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Judge allows House Democrats to join defense of ACA in Texas case

February 18, 2019 / Paige Minemyer

A federal appeals judge is allowing Democrats to join the legal defense of the ACA. A Texas judge ruled that the Affordable Care Act was no longer enforceable as Congress has repealed the penalty attached to its individual insurance mandate. As the Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives in the 2018 election, legislators began to set the stage for their entry into the law’s defense. In the order, Circuit Judge Leslie Southwick said the House’s participation is worthwhile to the proceedings. “In the absence of any other federal governmental party in the case presenting a complete defense to the Congressional enactment at issue, this court may benefit from the participation by the House,” Southwick said. He did, however, challenge the House’s argument that it’s entitled to enter the case by law—but ruled ultimately that the argument is irrelevant.