court, the Trump administration, though a defendant, did not defend the law, siding instead with the plaintiffs. But unlike Texas and the other states, the administration argued at the time that only the law’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions should be struck down, but that the rest of the law, including its expansion of Medicaid, should survive.

Last year, however, the administration expanded its opposition, telling a federal appeals court that the entire law should be invalidated. In the meantime, another 17 states, led by California, intervened to defend the law, as did the House, now controlled by Democrats.

“Now is not the time to rip away our best tool to address very real and very deadly health disparities in our communities,” Attorney General Xavier Becerra of California said in a statement on Thursday, adding: “This fight comes at the most crucial time. The death toll from the coronavirus today is greater than the death toll of the Vietnam War.”

The Supreme Court has agreed to consider three legal questions in the case: whether Texas and two individual plaintiffs who have joined the suit have standing; whether Congress rendered the individual mandate unconstitutional; and, if it did, whether the rest of the law must fall with it.

If the court strikes down only the mandate, not much will change, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which wrote that the “practical result will be essentially the same as the A.C.A. exists today, without an enforceable mandate.” But if the court decides that all or part of the law must be overturned, it would affect “nearly every American in some way,” the foundation wrote.

The Texas suit has created great uncertainty for the roughly 20 million people covered by the law, as well as for millions of others who have lost their jobs and health coverage during the coronavirus pandemic. A recent analysis by the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress estimated that 23 million people would lose coverage if the Affordable Care Act is abolished — including nearly two million in Texas and more than four million in California.

The lawsuit has also drawn opposition from hospitals and doctors, including the American Medical Association. In a friend of the court brief filed last month, it wrote that striking down the law “at a time when the system is struggling to respond to a pandemic that has infected nearly 1.4 million Americans and killed more than 80,000 at the time of this writing would be a self-inflicted wound that could take decades to heal.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump’s Tax Returns Supreme Court Case: What You Need to Know

Westlake Legal Group 11dc-scotus-primer-facebookJumbo Trump's Tax Returns Supreme Court Case: What You Need to Know Vance, Cyrus R Jr United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Supreme Court (US) subpoenas Sekulow, Jay Alan Justice Department House of Representatives House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Francisco, Noel J Federal Taxes (US) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Cohen, Michael D (1966- ) Clifford, Stephanie (1979- )

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Tuesday on whether President Trump can block the release of his financial records, setting the stage for a ruling on the power of presidents to resist demands for information from prosecutors and Congress.

Here is a look at the proceedings, the players and the issues.

The court will consider two sets of cases, with one scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and the second an hour later. The first concerns subpoenas from two House committees, and the second a subpoena from the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., a Democrat. Both arguments are very likely to last much longer than the usual hour.

Yes. Since the court started hearing arguments by telephone last week in response to the coronavirus pandemic, it has provided a live audio feed. That has never happened before, and it will give the public a rare opportunity to listen in live to arguments that could reshape the balance of power among the three branches of government. We’ll feature it on nytimes.com.

Broadly speaking, they concern whether Mr. Trump can block subpoenas to his accountants and bankers from House committees and New York prosecutors.

The accounting firm and the banks have indicated that they will comply with the subpoenas. Had the subpoenas sought evidence from Mr. Trump himself, there was at least a possibility that he would try to defy a ruling against him, prompting a constitutional crisis.

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The House Oversight and Reform Committee is investigating hush-money payments to a pornographic film actress and whether Mr. Trump inflated and deflated descriptions of his assets on financial statements to obtain loans and reduce his taxes. The House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees have sought an array of financial records related to the president, his companies and his family.

They contend that the committees have no legitimate need for the information.

Lawyers for the House say the information is needed to allow it to conduct oversight and to draft legislation.

He wants eight years of business and personal tax records in connection with an investigation of the role that Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization played in hush-money payments made in the run-up to the 2016 election. Mr. Trump and his company reimbursed the president’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, for payments made to the pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels, who said that she had an affair with Mr. Trump.

They contend that he is absolutely immune from criminal investigation while he is in office. They add that allowing state and local officials to subpoena sitting presidents could subject them to politically motivated harassment.

Mr. Vance said the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Nixon in 1974, which required President Richard M. Nixon to disclose tapes of Oval Office conversations, essentially decided the central issue in the case. “This court has long recognized,” Mr. Vance wrote, “that a sitting president may be subject to a subpoena in a criminal proceeding.”

The Justice Department, arguing in support of Mr. Trump, who is represented by private lawyers, said none of the subpoenas satisfied the demanding standards that it said apply when information is sought about a sitting president’s private conduct.

In the first argument, on the House subpoenas, Mr. Trump will be represented by Patrick Strawbridge; the Justice Department by Jeffrey B. Wall, a deputy solicitor general; and the House by Douglas N. Letter, its general counsel.

In the second argument, on the subpoena from Mr. Vance, Mr. Trump will be represented by Jay A. Sekulow; the Justice Department by the solicitor general, Noel J. Francisco; and Mr. Vance by Carey R. Dunne, a lawyer in the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com