National Federation of Independent Business, et al. v. Sebelius

Term: 2011 Term
Oral Argument Date: March 28, 2012
Vote: 5-4
Opinion: Roberts

Question(s) Presented

Whether the ACA must be invalidated in its entirety because it is nonseverable from the individual mandate that exceeds Congress’ limited and enumerated powers under the Constitution.

NCLC's Position

NCLC urged the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), if the Supreme Court rules that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. According to NCLC's amicus brief, the individual mandate is a central component of the PPACA; without the mandate, the Act cannot possibly function as designed. The amicus brief does not address the constitutionality of the individual mandate. The brief explains that if the PPACA’s remaining insurance reforms are left to stand without the individual mandate, it will wreak havoc on the health insurance market. 

Case Outcome

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the health care law. According to the opinion of the Court, the Anti-Injunction Act does not bar the lawsuit. The Court also ruled that the individual mandate may be upheld as within Congress's power under the Taxing Clause. 

Justices in Majority
Breyer
Ginsburg
Kagan
Roberts
Sotomayor
Justices in Minority
Alito
Kennedy
Scalia
Thomas
Procedural History

Cert. petitions filed 9/28/2011. NCLC amicus brief filed 10/25/11. Cert. granted 11/14/11, in tandem with HHS v. Florida (11-398) and Florida, et al. v. HHS (11-400). NCLC amicus brief on the merits filed 1/6/12. Oral arguments held 3/28/12. Decided 6/28/12.

Case Documents